A loan for more than $11 million is on its way to the City of Hermiston.

The Hermiston City Council approved a resolution Monday to enter into a loan agreement Monday with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for $11.41 million to go toward the construction of the city’s recycled water project.

The new loan, at an interest rate of 2.65 percent, joins a $4 million DEQ loan the city received in June.

“We were hopeful for a second round of low-interest loans to help fund the project, and I’m very, very pleased to announce that this is $11.4 million at an interest rate even lower than the first (loan),” City Manager Ed Brookshier said. “With the $4 million we’ve already received, this brings our DEQ loan package right at $15 million on a $25 million project.”

The project will transform the city’s current 30-year-old wastewater facility into the Hermiston Recycled Water Plant, a sustainable facility capable of discharging high-quality water for irrigation while meeting current and projected regulations.

“(DEQ has) really come to help us with this project,” Brookshier said. “We really appreciate it.”

Also during the meeting:

— The council unanimously approved Resolution 1882 to establish a new health reimbursement arragement/voluntary employees beneficiary association plan. The resolution changes health insurance for all non-police employees from a 80-20 percent plan to a 90-10 percent plan, effective in January.

“This is part of our movement to a less expensive plan for our employees,” Brookshier said. “The estimated savings to the city is 17 percent of health insurance costs.”

— Rick Stoddard, of Barnett and Moro, presented the city’s 2009-10 Audit Report, and said the city earned a clean report from the accounting firm.

— City council members unanimously authorized a non-binding memorandum concerning the establishment of an Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.