Council to Consider Annexation Request Tonight

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The Hermiston City Council will hold a public hearing tonight to consider a request by Oregon State University to annex approximately 168 acres of land on the OSU Experiment Station in Hermiston.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Jan. 13, but was postponed because Phil Hamm, director of the Hermiston Agricultural Research & Extension Center, was unable to attend the meeting.

If annexation is approved, the experiment station will have access to water from the Regional Water System for at least five years to irrigate crops on the property. Revenue from the water delivered to the experiment station will help offset the $1.25 million cost of extending the water line to the property.

Also on tonight’s agenda is an ordinance the council will vote on that would authorize the issuance of revenue bonds of up to $5.5 million to construct, repair and expand the city’s wastewater treatment and delivery facilities. The total cost of the facility is $27.2 million; a total of $23.6 million will come from the State Revolving Fund, leaving $3.6 million to be financed through bonds.

The city, however, also needs $1.25 million to extend the waterline to the experiment station, $400,000 for a debt service reserve and $85,000 for debt issuance costs, bringing the total bond requirement to just over $5.3 million. Amy Palmer, the city’s finance director, is recommending the council authorize a bond of up to $5.5 million to cover any difference between the estimated costs of the facility and the actual costs.

Also tonight, there will be a special meeting of the Urban Renewal Agency to adopt by-laws.

The council meeting is at 7 p.m. at Hermiston City Hall.