Wasco County Commissioners have voted to proceed with an intergovernmental agreement with Columbia Gorge Community College and the City of The Dalles to use three-point-five million dollars in enterprise zone funds from the third Google project to help CGCC build the Treaty Oak Skills Center. The CGCC board last week voted to proceed with a seven-point-six million dollar bond sale on the project pending signing of the IGA. County Commissioners approved the IGA contingent on legal review of some non-substantive elements of the agreement, but Commissioner Scott Hege said he didn’t want legal technicalities to prevent the project from moving forward. The College has a seven-point-three million dollar grant from the state for the project, and has committed $3.8 million to construct college housing toward the required match that would be completed with the enterprise zone funds, but the state requires those monies to be in the bank by February 11, and for that to happen the bond sale needs to proceed by January 28. CGCC President Marta Year-Cronin says the skills center and housing provides new opportunities for school, giving it the chance to become a destination to bring people in to train for local industry and to offer programs the school does not currently have facilities for.
The Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency approved purchase agreements for the Recreation and Blue Buildings in downtown The Dalles, moving both buildings a step closer to renovations. After coming out of an executive session, the URA board voted to approve a purchase agreement and authorized execution of a Disposition and Development Agreement with Todd Carpenter and Carla McQuade for the redevelopment of the Recreation Building. Moments later, the board then approved a separate purchase agreement by another buyer of the Blue Building, and authorized proceeding with a draft of a Dispostion and Development Agreement. In another action, the URA board voted to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Hanlon Development Company for a public-private partnership to redevelop the former Griffith Motors property on 542 East Third for a mixed use residential/commercial development.
The arrest of two men over the weekend in The Dalles led to the seizing of suspected stolen property in Dallesport. According to The Dalles Police Department, some of the recovered property has been linked to burglaries in White Salmon and The Dalles, and included numerous chain saws, pole saws, power tools, a concrete saw, an auger, and firearms. Anyone who might have information on these or any other burglaries are encouraged to call The Dalles Police Department at 541-296-2613. Two 24-year-old men, Christopher Schwarzbach and Juan Medina, were taken into custody in the arrest and were lodged at NORCOR. Bingen/White Salmon Police and the Klickitat and Hood River County Sheriff’s Offices are assisting in the investigation.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has reduced the load rating for the Mill Creek Bridge on West 6th Street in The Dalles. The Dalles Public Works Department indicates it is due to a change in federal regulations for bridge load ratings. The result is that the maximum load rating will be reduced from 37 tons to 27 tons. The rating is somewhat lower for specialized hauling vehicles that have more axles and more weight in a shorter length. In a statement, The Dalles Public Works says it is evaluating options for strengthening the structure. Updated load limit signs have been posted.
The Dalles 51, LaGrande 50: Oscar Fernandez hit the game-winner to cap off the Riverhawks comeback in the non-league game. The Dalles had a balanced output during the contest, as Josh Nisbet led the way with 11 points, Aidan Telles and Jacob Hernandez scored ten points each, and Fernandez had nine.
Yakama Tribal 84, Lyle-Wishram 73
Liberty Christian 86, Klickitat-Glenwood 45
Goldendale 60, Highland 38
Stevenson 57, LaCenter 47: Katie Rathgeber and Kaitlyn Wenz each scored 14 points as the Bulldogs handed La Center its first Trico League loss in nearly three years. The Bulldogs outscored the Wildcats 24-14 in the third quarter to spark the win, then made 13 of 17 free throws to hold the advantage.
King’s Way Christian 47, Columbia 29
Liberty Christian 67, Klickitat-Glenwood 27
Highland 43, Goldendale 35
Dufur at Mitchell-Spray postponed to February 5.
Hood River Valley 36, Forest Grove 4: Emily Mitchell’s win by fall in just eight seconds highlighted the Eagles’ dual meet victory.
The White Salmon Valley School District continues to prepare a bond measure for the April 23 ballot. District Superintendent Jerry Lewis says they are working on a list of projects to present to the district board next week. Lewis notes this measure will replace the current bond that will be retired in 2020, so the tax rate would stay the same. The project list currently includes a covered play area for the elementary and intermediate school, an in-district health clinic, a multi-purpose facility, interior upgrades, and redesigning the parking lot at the district’s main campus.
Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden has postponed town halls planned in Hood River and The Dalles next week due to a change in the House of Representatives calendar. In announcing the postponements, Walden’s office indicated the House is now scheduled to be in session beginning Tuesday, January 22, so the Hood River Republican will need to be present in Washington, D.C. for votes in the House. The House was scheduled to be out of session the week of January 21 when Walden first announced his town hall schedule for January. Walden’s office says town halls that were scheduled for Hood River, Wasco, and other counties will be rescheduled for later dates.
The Dalles City Council voted unanimously to proceed with an intergovernmental agreement with Columbia Gorge Community College and Wasco County to use three-point-five million dollars in enterprise zone funds from the third Google project to help CGCC build the Treaty Oak Skills Center. The CGCC board last week voted to proceed with a seven-point-six million dollar bond sale on the project pending signing of the IGA, and Wasco County Commissioners will take up the subject on Wednesday. The College has a seven-point-three million dollar grant from the state for the project, and has committed $3.8 million to construct college housing toward the required match that would be completed with the enterprise zone funds, but the state requires those monies to be in the bank by February 11, and for that to happen the bond sale needs to proceed by January 28. The enterprise zone funds would go to CGCC once the facility is completed. The third Google project agreement calls for the first of 15 annual payments to be made in fiscal year 2019-20, and will be for at least one million dollars, and most officials think it will be substantially more than that. The vote came during the first meeting for new Mayor Rich Mays and Councilor Rod Runyon, who took their oaths of office at the start of the meeting along with re-elected members Russ Brown and Tim McGlothlin.
The Hood River County School District has started the process of revising its boundary lines for elementary and middle schools. Space issues at various schools has led to the need to make the adjustments. Superintendent Dan Goldman says an internal committee is doing data collection now, and then a public committee with school and parent representatives will be put together to develop recommendations. Those recommendations will go to the Hood River County School District board.
The City of White Salmon is still waiting for the permit to allow them to put their aquifer storage recovery project into operation. Mayor David Poucher says the City thought it would have its permit in hand by the end of 2018, but now the Washington Department of Ecology is proposing a conditional use permit by the end of January. Poucher says they are anxious to get the go ahead to begin to collect water. The aquifer storage recovery will collect runoff from Buck Creek in the winter during high water flows, store it underground in the aquifer to be used during the drier summer season.