A property known as the Broun Building on West Orchard Avenue may become a part of the Umatilla County Fairgrounds.

Doherty said he wanted to "let the public know we're looking at the possibility of acquiring the property. No deal is done, but it's under discussion."

The Umatilla County commissioner, on behalf of the other commissioners and the Fair Board, is "investigating the possibility of acquiring" it, Doherty said.

The building is located between the fairgrounds and the old hospital property, where the Hermiston School District plans to build a new elementary to replace nearby West Park Elementary. The property is 1.1 acres, Doherty said, and houses the Broun building, which has six offices inside, and includes 90 to 100 parking spots.

Doherty said he's been in communication with a representative of Good Shepherd Health Care System and a school district representative.

He's spoken with the school district because the Broun property makes a bit of a cookie-cutter rectangle shape out of the block. The property line could be squared off between the fairgrounds and the school if the district gave a strip of land at the south of the Broun property to the county.This would bring the Broun property to roughly an acre and a half.

Doherty is still being cautious, as many factors are still yet to be determined, such as the source of funding or any particulars on the acquisition.

Doherty said if any acquisition went through he'd like to see about using the building for the fair office and renting out the other five spaces.

That would allow the fair and county to find better uses for the area where the office is now.

Once a determination on the property is made, it will allow the fair board and the county to move forward with a long-term plan for the fair.

"This will be a master plan for a long-term use of the fairground property that allows us to put it to the highest and best use as much as possible," Doherty said, "and allows us to conform the property to the types of uses that we have in mind."

That includes uses to help generate revenue for the fairgrounds and its facilities.

"Frankly, in my mind, all of this is just good stewardship," Doherty said.

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