The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, October 17, 2018, Page A10, Image 10

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Blue Mountain Eagle
Continued from Page A1
The county needs to re-
turn to its roots to improve
the economy: timber and
agriculture. Palmer said he’s
been working on some small
business development ideas
that involve agriculture and
will create “a lot of new
jobs,” but it was too early to
announce any details. Palm-
er said he’s a fiscal conser-
vative but believes people
should earn a living wage. At
the same time, people need
to live within their budget.
Palmer said he supports
the county joining the Grant
County Digital Network Co-
alition to improve internet
access. On the other hand,
he said he’s not sure how
he would have voted on the
county’s new 911 dispatch
service because he didn’t
participate in the discussions
from the very beginning to
ensure the result was fair for
county taxpayers.
He noted that residents
in northwest Grant County
around Monument and Long
Creek feel “out of sight,
out of mind,” and he said
he’d like to set up a liaison
position to represent these
residents and report to the
court on a quarterly basis.
Cellphone service needs to
be improved in the area as
a matter of public safety, he
Company response
Continued from Page A1
the residential zone as possible,
more than 200 feet distant, the
report said.
The new plant also will be
more than 150 feet from the
John Day River, and no dis-
turbances to streamside veg-
etation are expected during
construction. The Oregon De-
partment of State Lands re-
sponded to the application by
noting that wetlands exist on
the parcel and should be delin-
eated ahead of time to deter-
mine if any additional permits
are required.
In an Aug. 30 letter to the
planning department, neigh-
bors John and Diane Aasness,
Patricia Cotham and William
Choate claimed large amounts
of black smoke were released
in the off hours at the mill and
the emissions coated surfaces
at their homes.
They also claimed they were
breathing emissions from a
chemical used to manufacture
wood pellets for home-heating,
and they expressed concerns
over truck traffic and speeds
on Highway 26 and noise after
9 p.m.
Continued from Page A1
structure projects to complete,
but Garrison said she also
wants to see lesser known
projects on the back burner
also completed, including up-
dating the city’s ordinances,
policies and agreements.
Some ordinances lack the
teeth to be enforced, and the
city can’t afford a compli-
Koerner and Rich Fulton, gen-
eral manager at Malheur Lumber
Co., responded to the neighbors
in a Sept. 7 letter. They noted that
the mill operates under a state-is-
sued air contaminant discharge
permit with stringent standards.
Koerner and Fulton said the
mill has no recorded violations
for particulate limits under the
permit with no evidence of par-
ticulates landing on mill build-
ings. In addition, mill personnel
have no knowledge of black
smoke releases in off hours, they
“Having said that, the new
equipment installations associ-
ated with the Restoration Fuels
project will employ state-of-the-
art emissions-control technology
and are expected to reduce the
overall site emissions of partic-
ulate material,” they said in the
Koerner and Fulton noted that
the shiny surface seen on manu-
factured wood pellets is created
by the smooth metal dies used
to squeeze the wood fibers into
pellets. No chemical additives
are used to bind the pellets, they
said. The same type of high-pres-
sure densification will be used to
produce torrefied briquettes, they
ance officer, so another solu-
tion must be found, she said.
Most of those ordinances in-
volve overuse of utilities, fire
hazards, overgrown grass or
weeds, garbage in yards and
roaming dogs.
Garrison said she’d like to
find grant money to update
Front Street, including new
streetlights, sidewalk repairs
and a pocket park — provid-
ing another place for people
to sit and enjoy downtown
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Continued from Page A1
band internet and cellphone
The county road depart-
ment is an effectively run
operation with the capacity
to accomplish large tasks,
Larson said. The county
should find ways to assist
communities in maintaining
their roads through inter-
governmental agreements
or memorandums of under-
standing. The county did
the right thing in accumu-
lating a large road fund, but
the county must be careful
about how it uses that fund
and exercise due diligence.
It should not be regarded as
a go-to fund, he said.
The divisiveness in Grant
County has made campaign-
ing a very difficult process,
but he’s an optimistic person
and bullish on the county,
Larson said. Most people who
live here choose to live here
because it’s a safe and livable
place, with great vistas and
numerous outdoor recreation-
al opportunities, he said.
But the county needs to
support that environment by
promoting broadband, lob-
bying the state to improve
highway bottlenecks that
limit truck loads and lengths
and ensuring that the feder-
al forest lands remain open
to all users, from hikers to
Koerner and Fulton agreed
that traffic on Highway 26 “needs
to be controlled at safe speeds
and with appropriate controls,”
but the issue “is outside of our
control.” As for noise, the torre-
faction plant “is not expected to
produce any inordinate amount
of noise or off-site disturbance.”
“However, if it is determined
that a particular piece of equip-
ment does produce any high
decibel or high frequency noise,
we will address it as appropriate
to prevent off-site disturbance,”
they said.
The DEQ has not yet received
an application from Restoration
Fuels or Malheur Lumber Co. for
a modification to the plant site’s
existing air contaminant dis-
charge permit, DEQ spokesman
Greg Svelund told the Eagle. He
said the companies have done
some modeling based on estimat-
ed emissions from equipment to
be installed for the torrefaction
plant, but that modeling has not
yet been presented to the DEQ.
According to the DEQ web-
site, Malheur Lumber Co. was
found to be in violation of its air
contaminant discharge permit
on Dec. 16, 2014. The company
Contributed photo/Oregon Torrefaction
reportedly violated its plant site
emission limit and paid a $5,316 In order to use as biomass, woody debris must undergo a process called
torrefaction, described as a ‘half-step below making charcoal.’
Prairie City.
She also wants to see
several large infrastructure
projects completed. A bid
has been awarded for a large
wastewater project, but the
city is waiting on the arrival
of new pumps. The city is also
in the process of completing a
cell tower contract that will
provide revenue to the city.
The city is finalizing a loan
and grant to address the recent
water emergency, she said. A
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Greg took the input he collected at home -- from discussions with local law
enforcement officials, physicians, parents, recovering addicts, and treatment
providers -- and put it to work in Washington. Using their experience and
ideas, he helped write and pass the most significant effort by Congress
against any drug crisis in history.
new well at Fainman Springs
could meet the city’s water
demand, but Garrison said
she wants the city to pursue
another good water source for
the future.
Frances Preston
Preston was born in Prai-
rie City and raised in Bates,
where she attended school
through the eighth grade.
After graduating from high
school in Prairie City, she
attended business school in
Boise, Idaho, and took the
civil service exam.
She worked for the Forest
Service in Oregon, Idaho and
Alaska for about 50 years
as a contract administrator,
project leader, budget analyst
and team leader supervisor.
She and her husband retired
and moved to Prairie City in
Preston is a member of
the American Legion Auxil-
iary Post 106 and has served
as a committee chairwoman
and board chairwoman for
the Prairie City Senior Cen-
ter. She also served on Prai-
rie City’s budget committee,
was a charter member of the
city’s Emergency Manage-
ment Committee, was chair-
woman of the Grant County
Seniors Advisory Council
and is a member of the Mt.
Vernon Grange No. 659.
She regularly attends
Grant County Court sessions,
collaborative meetings with
the Forest Service and Prairie
City School board meetings.
She recently was appointed
a Republican committee per-
son for the Union Precinct
No. 4.
Preston has developed a
platform with six goals. The
first is to promote econom-
ic development by encour-
aging DR Johnson Lumber
and Woodgrain Millworks
to establish mills in Prairie
City. She also wants to en-
sure the safety and financial
security of young families
and senior citizens, includ-
ing talks with the Grant
County Sheriff’s Office,
which now provides police
service to Prairie City.
Preston said she will work
to bring a hardware store and
pharmacy to Prairie City and
cooperate with the county
health department to estab-
lish a clinic in town. She
wants to ensure a stable water
and sewer system going into
the future, including taking
a close look at the new well
project at Fainman Springs.
events for youths and seniors
and a “day of fun” around the
city’s Fourth of July festivi-
ties is also on her list of goals.
She noted that homes are sell-
ing in Prairie City, but supply
cannot keep up with demand.
There are also new businesses
in town, and school enroll-
ment is higher, she said.
Jim Hamsher
Hamsher was born and
raised in the Prairie City area.
After graduating from Prairie
City High School, he worked
in ranching, at local sawmills,
as a fuel truck driver and for a
helicopter company with For-
est Service contracts.
He has served one term as
a Prairie City councilor and
is in his third term as Prairie
City mayor. He also is serving
his first term as Grant County
Hamsher said he changed
his mind about running for
mayor after he learned about
a delay in financing for the
Fainman Springs project. The
state has agreed to provide
the city a $950,000 loan and
$550,000 grant to pay for de-
veloping the water project,
but Hamsher said he recently
learned the funding will need
to go before a review board.
He arranged for an interim
loan to get the project going.
Once the sticky clay soils near
the wells freeze this winter,
crews can get up there and
start installing water mains
and power lines. The city has
used interim financing in the
past for a sewer project, he
The new pumps for a $2
million sewer project will
arrive soon, and negotiations
continue for a cell tower lease
on city-owned land that will
provide revenue to pay off the
Fainman Springs project.
The city is also applying
for a $1 million federal emer-
gency grant that could be used
to pay off the state loan for the
water project and the cost of
hauling water to Prairie City
from John Day, he said.
These are complex and
technical projects, Hamsher
said, and he felt an obligation
to the residents of Prairie City
to see them through. He said
he’s been putting stickers on
his old yard signs promoting
his write-in campaign and
handing out flyers. It’s a small
town and word gets around,
he added.
Thank you to the following businesses for supporting
“Walden helped craft & advance nearly
60 opioid-related bills”
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650 W. Main St., John Day, OR 97845
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155 W. Main St.
John Day, OR 97854
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