East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, April 12, 2017, Page Page 12A, Image 12

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    Page 12A
OFF PAGE ONE
East Oregonian
DEPOT: CDA needs to figure out how it will
account for archaeological resources on site
Continued from 1A
But until the transfer is
done, Smith said he is forced
to put those companies on the
back burner.
“We’re really hamstrung
until the Army completes its
work,” he said.
The CDA still has work
to do as well. One of the last
major hurdles is to figure out
how the group will account
for cultural and archaeological
resources on site, including
two branches of the Oregon
Trail that cross the depot.
Smith outlined a proposal
to preserve 50-100 yard
stretches of both roads and
build kiosks to educate the
public about their historical
importance.
“We believe there is value
in protecting and preserving
a portion of these resources,”
Smith said. “Where the
Oregon Trail is undisturbed,
we have said we’ll take those
best pieces and set them aside
for protection.”
The CDA also plans to
allow hunting and gathering
at Coyote Coulee, a portion
of the property deemed signif-
icant by the Confederated
Tribes of the Umatilla Indian
Reservation.
Hunting will be opened to
tribal members as well as the
general public where Coyote
Coulee enters the planned
wildlife preserve, but not
where it crosses into industrial
areas.
“We have to be prudent,”
Smith said.
Finally, Smith said the
CDA plans to establish
30-yard buffers around a fire
pit that was found within
the industrial zone on the
Umatilla County side, and
a prehistoric thinning flake
that was discovered on the
Morrow County side. The
artifacts may or may not be
significant, but until they can
be studied Smith said they
will err on the side of caution.
The Army will convene a
meeting in Mobile, Alabama
to continue negotiating an
agreement on cultural and
historical resources. Smith
said he will attend, along with
representatives from the State
Historic Preservation Office
and CTUIR.
In other news, Smith, who
serves as a state legislator for
the district where the CDA is
located, said he was recently
notified that the Army has
been fined $21,600 by the
Oregon Department of Envi-
ronmental Quality for failing
to submit a sampling report
that verifies the land is clean
and not contaminated.
The fine is for procedural
— not environmental —
violations, but Smith said it is
another example of the Army
not meeting its deadlines.
“The reason I share this
is not to embarrass anyone,”
he said. “We’re hoping that
communication
between
the Army and DEQ will be
enhanced.”
Linda
Hayes-Gorman,
DEQ Eastern Region admin-
istrator, wrote that the Army
missed its submittal date “by
a wide margin.” Michele
Lanigan, who works with the
Army’s Base Realignment
and Closure office in Umatilla,
said another division was
responsible for that report.
Smith said he will push as
hard as he can to avoid any
further delays in getting the
depot transferred to the CDA.
“We’re doing everything
we can to move that conver-
sation,” he said.
WOLVES: ODFW says weather hindered the count
Continued from 1A
attacking livestock.
Other reasons for the
small population gain may
include “decreased breeder
success, diseases affecting
pup survival, and dispersal
out-of-state,” according to the
report.
Dennehy, the ODFW
spokeswoman, said the 2016
count was hindered by severe
winter weather that grounded
observation flights at times.
Wolves may have been
present but not counted, the
ODFW report says.
Also in the report:
• Depredation investiga-
tions confirmed wolves killed
11 calves, seven sheep, one
goat and a llama in 2016,
compared to three calves, 10
sheep and a herding or guard
dog in 2015.
• The state distributed
$129,664 to 13 counties to
compensate producers for
dead, injured or missing live-
Courtesy Baker Aircraft; ODFW
After radio-collaring a subadult female of the Chesnim-
nus pack, an ODFW biologist double-checks the fit of
the GPS radio-collar. The wolf was captured Feb. 23 in
northern Wallowa County.
stock and to pay for preven-
tion and deterrence programs.
About $5,000 of the amount
was for grant administration.
The population numbers
are part of a draft wolf
management plan that will
be considered by the ODFW
Commission at two public
hearings this spring: April 21
in Klamath Falls and May 19
in Portland.
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Wednesday, April 12, 2017
DATA: Created a housing crunch in Prineville
Continued from 1A
industry: data centers. Now,
the economy in Crook
County is as much about
the tech industry as natural
resources.
The arrival of Facebook
and Apple in Prineville
created about 300 new
permanent jobs. But the new
tech economy in this old
Western town has also put the
squeeze on other resources.
The region faces one of
the most severe housing
shortages in the state. Esca-
lating rents make it hard for
low-income residents to find
or keep housing. And now
an unexpected electricity
shortfall in Crook County
could hurt efforts to attract
even more new industry.
Timber, tires,
and now technology
The
recession
hit
Prineville especially hard.
Unemployment rose to about
20 percent, the highest in the
state, and residents started
slipping away to other
communities.
Mayor Betty Roppe said
that before 2008, the city’s
population topped 10,000,
but that dropped dramatically
during the recession.
“We decided we needed
to be diverse,” Roppe said.
“What Prineville was is Les
Schwab Tires, a lot of mills,
a lot of blue-collar workers.”
Back then, when Roppe
and other community leaders
were exploring economic
options, data centers were
not on their radar.
“But once we did some
research we did find we saw
the potential benefits,” she
said. “We want to keep it
a healthy place for them to
operate.”
Facebook broke ground
on its first Prineville data
center in 2010, followed
by Apple in 2012. Once
both companies finish new
construction that’s currently
underway Prineville will
have a total of six data
centers.
Apple is less open about
its operations and personnel
than Facebook, which
regularly gives tours of its
facilities to elected officials
and media. Data centers
sometimes have a reputation
for using a lot of water and
electricity, but Facebook’s
site manager Todd Flack likes
to show people the extensive
energy efficiency measures
the company has in place.
Facebook’s 150 jobs
in Prineville are far from
equaling one of the old
lumber mills, but the posi-
tions it does offer are diverse,
Flack said.
“Everything from server
repair to electricians to
heating and cooling special-
ists, landscape specialists,
culinary specialists, security
specialists,” he said. The
company tries to hire locally
when possible, and through
an agreement with the city,
its average wages are 150
percent of the usual pay in
Crook County.
“And of course they’ve
built a lot of buildings in our
community,” Roppe said.
“That brings jobs through
the construction of those
buildings. Usually, they have
about 400 people working
on each one. It’s been a
good business to bring to our
community.”
Construction boom
and housing crunch
All those construction
jobs mean that Prineville’s
restaurants are booming.
“When you go out to eat
on a Tuesday night, I’ve
actually shown up and had
to wait,” said Crook County
Judge Seth Crawford. “If you
look at other rural communi-
ties across the state, they sure
don’t have that problem.”
The lines at the grocery
stores and the 10-car traffic
jams sometimes seen down-
town are part of that boom.
But so is a dramatic housing
shortage.
“I’m not opposed to them
being here, but it’s hard on
the local people who don’t
make that much money,”
said Mary Sanislo, who
works in one of Prineville’s
last lumber mills.
From 2011 to 2016, rents
rose more than 45 percent in
Prineville — that’s the second
highest rate of increase
of any city in the nation,
according to a LendingTree
study. Home prices have also
been on the rise. That’s good
news if you’re a homeowner
in Prineville. But it’s tough
for renters like Sanislo’s
daughter, a single mom who
she says was recently given
30 days to move out when
her landlord decided to sell.
“Try to find something
in a month,” Sanislo said.
“There’s no way. She’s
having to move in with a
friend in Redmond so that
she’s got a place to live. With
all four of her kids.”
Vacancy rates are near
zero, so finding a new
rental can be an impossible
challenge in Prineville. City
and county leaders are well
aware of the housing and
crunch and are working
with nonprofit and other
groups on some emergency
housing solutions, such as
fast tracking approval of new
RV sites.
Gridlock on
the electricity grid
Although Roppe would
love to see more data centers
come to Prineville, the city
is also working to bring new
manufacturing and other jobs
to the area. But a recently
realized electricity crunch
could make recruiting new
companies a challenge.
An electricity-intensive
manufacturing company was
recently exploring opening
up a facility in Crook
County. Roppe didn’t know
the identity of the company,
but representatives promised
that it could bring more than
300 jobs. It turned out that
the company needed more
energy than the area could
support.
City officials assumed that
the electricity the Bonneville
Power Administration had
indicated was available back
in 2012 would still be at the
ready for new development.
But in the years since, BPA
made changes to the grid
system, and the area can no
longer support that additional
power demand. The utility
retired certain transmission
equipment, and plans for
certain upgrades to the grid
were modified, unexpectedly
limiting Prineville’s energy
capacity.