HERMISTON — The Hermiston City Council will consider a tax abatement agreement with Amazon on Monday.
The city and Umatilla County are joint partners in a long-term Rural Enterprise Zone, which under state statute allows them to exempt certain types of businesses locating or expanding in the zone from property taxes for seven to 15 years.
Lamb Weston used the zone to get a 15-year exemption on its $250 million expansion, in exchange for $15 million in payments directly to the county and city.
The resolution on the table Monday authorizes the city to enter into an agreement with Amazon if it is willing to invest $200 million into the zone, pay employees there at least 130% of the average wage in Umatilla County and pay “the required fees to the zone over the term of the agreement.”
The council will also consider voting to vacate the Southeast 10th Street right-of-way between East Penney Avenue and East Feedville Road. According to a memo from city planning director Clint Spencer, the street is an undeveloped right-of-way through a field, not used for vehicle travel.
He said a developer hopes to build a “large” project there but would need to build over the right-of-way to make it fit.
Also on the agenda is an update to the street portion of the city’s Capital Improvement Plan, which was adopted a year before the water and sewer portions. The update suggested by the infrastructure committee would plan for no capital projects for streets in the 2023-24 fiscal year in order to accrue more money for larger projects in succeeding years. It would also expand a project in the unfunded list of projects in the appendices, extending the length of Gettman Road proposed for paving.
City staff will also present a report Monday on possible incentives the city could use to encourage more housing growth. The report notes that tax credits and low-interest loans are “generally not available” for market-rate housing, but lists several state and federal incentives that could help attract more low-income housing.
The city council meets Monday at 7 p.m. at city hall, 180 N.E. Second St. The full agenda packet can be found online at hermiston.or.us/meetings.