The Hermiston City Council will consider forming a local improvement district for the South Hermiston Industrial Park during its Monday, Sept. 28, meeting.

The district, if formed by the ordinance up for a vote in the Sept. 28 meeting, would result in 18 property owners splitting $500,000 in costs for a $3 million project that would add roads, water and sewer infrastructure to the industrial park. The remaining funding would come from a $1.5 million federal Economic Development Administration grant, $250,000 from the city of Hermiston, $50,000 from Umatilla County and $700,000 that the Port of Umatilla would be assessed under the district.

According to a staff report by Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan, the project would create new “shovel ready” parcels of industrial land ranging from half-acre sites similar to those already filled along the nearby Kelli Avenue and Campbell Drive, and give access to larger parcels for big industrial projects.

If 60% of affected property owners oppose formation of a local improvement district it cannot go forward. Morgan stated in his staff report that five owners submitted official remonstrances in opposition, but those five make up less than 60%, and the city also did not consider three of the remonstrances valid because the property owners had previously signed legal agreements not to oppose formation of an LID, in exchange for not having to pay for those improvements when they first developed their property.

The council will also consider a supplemental budget, which would authorize the expenditure of $540,000 in CARES Act funds the city has received, add $159,890 to the reserve fund from the city’s insurance payout for fire damage to city hall, and increase the capital outlay for the city hall construction fund by $9.6 million to pay for building a new city hall and remodeling the basement of the Hermiston Public Library.

The council will also hear several reports, including the August financial report and an update on the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.

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