HERMISTON — The Hermiston City Council voted Monday to begin the process of pursuing a local improvement district that would pay for improvements to the South Hermiston Industrial Park.

The LID would cover neighboring properties along Campbell and Penney drives, requiring them to pitch in to pay to pave the remainder of Campbell Drive, install water and sewer mains in the area and create what would essentially be a new road — called Southeast 10th Street — connecting East Penney Avenue to Highway 395 across from Bellingers. The road, which would create access to a piece of industrial land owned by the Port of Umatilla, only exists on paper right now.

The city plans to pursue a federal grant to pay for about half of the project and the city and Umatilla County will contributed a combined total of 10%, leaving property owners to contribute about 40% of the cost. Assistant city manager Mark Morgan said if the city fails to get the grant it does not plan to pursue the district after all.

If 60% of affected property owners formally reject the plan before or during an Aug. 12 hearing, it would also be blocked from going forward. On Monday, no property owners expressed opposition and Port of Umatilla manager Kim Puzey expressed support.

The city council also adopted a strategic plan on Monday for the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center. Some of the priorities in the plan include securing water rights for the site, updating the overall site plan, beautification, improving security, building storage and office space for the Umatilla County Fair, improving the RV park, adding a multisports facility and developing a marketing plan.

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