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About Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current | View Entire Issue (July 24, 2019)
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
HeRMIsTOnHeRald.COM • A7
CTUIR requests cultural preservation
agreement with Hermiston
By JADE MCDOWELL
staff photo by Ben lonergan
A pile of rubble marks the former dugout at Weber Field at Hermiston High School. The field
will be renovated over the course of the next year with the help of labor donations from local
School district preps for fall
Hermiston High School
Gym and Weber Field are
getting touch ups
By JESSICA POLLARD
While students enjoy
summer break, Hermis-
ton School District gets
down to work, deep clean-
ing and performing mainte-
nance throughout to get the
schools in good shape.
Weber Field is getting
updates this summer and
over the next year, said ath-
letic director Larry Usher.
“We need to have
another adequate field for
our baseball,” Usher said.
He said that right now,
HSD has three teams and
Maria Duron, communi-
cations officer at HSD, said
that the updates were made
possible with labor dona-
tions from local businesses.
They excavated the right
field, which was sloped,
and will be adding new
fencing and dugouts.
Usher hopes the renova-
tions could help bring the
varsity Hermiston Bulldogs
to the high school in com-
In addition to the
recently renovated weight
room at the high school,
the main gym floor has
received a new paint job
with financial support from
the Hermiston Basketball
“It looks pretty good,”
At Desert View Elemen-
tary School, a sidewalk is
being installed from West
Joseph Street to the modu-
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Propane leak contained
at Port of Morrow
A propane leak out-
side of the Port of Mor-
row was contained Monday
Lawn maintenance, said
director Lisa Mittlesdorf,
struck a small propane tank
that feeds a backup gen-
erator on the side of the
After 8:30 a.m., the
buildings on site were
Mittlesdorf said the leak
was contained with help
from the Boardman Fire
District, Umatilla County
Sheriff’s Office and the
Boardman Police Depart-
ment by 9:24 a.m. No one
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla
Indian Reservation is hoping to strengthen
ties with the city of Hermiston with a formal
agreement on cultural preservation.
Teara Farrow, manager of the tribes’ cul-
tural resources protection program, told the
city council Monday that a 1994 memo-
randum of agreement between the city and
CTUIR set guidelines for the city to notify
the tribes of planned public projects, take
input and allow for surveys to help discover
any culturally-sensitive items, ranging from
arrowheads to burial sites.
The agreement expired and the CTUIR
asked for a renewal in 2006, but the coun-
cil at that time declined to sign a new agree-
ment, she said. They hope the current city
council will consider renewing the formal
Kristen Tiede, an archeologist with the
cultural resources protection program, said
a partnership that fosters more cultural sur-
veys of public land around Hermiston would
be beneficial to development.
“If we identify sites beforehand you don’t
have to hold up a project, you can include it
in the plan,” she said.
When artifacts are discovered, she said,
there are options to adjust the project so that
a resource can be preserved or capped, or if
disturbing the resource is unavoidable, they
can talk about options for mitigation such
as donating money toward preservation
“By working together we can help protect
cultural resources without stopping develop-
ment,” Tiede said.
Farrow said surveys don’t take long.
Their archeologists can do a 40 to 80 acre
site in a day if they’re only examining the
surface, and a few days more if they’re test-
ing below ground.
She said the CTUIR has similar agree-
ments with cities such as Umatilla and Rich-
land, and with ports and counties in Washing-
ton. She said the agreement with Hermiston
would ideally include provisions for volun-
tary information sharing, giving first pref-
erence to tribal archeologists to complete
surveys, meeting with the CTUIR board of
directors annually and other coordination.
City manager Byron Smith told the coun-
cil that staff had taken a look at the previ-
ous agreement the city had with the tribes,
as well as the current agreements the CTUIR
has with other communities, and was pre-
pared to come back at a future meeting with
Mayor David Drotzmann said he hoped
they could work out something that would be
of mutual benefit to both entities, and a win
for the region.
“It’s been a nice relationship and I hope it
continues to mature,” he said.
On Monday the city council also listened
to a request from the Hermiston School Dis-
trict for a resolution supporting the school
district’s bond campaign. The district plans
to put an $82.7 million bond on the Novem-
ber ballot that would replace Rocky Heights
Elementary School with a larger school on
the same site, add a new classroom annex to
Hermiston High School and build a new ele-
mentary school on Theater Lane.
Property owners will see a drop on their
next property tax bill, taking the school bond
tax from about $4.09 per $1,000 or assessed
value to about $3.65 per $1,000 thanks to
paying off all pre-2008 bonds last month.
District finance director Katie Saul told the
council that if the new bond passes, the rate
will stay at about $3.65, but instead of pay-
ing off all school bonds in 10 years, taxpay-
ers would be paying that rate for about 25.
Councilors asked questions about the
projects and were told that they would allow
for modular classrooms at the high school
and Sunset Elementary School to go away, as
well as the ones at Rocky Heights not being
used by Head Start.
The current Rocky Heights building
would remain in use while the new, larger
building would be built on the other side
of the property. As part of that, the softball
fields there would be moved onto the old
fairgrounds next to the high school.
Later in the meeting, parks and recreation
director Larry Fetter told the council that his
department has started the process of cre-
ating a master parks plan and is partnering
with the school district so that both entities
could assess all of their current green space
and all of their recreational needs together.
Drotzmann praised that idea as a way to
reduce “dual taxpayer expense.”
Public employees are only allowed by
state law to give information about bond
campaigns, not advocate a political posi-
tion on it, but school board member Josh
Goller was allowed to be more direct, ask-
ing for the council to pass a formal resolu-
tion in support.
Multiple councilors voiced their approval
of the idea, and Drotzmann asked staff to
bring a formal resolution back at a later
of the Year
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