PENDLETON — The Pendleton City Council unanimously voted to renew the city’s enterprise zone with expanded capabilities.

In partnership with Pilot Rock, Pendleton can offer property tax abatements for 3-5 years or longer to large-scale businesses provided they create jobs in the area.

Economic Development Director Steve Chrisman said the enterprise zone is a good recruiting tool, but the city wants to now expand it to apply to the entertainment and hospitality industries.

According to Chrisman’s presentation, the enterprise zone provides abatements to Keystone RV Co., Pendleton Woolen Mills, Colby Rocky Mountain Pipe Co., Hill Meat Co., Oregon Grain Growers Distillery, and Barhyte Specialty Foods.

Chrisman said Colby has resumed business at its Pendleton plant after going on an extended hiatus.

As the abatements expire, Chrisman said $10.2 million will go back on the tax rolls next year.

Councilor Paul Chalmers recused himself from the vote because of his enterprise zone responsibilities that come with his day job as the Umatilla County director of assessment and taxation.

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