Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, May 20, 2020, Image 3

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    38 percent of county voters
cast ballots as of Tuesday a.m.
Ione highest with 59 percent
VOL. 139
NO. 21 10 Pages
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Morrow County, Heppner, Oregon
Health District receives over
$5 million in COVID-19 relief
Morrow County Health
District Chief Financial
Officer Nicole Mahoney
provided a recap of the
district’s COVID-19 re-
lief funding Monday night
showing the district has
well over $5 million at its
disposal. According to the
recap, state relief fund-
ing includes $57,000 for
personal protective equip-
ment (PPE); $84,317 for
COVID-19 equipment/
PPE; and $11,291 from a
grant from the Oregon As-
sociation of Hospitals and
Health Systems.
Federal funding in-
cludes $388,829.62
from the Federal Stimu-
lus-CARES Act for lost
revenue and COVID-19 ex-
penses; $3,372,761.98 from
the Rural Cares Act for lost
revenue and COVID-19
expenses; and $1,788,357
from the Paycheck Protec-
tion Program for wages.
Mahoney said, “As
long as the district can
spend the monies on the
appropriate purpose, they
(the funds) will be grants
(not requiring payback).
Otherwise they will have to
be paid back.” Stipulations
require the district to show
how the money is spent.
Other federal funding
is pending and will depend
if and on how much the
state of Oregon gets and
how much is subsequently
disbursed to MCHD.
In other business at its
Monday night meeting in
Lexington, the board:
-put on hold a dis-
cussion with the architect
concerning the proposed
remodeling/rebuilding proj-
ect at the Heppner campus.
-put on hold a review of
a debt capacity from WIPfli
(architect firm) and a status
update on the district’s
USDA pre-application until
the financial forecast and
the district’s debt capacity
study are complete and
the value of the project is
-adopted a resolution
authorizing the county trea-
surer to invest funds.
-received notice from
CEO Bob Houser and
Chief Nursing Officer Ja-
mie Houck, RN, that three
per-diem RNs have con-
verted to full time employ-
ees, which is a “plus for
the RN staffing schedule.”
Additional RNs are need-
ed for Pioneer Memorial
Hospital, in addition to a
discharge planner/nurse
manager for PMH, an in-
formatics director and an
IT technician. The district
earlier announced that Fam-
ily Nurse Practitioner Betty
Hamill, a provider in the
Heppner clinic, has said
that she does not plan to
renew her contract which
expires at the end of May
because she wished to be
closer to relatives in the
Portland area. Houser said
the district does not plan to
hire another provider to fill
her position, adding that Dr.
Betsy Anderson, who was
employed with the district
earlier, will be on the sched-
ule for this year.
-heard from Houser
that discussion was held
By Bobbi Gordon
According to reports
available Tuesday, May 19
at approximately 11 a.m,
38 percent of the registered
voters in Morrow County
have cast their ballots. Of
those voters, 59 percent of
the voters in Ione have re-
turned their ballots, 57 per-
cent in Heppner/Hardman,
51 percent in Lexington,
and only 28 percent each
in Boardman and Irrigon.
According to reports, the
percentage of ballots cast
is already higher than the
May 2018 primary, which
showed a final total of just
under 35 percent.
There are 6,548 regis-
tered voters in the county
and 2,486 ballots had been
received by the county
clerk’s office by Monday
evening. It was reported
that Boardman has 1,928
registered and 605 received;
Irrigon has 2,399 registered
and 724 received; Lex-
ington has 440 registered
and 227 received; Ione
has 448 registered and 279
received; and Heppner/
Hardman has 1,333 regis-
tered and 771 received. Of
the total ballots received,
2,466 were accepted. The
balance of 140 ballots were
either unaccepted or unde-
Registered voters in
Morrow County who are
affiliated with a party are
primarily Republicans.
Republicans total 2,253,
Democrats 1,206 and Inde-
Morrow County
Voting Precincts
Morrow County Voting
Precinct 1
Precinct 2
Precinct 3
Precinct 4
Precinct 5
10 Miles
Morrow County Planning Department
July 2016
Map for reference use only.
Source: Oregon Dept. of Revenue, ODOT, BLM, USDA, ESRI
The above map shows the areas covered by each precinct in
Morrow County. 1-Boardman, 2-Irrigon, 3-Lexington, 4-Ione
and 5-Heppner/Hardman.
pendents 285. Nonpartisan
voters make up the balance
of 2,804.
Major political parties
use the primary election
to nominate candidates to
run for partisan office in
the general election. Minor
political parties nominate
candidates to run for par-
tisan office in the general
election according to party
rule, and those candidates
do not appear on the prima-
ry election ballot. Partisan
offices include U.S. Pres-
ident, U.S. Senator, U.S.
Representative, Governor,
Secretary of State, State
Treasurer, Attorney Gener-
al, State Senator and State
Oregon’s primary is
closed, meaning only reg-
istered voters of a major
political party can vote
for candidates of the same
party. At the primary elec-
tion, voters who are not
registered in one of the ma-
jor political parties would
receive a ballot containing
nonpartisan contests, such
as judicial elections, which
all registered voters may
vote on.
New dog park proposed for
City looks at county property next to sheriff’s office
By David Sykes
The Heppner city coun-
cil last week heard a pro-
posal to create a new dog
park in town next to the
sheriff’s office up in the
Lott Addition. The property
is currently owned by the
county, but they have indi-
cated interest in a piece of
land owned by the city on
Riverside near the fire hall
behind the Devin Oil gas
tanks and are interested in
a swap.
The county wants the
Riverside parcel as a place
to move their sheriff emer-
gency management build-
ing and vehicles currently
at the old mill site and has
indicated the Riverside
property would work for
them. The land swap was
discussed at the May 13
county commission meet-
ing with Commissioner
Don Russell saying he
would rather the county
not do the city swap and
instead exercise an option
to purchase the property at
the mill site and keep the
sheriff equipment where
it is. “It’s a government
building that will be sold
below value,” he reasoned.
“Why not exercise our right
to purchase?” County Com-
missioner Melissa Lindsay
and Port of Morrow Com-
missioner John Murray
said the mill site property
has some potential for eco-
nomic development and it
would be better if the sheriff
facility were no longer there
in the way. “I don’t want
to stand in the way of any
development down there,”
Russell conceded.
Lindsay was at last
week’s council meeting
to ask for the council’s
blessing on the land swap.
After much discussion the
council authorized City
Manager Kraig Cutsforth
to move forward with plan-
ning commission action
necessary to facilitate the
swap and development of
the new dog park. A public
hearing of the city planning
commission is scheduled
for June 1 at 7 p.m. at city
hall asking to partition the
land next to the sheriff’s
office in preparation for the
trade with the county. For
development, a fence and
some benches are planned
for the dog park.
In other business at the
council meeting the council
heard a request for an ani-
mal permit from Jennifer
Breidenbach to keep six
Rhode Island Red hens for
laying. She also plans to
have two sets of Cornish
Crossbred for meat chick-
ens. She said they will be
in two sets of ten birds and
will be slaughtered at four
to five weeks. The council
gave its ok for the birds.
The council also gave
its approval to Eastern Or-
egon Telecom, LLC for a
franchise agreement to con-
struct, operate and main-
tain a telecommunications
network with the City of
Heppner. EOT will pay the
city five percent of its gross
revenues quarterly for the
franchise agreement.
In other business the
council heard a report
from Public Works Direc-
tor Chad Doherty who said
in part that his workers
had: installed an irrigation
water meter for the new
duplexes on Cowins St.,
installed a new stop sign
in the alley off of Willow
St, cleaned out the bubbles
(bump outs) by the post
office and across the street
on Main St. to fill with con-
crete and place the planters
there, refinished three city
park picnic tables, picked
up portable restrooms that
are being installed in the
food court area, installed
water and sewer for the
new restrooms at the food
court and prepped for the
new concrete pad on which
the new restrooms will be
They also heard from
the city manager that the
city had received a grant of
$43,200 from the Willow
Creek Valley Economic
Development Group Com-
munity Enhancement Grant
fund to be used for the up-
grades and improvements
to Main Street, such as re-
placing garbage can recept-
ables, a new information
board by the post office,
adding the new restrooms at
the food court, a new water
fountain and new trees.
A new dog park is being planned on property located next to the sheriff’s office in the Lott
Addition. The park would be about 110 X 110 feet and located at the intersection of Willow
View Dr, Canyon Dr., Ridge Way and Sage Hill Dr.
Morrow County authorized to
enter Phase 1 reopening
Morrow County re-
ceived notification from
the Governor’s Office and
Oregon Health Authority
that Governor Kate Brown
approved Morrow County’s
entry into Phase 1 of the
State’s reopening plan last
Thursday afternoon.
Earlier on Thursday,
Governor Kate Brown
announced that Morrow
County’s reopening plan
was pending further review
by the Oregon Health Au-
thority and the Governor’s
Office. Morrow County of-
ficials spoke with State Of-
ficials on Thursday morning
concerning the reopening
plan. The Oregon Health
Authority confirmed that
they would consider the
information that was pre-
sented and would present it
to the Governor for review
after her press release on
According to the press
release received, Morrow
County has complied with
the Governors Emergen-
cy Orders, Oregon Health
Authority recommendation,
and Federal recommenda-
tions since the beginning
of the pandemic. Morrow
County officials indicated
Morrow County was pre-
pared to reopen on May
15, along with the other
28 counties that received
approval May 14.
CONTACT: JUSTIN BAILEY 541-256-0229, 541-989-8221 EXT
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