Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, June 03, 2020, Image 1

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    Ione celebrates 2020 seniors
VOL. 139
NO. 23 8 Pages
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Above: The class of 2020 gathered on the field for their ceremony on Saturday. Below: Emma
Rietmann celebrates her success. Lower right Junior Roque and lower left Megan Doherty
pose with their diplomas. -Photos by Lamb Family Photography.
Morrow County, Heppner, Oregon
Heppner holds unconventional graduation ceremony for 2020
Parents and family members of Heppner High seniors gathered on the hillside above the track, practicing social distancing. -All photos by Damon Brosnan.
Seniors walk in along the track and take their seats in front
of the stage.
Graduates participated in a parade through town from the high school to the fairgrounds
allowing residents to wave and wish them well.
Commissioner warns against enterprise zone destruction
‘Blowing up the best development tool we have had in Morrow County in my lifetime,’ Russell says
By David Sykes
“We are in jeopardy of
blowing up the best devel-
opment tool we have had
in Morrow County in my
lifetime,” Morrow County
Commissioner Don Russell
warned last week after the
county and Port of Morrow
were still unable to reach
agreement on forming a
new enterprise zone.
At last Wednesday’s
county commission meet-
ing while discussing one
more proposed enterprise
zone plan, Russell, who
has in the past also served
on the Port of Morrow, said
he fears the county is going
to lose a development tool
that has generated millions
of dollars in tax money, and
thrust the county into the
number four spot in per-
sonal income in the state.
And if the enterprise zone
is lost, Russell left no doubt
the blame should be placed
squarely on the backs of
the county commission-
ers. “This is all going to
go away because we as a
county commission want
to control the enterprise
zone,” he told the other
commissioners. We don’t
want partners (the port) we
want to control it (enter-
prise zone).” He said the
port “has bent over back-
wards” in the negotiations
all to no avail.
After eight weeks of
back and forth negotia-
tions the final sticking point
in negotiations between
county and port has ended
up being how much influ-
ence the city of Boardman
should have on certain land
located near Tower Road
and the Boardman Airport.
The port wants Boardman
to be included in all zone
decisions about that prop-
erty, and Commissioners
Lindsay and Jim Doherty
do not want them at the
table. Commissioner Don
Russell does. The property
is undeveloped land owned
by the port and the city of
Last week Commission
Chair Melissa Lindsay put
forth one more proposal
that would essentially allow
the county and port to move
forward with a new zone
application and delay any
decision about the disputed
land until after the new zone
is approved. The current
10-year-old zone (CREZII)
expires at the end of June
and the port and county
need to hurry to make dead-
lines to apply for renewal.
Lindsay says her goal
now with the new proposal
was for the port and county
to partner in an application
to the state prior to the
deadline. She says once the
zone gets approved, then
the county and port can
figure out through inter-
governmental agreements
(IGA) who will be at the ta-
ble making decisions on all
the land areas throughout
the county. Both Lindsay
and the port, in all earlier
negotiations, had want-
ed to nail down what are
called “zones of influence”
throughout the county and
make those zone maps part
of their zone application to
the state. “Let’s get the ap-
plication started to take the
heat off, then work through
the mapping,” she urged.
“We can do the IGAs later.
It’s not about control, it’s
about continuing the con-
versation,” she said.
The county could now
be feeling some “heat” be-
cause the city of Boardman
says it has lost patience
with the whole negotiating
process and it is moving
forward with its own en-
terprise zone in partnership
with the port and excluding
the county. The city is hold-
ing a public meeting June 9
with all of it taxing districts
to discuss formation of a
new zone.
In a related matter at a
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