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|Articles - April 2010|
|Thursday, March 25, 2010|
The dozens of jobs being created to build the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm are economic manna for distressed Gilliam and Morrow counties.
“We basically have zero industry,” says Gilliam County Judge Pat Shaw. “This is a big boost to our economy.”
At least 100 jobs in construction and related industries are expected to be created over two years. Jack Ingram, who is co-owner with Gene Williamson of Arlington-based W.I. Construction, a concrete provider, was awarded a $23 million contract to provide road materials. “It’s an absolute saving grace,” he says. His sales in 2009 decreased 94% from the year before.
W.I. Construction started work on March 3. Ingram expects to provide 25 to 30 jobs and subcontract with three local businesses. His normal staffing level is seven.
The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm will be the largest wind farm in the world when completed in 2012, with 338 wind turbines across 30 square miles in Gilliam and Morrow counties powering about 235,000 homes a year. It will have 35 full-time employees when operational.
Shepherds Flat will have impact beyond job creation. Shaw expects 20 years of population decline to end as people move there for work, and public school enrollment would in turn increase.
The county annually will receive between $4 million and $5 million in property taxes. A community service fee that wind farms pay each year could total up to $500,000. The money will be used for libraries, schools and infrastructure service improvements. “We look to the wind farms to sustain the county’s finances,” Shaw says.
Jessica Bates, Gilliam County’s economic developer, says Shepherds Flat only represents a third of the wind farms Gilliam County could have in the coming decades.
Thursday, July 09, 2015
The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger. About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.
Friday, June 05, 2015
As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.
"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."
"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."
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