The Hermiston City Council will discuss a franchise agreement with the city of Umatilla on Monday regarding water for Amazon data centers.

According to a memo from City Manager Byron Smith, Vadata (a subsidiary of Amazon) approached Hermiston and the Port of Umatilla two years ago about accessing their regional water system for new developments it was planning in the area. At the time, the projects were outside of any city limits. Umatilla has since annexed one of the sites.

On Monday, the council will discuss a franchise agreement with Umatilla that will allow Hermiston to continue installing the needed water infrastructure for the project while allowing Umatilla to control its rights of way. The initial term is for 10 years with a 5 percent fee on revenues generated within Umatilla city limits.

Monday’s agenda also includes a lease agreement with Gorge Aviation Services. The company has been managing the Hermiston Municipal Airport since spring 2018 and would like to use the city’s “blue hangar” for an aviation mechanic shop.

Ross Brandt Electric recently vacated the hangar after building a new shop onsite, and Gorge Aviation Services plans to use the hangar after doing about $80,000 worth of new upgrades. The city will not cover those expenses directly, but the lease agreement before the council Monday would take into consideration the expense to Gorge Aviation Services.

The city council will also hear updates about planned construction of an RV park at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, which has stalled due to concerns about the project’s impact on overflow parking for EOTEC.

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


Reporter covering city government and economic development in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

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