The wall recognizing donors and contributors to the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center will be 40 feet long and 6 feet tall, the board decided Friday.
“It’s a huge recognition of our community and how they stepped up,” fundraising committee member Nate Rivera told the board.
The design he presented required 30 feet to fit all of the plaques, but board members agreed they needed to add an extra 10 feet to keep space available for donors to future phases of the project.
The wall will be located outdoors and plaques will be manufactured by the same company that did the donor wall at Hermiston’s Kennison Field. Rivera said the event center, barns and rodeo arena will also include a plaque listing contractors and subcontractors who worked on them.
The wall design Rivera presented listed members of the EOTEC board, city council and county commission from when construction of the event center began, but board members said former board members like Chet Prior and Dennis Doherty also deserved recognition. They also doubled-checked with Rivera that there was recognition for people like Rep. Greg Smith, who helped bring millions of dollars of state funds to the project, and George Anderson, who provided pro-bono legal work and wrote the very first donation check EOTEC cashed.
During Friday’s meeting contractors Carl Hendon of Hendon Construction and John Eckhardt of Knerr Construction said work continues to move along on the project. Board member Dan Dorran said he has fun spotting new things that have gone in every time he visits the site.
Hermiston finance director Amy Palmer reported that 51 events have been held at EOTEC from the beginning of the fiscal year through the end of March, generating $43,800 in event revenue, and events planned through the rest of the year should bring that total to $69,400. Event expenses have come in at $9,300 so far, she said, “so there’s a fair amount of profit there.”
During a city council meeting Monday, answering a previous request from city councilors, Palmer said the city has contributed about $2 million so far to EOTEC in the form of in-kind expenses, starting with a donation of land valued at $1 million and including infrastructure and staff time.
The EOTEC board approved a $5,000 grant to the Umatilla County Fair on Friday for marketing purposes, using Tourism Promotion Assessment funds gathered from the hoteliers. Vijay Patel, who represents the hoteliers on the board, suggested that the board ask hoteliers to provide an estimate after the 2017 fair of how many rooms were filled as a direct result of the event.
Contact Jade McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4536.