Shepherds Flat project boosts rural employment

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010

WindmillMediumThe 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.

AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

More Articles

Footloose

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Founded 12 years ago, Keen Inc. likes to push the envelope, starting with the debut of the “Newport” closed toe sandal in 2003. Since then, the company has opened a factory on Swan Island and a sleek new headquarters in the Pearl District. The brand’s newest offering, UNEEK, is a sandal made from two woven cords and not much more.


Read more...

Make the Case: 10 stylish options for businesspeople

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015

10 briefcases that mean business.


Read more...

Get on the bus!

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER

How the private sector can ride the next transit revolution.


Read more...

Oregon Business expands events portfolio

The Latest
Friday, March 27, 2015
htctfacebookBY OB STAFF

New events series brings magazine to life.


Read more...

Foundations perspective

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Martha Richards, executive director of the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.


Read more...

6 highlights from the Craft Brewers Conference

The Latest
Friday, April 17, 2015
thumbPHOTOS BY  JASON E. KAPLAN

The 32nd annual CBC attracted a record number of attendees (11,000)  to the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS