Council Approves Transfer of EOTEC Property

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The Hermiston City Council agreed Monday night to allow the Mayor to transfer 75 acres of city property to the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center Authority.  The transfer is another step toward completing a vision more than 30 years in the making said City Council Member George Anderson.

Anderson, an attorney, began work on negotiating a sale of 75 acres south of the Hermiston Airport in February, 1982.  At the time, the property was planned to become the future home of the Umatilla County Fair.  Since July, 1984, the City has owned the property, but rather than hosting Ferris wheels and cotton candy machines, it has served as a grazing pasture and melon field.

In March, 2012, the City of Hermiston and Umatilla County finalized an agreement to transform the property into the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center (EOTEC) by creating the EOTEC Authority.  The intergovernmental agreement between the city and the county listed step-by-step instructions for how the property would become the EOTEC site.

“The trigger for all of the steps in the agreement was the sale of the current fairgrounds to the school district,” Anderson said. 

The payment by the school district of $3,000,000 to Umatilla County for the current fairgrounds will be transferred to the EOTEC Authority for eventual construction, maintenance, and operation of EOTEC facilities.  Once the $3,000,000 is transferred, the City will also donate the 75 acre site south of the airport to the EOTEC Authority.  The property being donated by the city is roughly valued at approximately $1.5 million. 

The property, and various infrastructure, grant, and other contributions by the city and county to be made in the near future, will be used to meet the expected opening of the EOTEC in 2015.  Although the Hermiston School District will own the current fairgrounds site, Umatilla County will have an agreement to lease the fairgrounds through 2016.

More about the future, and history of this property can be found hereEOTEC Authority Intergovernmental Agreement