YEON Crez

Rick Stokoe, Morrow Education Foundation board chair, presents a CREZ II award to Dirk Dirksen, Morrow County School District superintendent.

The Columbia River Enterprise Zone II board of directors recently awarded $3,242,545.71. The Jan. 28 disbursements included:

Boardman Police Department, $75,000 for a school resource officer

Morrow County Health District, $100,407 for new ambulance monitors

Boardman Rural Fire Protection District, $57,828.28 for computer upgrades and truck upgrade

Boardman Community Development Association, $961,081.07

City of Irrigon, $837,865.54

Willow Creek Valley Economic Development Group, $665,363.82

Morrow Education Foundation, $545,000, which was disbursed to Morrow County School District ($334,562.95), Morrow County School District intern program ($148,000), Ione School District ($41,145) and Port of Morrow Workforce Training ($82,500).

“We are thrilled to support our students in Morrow County,” said Rick Stokoe, Morrow Education Foundation board chair. “The funds received from CREZ II help pay for programs, services, and projects that may not otherwise be funded because of tight state education budgets.”

Also, an additional $176,207.95 was awarded by the CREZ II board on Feb. 14. The Boardman Police Department, Boardman Rural Fire Protection District and Morrow County Health District each received $50,000. And, the Morrow Education Foundation was awarded $26,207.95.

Money disbursed was collected in 2018 in accordance with agreements made with various businesses and the CREZ II board. The Columbia River Enterprise Zone II was established in 2009 after the success of the Columbia River Enterprise Zone I.

Enterprise zones offer a unique resource for Oregon communities, providing benefits for both businesses locating within an enterprise zone and the region surrounding it.

CREZ II is sponsored by the city of Boardman, the Port of Morrow and Morrow County. If approved, qualifying businesses will be exempt from local property taxes on new investments for a certain amount of time. Incentives are determined on local approval and require minimum levels of investment size, job creation and employee compensation.

Community benefits include increases in economic activity, property tax income over time and employee compensation. In addition, in-lieu payments and bond payments within CREZ II are used to enhance local services with a primary focus on education, community enhancement, emergency services and infrastructure, and housing.

For more information, contact Greg Sweek, CREZ II manager, at ezmanager@co.morrow.or.us or 541-945-9064.

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