PENDLETON - Umatilla County Commissioners formally created a separate fire district around the Mill Creek Area Wednesday that will be covered by the Walla Walla Fire Department.

The area outside of Milton-Freewater, which fell into the Milton-Freewater Rural Fire Protection District, had been under discussion for several weeks until the parties came to an agreement in mid-October.

People in the area will benefit from having their service come from Walla Walla, which is 20 minutes away, instead of the hour or more it took from Milton-Freewater.

Wednesday's action created Area 6, which will be the Washington state department's responsibility along with updated county maps.

In other business, the commissioners:

•Awarded a bid to build radio shelter buildings at the 450 megahertz radio towers that are part of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Plan. The bid went to Legacy Wireless for $268,125.

•Re-appointed Marge Walchli and Jerry Simpson to the Hospital Facility Authority board.

•Revoked an ordinance related to Ballot Measure 7, which has been repealed at the state level.

•Approved an amendment to the Stateline Wind Power Project. Originally the amendment would have added 177 turbines to the project. The new amendment is for 279 turbines.

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