Hermiston Avenue

The Hermiston City Council approved a contract to resurface West Hermiston Avenue during the council meeting Monday evening in Hermiston.

The Hermiston city council awarded a contract Monday for an overlay of Hermiston Avenue.

Pioneer Construction will work over the summer to resurface the road between First Street and 10th Street, with a full rebuild between First and Third streets. The city has stipulated the work must be complete by Aug. 2 so as not to interfere with the Umatilla County Fair parade.

Pioneer Construction was the low bidder at $597,787 — more than $80,000 below engineers’ estimates.

During Monday’s council meeting the council also cleaned up some language in its Local Improvement District ordinance in order to comply with state and federal law. The ordinance allows the city or neighbors to initiate projects such as sidewalks or street paving and split the cost between neighboring property owners.

Two residents voiced concerns about the city’s ability to charge residents for work and place a lien on their property if they can’t pay upfront. But councilors stated that the city has always had that power and is not interested in forcing unwanted changes on neighborhoods. The city’s last LID was in 2004, and councilors stated that all of the projects in recent memory were voluntarily initiated by property owners.

On Monday the council also gave needed approval for Umatilla County to adopt McKinney Avenue as a county road. The road had previously been considered a public road but due to an oversight was not officially a city or county road. The designation caused problems when the well-used road behind Safeway developed a network of wide, deep potholes and there were questions about whose responsibility it was to fix them.

During Monday’s meeting parks and recreation director Larry Fetter gave councilors an update on Riverfront Park, which was damaged by heavy flooding in April.

The layers of silt have been scraped from the parking lot and trails and large piles of branches and fallen trees have been carted away. The work being done now is less visible, Fetter said, as they unbury and in some cases replace the park’s sprinkler heads and fix the damaged septic system. He said they plan to turn the collapsed section of asphalt trail into gravel for now and then repair it next time the city is doing a project involving asphalt.

Before Monday’s regular meeting, city councilors participated in a workshop as part of the city’s ongoing work on a strategic plan for the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center. On Monday councilors discussed pricing and marketing for the center.

News Editor

Hermiston Herald news editor and reporter covering city government and economic development in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

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