City News

Council Raises Water and Sewer Rates

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The Hermiston City Council Monday approved a plan to incrementally raise water and sewer rates by 16% by July 1, 2015.  The increases will come in the form of 4% raises each six months beginning January 1, 2014.  The increases, recommended by D. Hittle & Associates, Inc., are part of a plan to pay for construction and operation of the City’s new $27.2 million Recycled Water Treatment Plant. 

Cook Industrial Site Re-Certified "Project Ready"

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Hermiston’s 275 acre Cook Industrial Site has been re-certified as “Project Ready” by the Oregon Business Development Department, which re-evaluates certified sites every two years.  The designation verifies that the conditions are in place so that companies looking to develop the greenfield property could begin construction within six months or less.  The conditions considered for certification include the proper utilities on-site, transportation access, environmental issues, and other factors important to property developers.  More information about Oregon

Council Recommends Phasing in Water & Sewer Increases

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The Hermiston City Council recommended Monday night that a plan be created to raise water and sewer rates incrementally for a total increase of 16% by July 1, 2015.  The recommendation will equal an 8% increase by July 1, 2014, and by another 8% by July 1, 2015.  The increases, recommended by D. Hittle & Associates, Inc., are largely driven by the planned need to pay for construction and operation of the City’s new $27.2 million Recycled Water Treatment Plant. 

"Hermiston" Added to Freeway Signage

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Motorists driving East on Interstate 84 were only notified of the largest city in eastern Oregon until they were just two miles from Hermiston, until now.  The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has finished adding “Hermiston” to four freeway distance signs along I-84 eastbound.  The signs, which show the distance to Hermiston, now appear at mile posts 111, 125, 138, and 149 between The Dalles, and Hermiston.  The Dalles is at mile post 85, and the I-84/82 interchange is at mile post 180. 

You Can GROW Here Materials Now Available

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Businesses, community groups, and others interested in Hermiston now have access to a catalogue of professional artwork and photographs relating to the area.  The “Hermiston: You can GROW here” brand was revealed in August, and the corresponding wordmark is intended for use by those in need of professionally designed artwork that represents the Hermiston area.  Those using the wordmark can also access the library of professional quality royalty-free images of Hermiston and the surrounding area.

EOTEC Board Hires Frew Development Group

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The Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center Authority (EOTEC) is pleased to announce that it has hired Frew Development Group, LLC ( to oversee the planning, design, and construction of the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.

The project involves the construction of a new trade and event center, relocation of the Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo, with completion scheduled in time for the August 2016 fair and rodeo.


Council Supports BMCC Bond Renewal

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The Hermiston City Council unanimously agreed to support the renewal of a bond measure by Blue Mountain Community College which will appear on ballots in November.  The key focus of the support comes from BMCC’s intention to use a portion of the revenue to build a Center for Sustainable Precision Irrigated Agriculture in Hermiston.

The precision irrigation center is viewed as an investment in fundamental economic development by teaching science, technology, engineering, and math skills with a specific focus on the region’s agricultural assets.

Council Creates Rules for Mobile Food Vendors

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The Hermiston City Council unanimously supported the creation of rules for mobile food vendors in the city Monday night.

The ordinance only regulates operations with an Oregon Class II, III, or IV Mobile Food Unit License.  The new rule requires that vendors must move from their location every day, be at least 400 feet from a restaurant, have their locations approved for safety, and meet basic site requirements.

Hermiston to Consolidate Dispatch Service

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The Hermiston City Council unanimously approved merging the city’s emergency dispatch services with Umatilla County Monday.  The move is estimated to save the City of Hermiston approximately $350,000 in FY ’14-’15.

The anticipated savings will come from reduced staffing costs and avoidance of planned equipment upgrades.  The financial savings would come to nearly $250,000 per year in FY ’15-’16 and beyond.

Hermiston Announces "You Can GROW Here"

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The Hermiston Futures Task Force and the City of Hermiston are announcing a new vision for the city’s identity.  That identity is embodied by growth in all of its forms, and has led to the new branding campaign and wordmark, “Hermiston: you can GROW here,” which was revealed to the public during the Umatilla County Fair Parade on Saturday.

The brand is intended to be used by businesses, groups, and residents of the area to allow them to easily associate themselves with this vibrant and growing community.  The objective in offering this brand for use by the community is to create a broad-based recognition of the people, products, and opportunities in Hermiston. Those interested in using the brand can visit the City of Hermiston website at

Widespread usage of the brand is the goal, while use of this Collective Membership Mark will be limited by design standards which ensure the integrity of the brand.

“This brand gives us an identity that isn’t tied to any specific entity.  This allows it to be very flexible in its use,” said Mark Morgan, Hermiston Futures Task Force member.  “This brand can be used to appeal to businesses looking at the area, by existing businesses looking to differentiate their product by associating it with Hermiston, and any number of different ways.”  The new brand will not replace the City of Hermiston’s existing “watermelon” logo, Morgan said.

"Hermiston: you can GROW here,” is a very versatile brand which can be applied across all of the social, economic, and personal aspects of the Hermiston area.  Small businesses can find ample opportunities in this region on the growing wave of development.  Big businesses continue to take advantage of Hermiston’s world-class growing climate for countless agricultural products.  Families enjoy watching their children grow in a large community that has maintained its hometown feel and support of top-quality education.  Students in Hermiston can continue their growth from the many new K-12 schools up through college and Masters-level courses which are all available without leaving town.  All of these aspects went into the development of the brand and wordmark by the Hermiston Futures Task Force.

Hermiston’s population has grown by more than 36% since 2000, and the area has maintained relatively strong economic growth even throughout “the Great Recession.”  Community leaders came together to plan for continued growth after the 2010 U.S. Census showed Hermiston as the largest city in eastern Oregon.  The Hermiston Futures Task Force was born, and one of the top priorities that the group heard from the community was the need to establish an identity befitting the growing community.

The Futures Task Force brought together community members from a broad range of backgrounds to tackle the issue of pinpointing Hermiston’s identity.  The Community Identity Sub-Group is made up of 17 Hermiston area leaders in agriculture, healthcare, industry, tourism, media, education, and economic development.  The resounding message from the year-long discussion of the group was, “you can grow here.”

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For more information on how to report an issue related to the accessibility or how to file a formal Section 504 or ADA (Title II) complaint about the accessibility of any content on our website, please see our full Accessibility Statement.

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