Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, July 05, 1979, Image 1

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r; E S P A l E R LIB
E '.' 3 E E 0 R 0 7 4 0 3
Funds have not been ap
propriated yet by Congress for
construction of the Willow
Creek Dam but the Walla
Walla District of the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers is
working on design plans for
the Willow Creek Recreation
At Wednesday's Morrow
County Court meeting, corps
officials asked the county to
put up half of the money for
construction of the park, an
estimated $108,000 under a
proposed contractual agree
ment with the federal govern
ment. Jerry Eyestone, project co
ordinator of the design branch
of the Corp's Walla Walla
office and Ed Groff, an
additional official told County
Judge D.O. Nelson and the two
commissioners, Dorothy
Krebs and Warren McCoy,
I "J hat they were preparing a
draft of the Willow Creek
Project Recreational Con
tract, specifying that the
federal government and
county would split the costs of
completing park facilities on
the proposed 88 acre reservoir
after the project's completion.
The corps said under federal
law the county would be
required to meet the costs of
maintenance and operation.
The corps is required to
install such minimum facili
ties as a boat ramp, parking
spaces, access roads and a
bulk toilet excluding grass,
trees and restrooms if the
county decided not to accept
the agreement. If the other
amenities besides the mini
mum are built, Eyestone
placed the cost estimate of the
recreational park at $348,000.
Deducting $141,000, $217,000
would be shared by the county
and federal government under
the proposed arrangement.
If the county goes along with
the Corps' recommendations,
the arrangement would have
to meet the approval of Corps
officials in Washington, D.C.
The corps suggested that the
county use volunteer labor to
construct some of the facilities
or "in kind" work.
At one poi.it in the discus
sions, County Judge D.O.
Nelson said, "I'm not sure
Morrow County can share
equally the costs." And Com
missioner McCoy added, "You
are paying twice the labor
costs as the county."
Groff replied that the cost-
Blaze controlled
in Heppner
ranger district
Firefighters from the Hep
pner Ranger District control
led a half acre blaze Wednes
day about 2 miles east of the
Tamarack Lookout, then
dampened a spot fire Thurs
day at Kelly Prairie near Pole
Larry Bowman, fire man
agement officer, - reported
both blazes were caused by
lightning strikes. Kelley
Moore, a volunteer lookout at
Tamarack, spotted Wednes
day's fire about 9 a.m. and
five fire fighters had the blaze
under control six hours later.
An aerial observation plane
sighted the Thursday fire
about 3:30 p.m. and was
described by Bowman as a
smoldering spot in lodgepole
pine. Fire fighters brought the
spot fire quickly under control.
VOL. 97, NO. 27
Corps designing plans
illow Creek recreation
sharing arrangement would
only be decided after ap
praisal of the completed park
Nelson was interested in
whether the county could
acquire state Bureau of Rec
reation monies to develop the
recreational area.
The Corps officials said
plans for the recreational area
Maximum lake EL
Minimum facilities include
Boat launching ramp and
Car-trailer parking.
The proposed Willow Creek Recreation Area was outlined on maps shown to the Morrow County
Court Wednesday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers if the Willow Creek Dam project receives
Congressional appropriations. Corps officials say this is only a conceptual design and may not be
the final plans for the project.
Hatfield asks $3.2 million
for construction start
during 1980 year
Senator Mark Hatfield told a
group of citizens gathered at
the Morrow County Court
house Monday afternoon that
$3.2" million in construction
funds for the Willow Creek
Dam project has been asked
for by the sub-committee on
public works appropriations
for the 1980 fiscal year.
"I hope Rep. Ullman will be
able to persuade the House of
Representatives to go for the
appropriation," said Hatfield,
who is the senior Republican
on the Senate sub-committee.
Earlier this year Rep.
Ullman withdrew support for
the Willow Creek project from
the main appropriations bill,
then came back to say he
would seek funding of the dam
in the supplemental budget.
Hatfield, who has been a
leading figure in getting the
Willow Creek Dam funded in
the last couple years, said
committee approval of the $3.2
million was one of the biggest
hurdles the request would
have to overcome. From his
committee the appropriation
request moves on to a full
Senate committee for ap
proval before being sent to the
The Senator noted that
Butter Creek
decision July 1 6
are not set in concrete and
could be changed before final
The Corps will hold the title
of the land but the county
designated as the local entity
required to undertake main
tenance and operations, ac
cording to Public Law 8972.
As for charging fees for
daily use of the recreational
-Boot launch turnaround
Boat launching ramp
preliminary figures show the
Willow Creek project to have
less than a 1-to-l cost-benefit
ratio which is generally need
ed to receive funding.
"People tend to forget the
1903 Heppner flood is still the
record loss of life for a flash
flood," said Sen. Hatfield,
"and that is one of the factors
that bothers me about the
cost-benefit ratio; no consid
i-"Y ZT',iL Day use parking
f--Picnic .shelters ZZCP ) V
s r .w
IOO ' O , IOO. 300 . : .
FAA okays airport at Port of
Morrow ; fall start expected
The Northwest regional of
fice of the Federal Aviation
Administration in Seattle, has
given the go-ahead to the Port
of Morrow to construct the
new Boardman-Irrigon Air
port, according to Port of
ficials. FAA officials have approv
ed an application for a 3,500 ft.
runway accommodating 30
single engine and 10 multi
engine aircraft to be con
structed along old Highway
730 on Port property. Con
struction is expected to begin
The Water Resources De
partment will announce its
future intention in connection
with ground water study and
regulation in the Butter Creek
area near Hermiston no later
than July 16, according to Jim
Sexson, Department Director.
The Department's order,
declaring the area a critical
ground water area, regulating
T lie Hep fuel?
area, Eyestone said he didn't
think the federal government
would approve.
Although the Walla Walla
District will be involved in the
design and construction phase
of the proposed Willow Creek
Dam,, it will be under the
authority of the Portland
District of the Corps of
Engineers, said Eyestone.
- trailer parking
Willow Creek rood
eration is given to loss of life
and need it's strictly based
on property values."
If the $3.2 million appropri
ation is approved by the
Senate and House commit
tees, the funds would be used
to begin construction of the
dam and related facilities.
A group of about 20 persons
attended the informal session
with Sen. Hatfield.
in the fall after the harvest of
crops and be about the same
size as Boeing Field in Seattle,
according to Port Manager
Buddy Toadvin.
The U.S. Navy, who uses the
nearby Boardman Bombing
Range, told the FAA the
proposed public-use airport on
the east side of the port
property would not conflict
with its operations.
A special meeting was
expected to be held Wednes
day at 10 a.m. in Boardman by
the Port of Morrow board of
and limiting water use, was
reversed by the Oregon Court
of Appeals and remanded to
the Director.
"The Department now has
several alternative courses it
might pursue," said Sexson.
"We're evaluating all of them
determine the most respon
sible way to protect the area's
'. !.; H water resource. In
leT 11 llMll,S
Hospital levy
voters again
The Morrow County Court
has decided to resubmit the
Pioneer Memorial Hospital
levy to a thrid voter test on
Thursday, August 2 following
last Tuesday's rejection of the
$549,077 request by five votes,
The county assessor was
requested by the court to allow
the measure to be placed on
the ballot 35 days after the
June 26 election or August 2.
According to County Judge
D.O. Nelson, the court , has
received assurances that
there are enough funds to
operate the hospital until that
Hospital board members
met in a special meeting
Monday night at the Nomad
Restaurant in Boardman to
make recommendations on
the levy amount to be resub
mitted to the voters, but
postponed a decision until a
further meeting, next Mon
day, 7:30 p.m. at Columbia
Basin Electric Co-op to allow
more input from the medical
k md nursing staff. The board
also established a deadline for
citizen comments about the
hospital budget on Friday.
Chairman Fred Martin said
the board must make a
recommendation before next
Tuesday to the County Court
whether to cut the budget or
leave it intact.
Ed Dick, one of the board
members, introduced the
motion postponing action on
the tax levy request because
of expected input from lic
ensed personnel at the hospi
tal but expressed support for
the budget as written.
Board members were not
sure whether there would be
any more support for the tax
levy from north end voters if
submitted a third time and
asked Boardman Mayor Jerry
Peck to assess the situation.
Said Peck, "I really don't
know. Boardman has chang
ed. There's a lot of new people
here. Cutting the budget isn't
going to attract votes over
Peck recommended placing
the north and south ends in
hospital districts.
Gladys Hobbs, an Irrigon
directors to make a decision
on the Port's waste water
DMV Office
closure for July
11-12 noted
The Oregon State Motor
Vehicle Office in Heppner will
be closed July 11 and 12
because of scheduled trips to
Condon and Fossil areas.
deciding lio. ve will proceed,
we are examining data that
have been compiled since the
order was first issued."
Sexson added, "I hope to
hold a meeting with area
residents in connection with
the Department's announce
ment to explain the decision
and get a first-hand reaction
to it."
Amount of levy to be decided
board member, wondered why
over 200 people voted against
the hospital issue in the
Heppner area and Ed Dick,
referring to merle Cantin, as
the spokeman for the no votes
on the hospital levy, asked
Cantin why voters cast no
Replied Cantin: "I don't
think the budget is part of it.
There were no qualms about
the budget, but other things
Hospital board members
also met Wednesday and
Thursday in executive session
to discuss personnel matters
with court officials but no
official decision has been
announced. The Gazette
Times was invited to attend
but declined because accord
ing to Oregon state law, the
"governing body may require
that specified information
subject of the executive ses
sion be undisclosed."
John Maas, a member of a
Heppner committee support
ing the hospital levy, told the
court Wednesday, "I am
the court ' will not
New assessor, appraiser
appointed July 1
Greg Sweek of Heppner has
been appointed Morrow
County Assessor as of July 1
by the County Court as the
successor to Everett Harsh
man who resigned July 1 for
health reasons.
Tom McElligott was ap
pointed chief appraiser by
Sweek, an appraiser in the
assessor's department for two
years, will continue his ap
praisal work half time and
promised the Court at its
meeting June 27 that he would
reconsider his dual responsi
bilities if it became necessary.
He was born and raised in
Heppner, a 1970 graduate of
Heppner High School and a
1978 graduate of Oregon State
University in range manage
ment. He and his wife,
Marsha, reside at South Court
( Street. His parents are Ned
and Lillian Sweek.
Outside his duties at the
assessor's office, Greg teach
es stained glass and enjoys
cross country skiiing in the
As an appointed official,
Sweek 's term of office runs
until the next election in 1980.
Sweek said he would learn in
the next few months whether
he likes his new job.
The assessor's office is
processing tax relief applica
tions from home-owners and
renters taking advantage of
the state's announced 30
percent tax savings pro
grams. With applications sub
mitted since the statewide
mailing of the tax relief
announcement. Swwek said
his office has a busy job ahead
with 1.800 applications ex
pected from Morrow County.
Sweek appealed to the
County Court Wednesday for
allocating $4,200 from the
General Fund's nondepart
mental budget to reprogram
the county's computer. Six
teen hundred dollars of that
cost will go towards purchase
of a pair ol $800 memory
panels to process the tax relief
sav ings to eount taxpayers
The ooiwtv expects to it
Tues.. June 26
Wed., June 27
Thur., June 28
Fri., June 29
Sat., June 30
Sun., July 1
hack to
August 2
overreact. It is very clear the
south end is supportive of the
County Court Judge D.O.
Nelson noted that the county
was responsible for the funds
allocated for the hospital and
added, "We are in a rough
situation for lack of five
"I don't see the vote as a
loss," Maas said, "People see
the need of the hospital."
While the hospital levy ran
into its stiffest opposition from
Boardman and Irrigon voters,
Boardman City Manager Jim
Thompson denied that it was
because of the differences
between north end and south
end voters.
"We don't like the idea of
playing the bad guys. This
north-south business means
nothing. It was strictly a
matter of money," Thompson
said Friday.
Thompson said north end
voters felt the costs were just
too high to support a hospital
45 minutes away with an
increase from a tax rate of
$.75 per $1,000 assessed valua
New appointees at the Morrow County Courthouse are
Assessor Greg Sweek and Chief Appraiser Tom McElligott.
The assessor was appointed by the Morrow County Court
July 1 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of
Everett Harsh man for health reasons. McElligott was
appointed hv Sweek.
ceive $9,000 from the State
Department of Revenue for
reimbursement of that cost in
July and February install
ments. Sweek said extra help would
not be required.
The county's chief appraiser
is a 1969 graduate of lone High
School and a 1974 graduate of
Spokane's Gonzaga Univer
sity. He was born and raised in
the county and had experience
in residential, commercial
and farm appraisal work.
The assessor's office will
Juvenile sent to MacLaren
for acts of vandalism
One of two juveniles
charged with vandalism to
lone school buses, has been
sent to MacLaren School for
Boys lor two years, according
to the Morrow County Juve
nile Officer Carolyn Holt.
51 ,
Precipitation for June was .24, far below
the norm which is 1.40. In June, 1978,
precipitation was 1.04.
tion to $1.22 per $1,000 this
year. The Hermiston hospital
is only 25 minutes away be
freeway, says Thompson.
The city administrator has
recommended that the county
court establish north and
south end health care dist
ricts. Thompson feels Board
man and Irrigon residents
would support such a concept.
Asked by the Gazette-Times
if the negative feeling on the
hospital issue carried over to
the strong vote against the
county tax levy, Thompson
said no and that vote was
directly related to road prob
lems on Wilson Rd. Thompson
and Peck recently appealed to
the county following the May
22 rejection of the county
budget to do something about
the entire length of the road.
Court officials said the county
would be resurfacing about a
mile of the roadway.
Betty Curnutt, president of
the hospital employees union,
had no comment about the
second levy defeat Friday and
said most employees were
quiet about the situation.
soon begin reappraisal of
property values in Boardman,
Lexington and lone. Hep
pner's reappraisal is expected
in September, 1980.
Tax rates won't be known
until after a decision on the
hospital levy is made by the
voters or the county court and
until utility valuation comes
in. It has been estimated that
the assessed valuation could
total $450 million this year
with $6 million valued from an
addition to the Kinzua plant.
The decision was made
Friday in a juvenile court
hearing at the Courthouse fn
A decision is pending on the
other juvenile case.
V- '
If .