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|Articles - May 2010|
|Friday, April 16, 2010|
New wind farm construction is straining the capacity of Shutler Station Industrial Park to the point that Gilliam County officials are asking for a state grant for additional railway track.
The industrial park, which is eight miles south of Arlington, is being used as a “wind distribution center” for turbine parts for Shepherd’s Flat and Leaning Juniper wind farms. Wind companies are transporting parts to the construction site via rail instead of trucks because it is cheaper. Hillsboro-based Morgan Industrial, a heavy industrial-machine mover, has been leasing 15 of Shutler Station’s 90 acres since August 2009. It unloads turbine parts as they come in on rail, stores them, and later transports them to the construction site.
Shutler Station currently has 5,900 feet of rail track. Trains transporting wind parts are at least 6,000 feet long. “Right now, we don’t have enough rail to accommodate the larger size trains,” says Erik Zander, the distribution center’s project manager.
Gilliam County is applying for a $635,600 ConnectOregon grant to build an additional 2,250 feet of track. The grant is administered by the Department of Transportation, and will be awarded in August.
“I reviewed nine or 10 projects,” says Clark Jackson, a state business development officer for Gilliam County. “I felt that the job potential ranked it up to one of the highest ones.”
Jessica Bates, Gilliam County’s economic development officer, says construction of the new track could be completed by next spring. Bates believes the project eventually will go forward despite the recent nationwide moratorium on wind farm consruction by the Federal Aviation Adminstration because of military concerns.
The additional track could bring more economic activity unrelated to wind farms. Bates says that any construction south or east of Arlington uses Shutler Station. Gilliam County commissioner Dennis Gronquist says the additional track would make the industrial park more valuable. Rock, wheat and other commodities could be transported out of Gilliam because of the additional rail. “We’re pretty limited right now, but we hope to grow,” he says.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.
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Charlie Hales has long viewed sound urban planning as the route to salvation: social, economic and environmental. This week, the mayor's city design philosophy got the nod of approval from a bona fide spiritual authority, Pope Francis.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.
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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.
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DEDICATION PARTY: Help the Port of The Dalles celebrate its newest shovel-ready industrial land Friday, July 31, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.