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Echo fire gets grants, large funding asks get held

County will also consider giving Hermiston office space for Dr. Joel Rice clinic

East Oregonian

Published on April 16, 2018 7:01PM

The Echo Rural Fire Protection District has been awarded two grants totaling more than $10,000.

The Echo Community Benefit Plan Board of Directors on April 11 voted to recommend the fire department receive $4,922 for a security system and $5,600 to purchase a thermal imaging system. The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners will consider the requests during its meeting Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the county courthouse, 216 S.E. Fourth St., Pendleton.

Payments from the Echo Windfarms Project fund the grants under the Oregon Strategic Investment Program. According to public documents, the program has $84,621, but the Echo Community Benefit Plan Board held off making recommendations for larger requests due to confusion about how much money is in the fund.

The grant board questioned whether the fund includes $24,485 for the Echo School District’s grant from last April for a plasma cutter and shop tools. Likewise, the board could not decipher if $50,000 in grants for Echo’s walking trails remain in the fund.

The Echo grant board members said they want to know how much is available.

The county commissioners also are considering giving free Hermiston office space to Dr. Joel Rice, owner and operator of Blue Mountain Associates, the only provider in Umatilla County of medication assisted treatment for substance abuse.

Amy Ashton-Williams, director of Umatilla County Human Services, in a memo stated her department works closely with Blue Mountain Associates and shares many clients. Rice has office space in Pendleton and would like expand into Hermiston. She asked the county board to give Rice space in the Sam Cook Building, Hermiston.

“The county does not routinely offer free office space to outside providers,” according to Ashton-Williams, but this move would allow citizens on the west side of the county access to medication assisted treatment.

The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners also will consider renewing solid waste franchises and approving vehicle purchases.


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