Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, October 10, 2018, Page A16, Image 16

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The City of Hermiston and Umatilla County have decided to part ways in the management of
the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center in Hermiston.
City adding more offices to EOTEC
The Eastern Oregon
Trade and Event Center
will once again be under
construction next year as
Knerr Construction builds
offices for the Umatilla
County Fair and improves
the on-site RV park.
The Hermiston City
Council chose the Hermis-
ton-based construction firm
Monday to manage both
projects, using a bid-de-
sign-build process. The city
promised to build office
and storage space for the
fair as part of an agreement
forged last year when Uma-
tilla County pulled out of
EOTEC and gave full own-
ership to the city. The city
also hopes that adding the
needed utility hookups to
the RV park will open up
more revenue opportunities.
John Eckhardt of Knerr
Construction told the city
he felt “really confident”
that the projects could be
completed before the 2019
“I think it’s very doable,”
he said.
City councilors said they
hoped it was done sooner
than the day before the fair,
a reference to the comple-
tion of EOTEC before its
inaugural 2017 fair. Knerr
Construction oversaw the
barns portion of EOTEC
back then. City staff recom-
mended Knerr over the two
other firms that submitted
proposals, citing Knerr’s
local office, past experience
with EOTEC and experi-
ence with the bid-design-
build method.
During Monday’s meet-
ing the city council also
approved a joint facilities
agreement with Hermiston
Continued from Page A1
candidates Rick Pullen and
incumbent George Mur-
dock will participate, along
with Hermiston City Coun-
cil Ward 1 candidates Mark
Gomolski and incumbent
Lori Davis.
• • •
The Columbia Grange is
hosting a fundraiser to help
support community service
projects, including giving
dictionaries to third graders,
Pet Rescue and the Hermis-
ton Warming Station.
The event is Saturday
from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at
the grange hall, 32339 Diag-
onal Blvd., Hermiston. It
features an all-you-can-eat
breakfast for $6, lunch for
varying prices, and a flea
market and craft sale. Also,
people can rent vendor space
for $8.
For more information, call
Pat at 541-567-5706 or Clare
at 541-278-0615.
• • •
Christmas came early for
School District. Larry Fet-
ter, parks and recreation
director, said the agreement
formalizes many shared
uses of city and district
facilities that are already
in place, such as city use of
school gyms for its basket-
ball programs.
However, Fetter said
there were some adjust-
ments, including the end of
janitorial fees for using the
school gyms.
“The power behind this
agreement is that there is no
exchange of fees,” he said.
Larry Usher, Hermiston
School District’s athletic
director, said the district is
“very, very excited” about
the new possibilities for
partnerships opened up by
the agreement. He pointed
to the example of the new
program that sent all Herm-
iston second-graders for a
swimming and water safety
lesson at the aquatic center
last month.
“It’s unbelievable what
it’s going to do for our
kids,” he said. “... This pro-
gram more than likely has
saved a kid’s life.”
Nearly 400 students par-
ticipated in the program and
were handed a voucher for
swim lessons for only $10
next summer. Pool manager
Kasia Robbins said of all
the district’s second grad-
ers, 84 percent were in the
“high risk” category when
assessed, meaning that if
they fell into a swimming
pool with no one around to
pull them out they would
not be expected to survive.
City councilor Doug
Primmer said in his 35
years as a water rescue pro-
fessional with law enforce-
ment he has seen far too
many drownings, and he
can’t praise the new water
safety program enough. He
and other councilors asked
city staff to look into what
they could do to expand the
program, possibly by open-
ing the pool a little earlier
in the spring and bringing
another grade level through.
Before Monday’s regu-
lar city council meeting, the
council held a work session
that included a presenta-
tion from Hermiston Public
Library director Mark Rose.
Rose said the library is
working on some strategic
planning, and the city coun-
cil would likely see some
funding requests during
next year’s budget process.
He said the library is
facing growth challenges
as Hermiston’s population
expands. The library has
about 40,000 physical items
for check-out, which is
below the per capita amount
recommended. There are
also challenges with space.
“Just like you want a
number of books per people
in the community, you also
want a number of seats, and
we’re well below that,” he
Rose said he would like
to consider moving the chil-
dren’s section downstairs,
which would keep adults
from being bothered by
noise from young children
and help parents feel less
worried that their child will
be a disruption if they bring
them to the library. It would
also increase shelf space
for more books and other
Rose said he would also
like to see the library’s
hours expanded. Currently
it is open 46 hours a week,
but Rose said he would like
to bring that number above
50 for starters, if he can get
the budget for it.
Gunner Olsen of Big River
Golf Course in Umatilla.
The Big River Men’s Club
presented the course superin-
tendent with a shiny new cup
cutter and broken tee recep-
tacles for each hole, said
Megan Olsen, the course’s
general manager.
Also, Megan reminds
area golfers that 2019 annual
memberships are now avail-
able. For those who get
linked up prior to Thursday,
Nov. 15, they will receive a
discount. For more informa-
tion, contact the pro shop
at 541-922-3006, megan@
golfbigriver.com or stop by
the course at 709 Willamette
Ave., Umatilla.
• • •
Marie Cain, dairy & live-
stock controller at Threemile
Canyon Farms in Board-
man, is among the 30 partic-
ipants of the second class of
REAL Oregon (Resource
Education & Ag Leader-
ship). A collaboration of
industry and other groups
from across the state, REAL
Oregon is working to develop
and support leaders within
Oregon’s natural resource
communities. In addition to
and learning more about Ore-
gon’s diversity, the program
brings current and future
leaders together from agri-
culture, fishing, and forestry
for a series of sessions across
the state — including Feb.
12-14 in Boardman.
“We are beginning to ful-
fill the vision of building a
solid network of agriculture
and natural resource leaders
who will benefit the state for
many years to come,” said
Greg Addington, REAL
Oregon executive director.
Class 2 starts in Novem-
ber and will graduate in
March 2019. Recruitment of
Class 3 begins shortly after
that. For more information,
contact 541-892-1409, add-
com or visit www.realore-
You can submit items for
our weekly By The Way col-
umn by emailing your tips
to editor@hermistonher-
Gregory Anderson and Emily Wadkins dressed up as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for
Tuesday’s homecoming dress-up day, “kickin’ it with your crew” — where students were
asked to dress up as a group.
Continued from Page A1
social media.
“My favorite way to
promote the events is face-
to-face,” said leadership
student Isel Tejeda Urenda.
“Asking students, ‘do
you have your outfit, do
you need costume ideas?’
Building connections that
Students had another
common cause to unite
them for Homecoming this
year. One of their class-
mates, junior Jasmine Ell-
wood, has been battling
Ewing Sarcoma, a type
of cancer. Ellwood was
recently elected to the
Homecoming court.
Ellwood’s sister, Aly-
sha, is a student in Hermis-
ton’s leadership class.
“I was thinking about
everything she’s been
through, and how her life
has changed,” she said. “I
went on Twitter, and started
posting about electing her.
And it really took off.”
Alysha said her sister
didn’t find out until she had
been nominated.
She said the school had
rallied behind her sister.
“She’s really happy
about it,” Alysha said.
“She’s going to be at the
assembly, the football
game and the dance.”
Though there are some
new events every year, the
event is also about tradi-
tion. Each year on the foot-
ball field, current athletes
are joined at the begin-
ning of the game by several
honorary captains. Because
this year’s seniors are the
Class of 2019, the athlet-
ics staff chooses represen-
tatives from former classes
ending in “9”. This year
there are honorary captains
from four past classes —
Luis Ortiz for the class of
2009, Micah Mercer for the
class of 1999, Scott Ram-
say for the class of 1979,
and Charlie Grabeel for the
class of 1969.
In a new twist this
year, the department also
selected two honorary cap-
tains from the class of 2029
— Alex Gonzalez and Gra-
son Edwards, who are sec-
ond graders at Highland
Hills this year.
“Everything we do
here is about getting peo-
ple excited about athlet-
ics,” said Athletic Director
Larry Usher.
The honorary captains
are introduced before the
game, along with a short
biography. They also par-
ticipate in the coin toss, and
are invited to sit in reserved
seats, and participate in the
team dinner.
“It’s also a way for our
current football players to
see those who paved the
way for them,” Usher said.
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continued from Page A1
for sewer than law offices,
instead of everyone pay-
ing a flat fee. Small water
users will no longer subsi-
dize large users getting a
bulk discount. Basing bills
more on usage also encour-
ages conservation in a criti-
cal groundwater area.
“I think this is proba-
bly the fairest, most equita-
ble plan we could come up
with the address needs in the
city,” said councilor John
Kirwan, who is the council
liaison to the public infra-
structure committee. He said
there were originally $27
million in projects on the
committee’s list.
Mayor David Drotzmann
said that people take for
granted having water every
time they turn on their tap,
but it costs money to make
that happen.
“We do have some fail-
ing infrastructure to address,
especially as the city contin-
ues to grow,” he said. “If we
don’t approve these things
then we have emergencies,
and where does that revenue
come from?”
Morgan said in looking
at 31 comparable cities in
Oregon, Hermiston’s rates
were the second-lowest
this summer. The new rate
increase will put Hermiston
at 11th-lowest in that group,
assuming that no other cit-
ies raise their rates between
now and March.
Contact Jade McDowell
at jmcdowell@eastorego-
nian.com or 541-564-4536.
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