38 percent of county voters cast ballots as of Tuesday a.m. Ione highest with 59 percent HEPPNER G T 50¢ azette imes VOL. 139 NO. 21 10 Pages Wednesday, May 20, 2020 Morrow County, Heppner, Oregon Health District receives over $5 million in COVID-19 relief funding 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 determined. -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- liverable. 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 Irrigon £ ¤ 730 Morrow County Voting Boardman § ¦ ¨ Precinct 1 § ¦ ¨ 84 84 Precinct 2 Precinct 3 Precinct 4 Precinct 5 0 2.5 5 10 Miles £ ¤ £ ¤ 207 74 Ione Lexington Heppner £ ¤ 74 £ ¤ 206 Morrow County Planning Department July 2016 Map for reference use only. Source: Oregon Dept. of Revenue, ODOT, BLM, USDA, ESRI £ ¤ 207 µ 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 Representative. 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. -See HEALTH DIST./PAGE FOUR New dog park proposed for Heppner 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 placed. 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 Thursday. 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. MORROW COUNTY GRAIN GROWERS 350 MAIN STREET, LEXINGTON, OR 97839 CONTACT: JUSTIN BAILEY 541-256-0229, 541-989-8221 EXT 204 *Offers vary by model. 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