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Relationship between conference center, EOTEC on council’s agenda

The Hermiston city council meetings Monday with a work session at 6 p.m. and regular meeting at 7 p.m.
Jade McDowell

East Oregonian

Published on September 22, 2017 5:45PM

Last changed on September 22, 2017 8:54PM

Umatilla County Fair day campers visit Bill Jennings, and Bob Daniel, at the American Legion booth in the EOTEC event center in August at the Umatilla County Fair.  The city will look at how to manage both EOTEC and the conference center during Monday’s meeting.

Staff photo by E.J. Harris

Umatilla County Fair day campers visit Bill Jennings, and Bob Daniel, at the American Legion booth in the EOTEC event center in August at the Umatilla County Fair. The city will look at how to manage both EOTEC and the conference center during Monday’s meeting.

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The Hermiston City Council will discuss recommendations for management of the Hermiston Conference Center and Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center Monday.

The city hired consultants J Robertson and Company to analyze the relationship between the two venues and create a report detailing what the city could do to make both venues successful. The city will take over management of the conference center from the Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 1.

The report analyzes both facilities, including their rate structures and usage levels. It details eight recommendations for the Hermiston Conference Center, including creating one rate structure for all users, adopting an online booking system and updating the facility’s policies. The report also details three recommendations for EOTEC: Consider providing janitorial work in-house instead of by contract, develop a marketing plan for the facility and “explore additional signage and branding opportunities to assist visitors in finding the facility.”

The discussion begins with a work session at 6 p.m. and will continue during the council’s regular 7 p.m. meeting, where the council will be asked to adopt the report.

During Monday’s regular session the council will be asked to consider two ordinances and a resolution designed to help encourage more housing development in Hermiston. One ordinance and the resolution create a process for designating “infill” properties that are surrounded by other development but remain undeveloped. Those properties can then receive permission to deviate from certain city development standards if those standards are “not feasible or will result in substandard development.”

The other ordinance would amend lot size, setbacks and lot coverage standards for residential zones. It takes the required lot size for a single family dwelling from 9,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet, for example, and allows the building to cover 40 percent of the lot instead of the previous maximum of 30 percent.

The council will also consider a letter of intent with Mitco Investments for a joint revitalization project along South First Place. The letter outlines a plan for the city to receive a small parcel of land next to its planned skate park across from the police station, for the city to contribute $220,000 for a proposed 65-space parking lot along South First Place that will be open to the public and for Mitco Investments to build a 5,000-square-foot shade structure there for hosting outdoor events.

The entire council packet and agenda, including the report that will be discussed during the work session, can be found online at https://www.hermiston.or.us/citycouncil-meetings.

On Monday at 4 p.m. the city council’s transportation committee will meet to discuss two possible re-configurations of the city’s free bus route. Both proposed routes would eliminate some stops that have not been as popular in order to allow the bus to complete six loops through town instead of four per day, and keep each loop to under an hour.

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Contact Jade McDowell at jmcdowell@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4536.



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