“The hump,” as locals call it, was many things during its storied past. It began as a brick building and, oddly enough, after incarnations as a slaughterhouse, brick mall, Nazarene Church and a sand heap, it’s returning to its roots. “It was always dirty, an eyesore,” says Holli VanWert, executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. In 2004 the Madras Redevelopment Commission purchased the 75,000-square-foot site as part of a plan to help business owners remodel rundown buildings. BrickHouse LLC, a company comprised of Madras locals, recently purchased 45,000 square feet of the property for about $670,000. Rick Allen, a managing partner of BrickHouse, says the site is at a premier location between two major roads. Previously buried power lines added to the hump’s potential. BrickHouse hopes to develop a three-story brick building to house offices and a restaurant.
Pelton Round Butte, a series of three hydroelectric dams on the Deschutes River, is certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute as a green-power generator. It is one of only 26 hydro plants, out of about 78,000 dams in the country, to earn that status. Pelton Round Butte generates about 465 million watts, enough to power a city the size of Salem. Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs own the project. Falls Creek Dam outside of Eugene is the only other Oregon dam with green-power status.