At a meeting Tuesday, the Pendleton City Council significantly changed the city’s code enforcement authorities to include abandoned homes and above-ground swimming pools.

The council approved a series of ordinances that are a part of the city’s ongoing efforts to reduce blight.

According to a staff report from City Attorney Nancy Kerns, the update to the abandoned homes ordinance isn’t meant to mediate conflicts between landlords and tenants over minor code violations or permit entry into occupied homes that aren’t a fire hazard.

The ordinance is targeting “derelict” and “dangerous” residences and allows the city to address trespassing in vacant structures and homes with permanently boarded windows and doors.

Other changes to code enforcement include requiring a barrier around outdoor pools, prohibiting free roaming dogs from entering private property without permission, and easing the timeline for required repairs to a fire-damaged building.

The council also approved two items that could boost the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport.

• As a part of a multimillion-dollar unmanned aerial systems industrial park project at the airport, the council approved a $2.8 million bid from Pioneer Construction to make utility improvements to the south side of the industrial park property.

The bid is significantly less than the city’s $4.2 million estimate and the $4.6 million bid produced by Mike Becker General Contractor of La Grande, the only other bidder.

Overall, the city plans to pay for the project through state loans obtained by leveraging utility rate hikes and a $3 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

• The council also unanimously approved leasing 26,406 square feet of land to PDT Hangar Inc. to build a row of t-hangars.

As a part of an incentive deal, PDT Hangar will defer rental payments over the first 20 years of the 30-year lease. The company will then pay the regular rent plus the deferred rent over the last 10 years of the lease.

PDT Hangar can extend the lease up to a total of 50 years if it builds a second hangar, and the city will be responsible for building and maintaining a public bathroom at the site.

The company’s rent is $5,466 per year with annual consumer price index adjustments.

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