The Hermiston city council heard updates on city committees Monday night during a short council meeting that included no new ordinances or resolutions.

Parks and Recreation director Larry Fetter said the Parks and Recreation committee recently discussed a possible dog park for the city of Hermiston.

He said the committee was eying a former corral on Bureau of Reclamation property near Riverfront Park and would be approaching the bureau about the possibility of using the land.

City councilor Jackie Myers said the Community Enhancement Committee — which recently suffered a setback when the city council voted against adopting a landscaping ordinance that had originated with the committee — turned its attention to the idea of community art during its last meeting.

Councilor Rod Hardin said he and Myers learned about public art initiatives in the cities of Sisters and Redmond. He said he particularly liked the idea of Redmond’s rotating art program. Artists loan the city sculptures to be put on display for a period of a year. At the end of the year the artwork is available for purchase, and the city holds a community-wide vote on which piece of artwork it should purchase for permanent display.

Hardin shared with the council his experience attending the League of Oregon Cities conference over the weekend. He heard from people around the state, as well as a speaker from the state of Washington, about how other communities are handling the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Hardin said he was surprised to hear from PGE, which supplies electricity to 43 percent of the state, that legalized marijuana has caused an increase in power usage.

“They’re really having some issues,” he said.

The issues come from indoor grows that require enough electricity to keep grow lights on 24 hours a day. Hardin said PGE noted the grow sites are overloading the system and causing transformers to blow.

Mayor David Drotzmann told the council he and city manager Byron Smith represented the city at a meeting of stakeholders for the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center to discuss postponing moving the Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo until 2017.

He said he expected Smith, who was away at a national convention of city managers on Monday, to share more information and discuss the “potential to contribute additional funds” at a future city council meeting.

Contact Jade McDowell at or 541-564-4536.

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