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|Articles - December 2010|
|Wednesday, November 17, 2010|
Portland-based Iberdrola Renewables has broken ground on a biomass energy plant in Lakeview that will bring much-needed jobs to an area with chronically high unemployment rates.
Construction of the plant, which has eco-friendly boilers, has started at a 55-acre site on the edge of Lakeview. The plant will cost between $75 million and $100 million and is set to start producing 25 megawatts of energy by fall 2012. It will create 70 full-time jobs for the town of 2,700 and the surrounding area. At peak construction time, there should be around 150 workers, according to Lakeview city manager Ray Simms. Lake County had a 14% unemployment rate in September.
The plant will have a 15-year property tax abatement, but will pay $350,000 the first two years to cover municipal services; in year three, that amount will increase 3% each year. In year 16 the plant will begin generating $1.4 million to $1.8 million in annual taxes.
“Seventy jobs in our town is huge,” Simms says. Twenty jobs will be in the plant and 50 will be workers who harvest biomass from dead and diseased trees as well as plant debris on the forest floor. One-third of the biomass for the plant will come in the form of scrap wood from a nearby sawmill.
“I’ve heard that a juniper takes 30 to 50 gallons of water a day,” Simms says about the thirsty species that will be harvested for biomass. “That would water five head of cattle.” Proponents of the project say plant operations will help manage the surrounding woodlands better, areas that have been affected by the pine bark beetle and juniper overgrowth.
Though the plant will still produce pollutants by the ton, the emissions will be less than those of previous plants thanks to more modern and efficient boilers. “It’s better than leaving it to burn in the forests,” says Mark Fisher of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
Monday, March 03, 2014
Check out interviews with employees from some of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon winners and find out what makes their company a great place to work.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY BRANDON SAWYER
Sales of small businesses surged in 2013 according to the biggest Internet marketplace of such transactions, BizBuySell, increasing to 7,056 reported sales, a 24% increase over 2012, when they dropped 7%. Portland Metro sales tracked by the site grew 9% to 73, capping three years of solid growth. On top of that, Portland’s median sale price jumped 67% to $250K, versus just 13% to $180K nationally. Portland was one of just six metros tracked where the median sale price matched the median asking price, with sellers getting, on average, 92% of what they asked.
Friday, March 28, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
The next mysterious (or disastrous) event could be one that you or your team might suddenly need to respond to, probably under intense scrutiny.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.
Friday, April 04, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS
The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.
Friday, March 21, 2014
TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
During a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single one.
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