The recent flooding in Northeast Oregon did minimal damage to structures in Union County, but thousands of acres of agricultural land remain under at least a foot of water in the Imbler and Cove area… leaving some fields that could easily be mistaken for small lakes. Bill Merrigan, general manager of Blue Mountain Seeds, told the local paper that he estimates approximately 5,000 acres of farmland is currently submerged, and now will not produce harvestable seed crops until 2021.
Archives for April 2019
In March, lawmakers passed a bill banning offshore oil drilling, and a bill banning fracking is still on the table. Those opposed to the legislation, say it will put a damper on Oregon’s economy, and kill jobs. But Zach Baker, Oregon policy manager with the organization Climate Solutions, believes otherwise…
Critics of the bill say it could hit consumers hard, increasing energy prices, particularly for gasoline.
A coalition of conservation and fishing groups is petitioning the Oregon Board of Forestry to put more protections in place for coho salmon. They say logging practices are hurting salmon habitat. Nick Cady is the legal director for Cascadia Wildlands….
Cady says Oregon has the weakest protections on private timberlands in the country. The Board of Forestry says water quality in Oregon is much better than in other states.
The Union City Council has formed a committee that will determine the future of the seven buildings at the town’s old U.S. Forest Service Ranger Station. The ranger station was built in 1937 and deeded to the City of Union in 1993. It includes a four-bedroom house, a three-bedroom house, a two-bedroom house, an old oil storage building and two detached garages. Currently, the city rents the houses. Two of the other buildings are used by the city’s public works department.
A new emergency smartphone app is being hailed as a boost for Imbler school security. The new app enables teachers to send a detailed message about an on-campus emergency to fellow school district educators faster than ever before. Once fully operational, the app will also instantly connect the person sending the alert to the emergency dispatch center in La Grande. Dispatchers there alert fire department and law enforcement service agencies in Union County. The Imbler School District is believed to be the only one in Northeast Oregon to have such an emergency alert app.
The La Grande School District Kindergarten Round-Up is set for tomorrow in the Willow School gym. The event is open to all students who will be 5 years old before September 1st and their families. To register or for more information, call 541-663-3501; 541-663-3601; or 541-663-3271.
The Union City Council will meet at 7 tonight at Union City Hall. The Fulton Street project will be discussed.
The La Grande City Council and Budget Committee this week, hashed over updated city budget projections as far into the future as 2023. Based on the projections, the city will see a decline in its ending cash balance for the general fund over the next few years, resulting in a failure to reach the cash-on-hand requirement of $1.6-$1.8 million after the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget. The fear now is that by 2023, the city will have a negative balance of nearly $400,000 in net ending cash. They say they need to come up with a plan now to address it.
The Cove School Board has approved design plans for a new/larger cafeteria building. Now, if Union County approves the plans, the school district will be able to accept bids for construction for a 21-day period. If a bid is then awarded, construction would likely start in July, and the building could be finished by Christmas. The building would be more than 5,000 square fee, and would be built about 30 feet east of Cove Elementary School, at a cost of somewhere between $1.5 and $1.8 million,
The La Grande City Council has issued a proclamation declaring its opposition to the proposed 300-mile Boardman to Hemingway 500-kilovolt transmission power line, which would pass through Union County and the La Grande area. Idaho Power is leading the effort to get the line built with help from PacifiCorp and the Bonneville Power Administration. It will cost about $1 billion, and two routes are being considered through La Grande, both in the Morgan Lake area.