No Street Vacation Ordinance on Council's Agenda


At its last meeting in December, the Hermiston City Council held a public hearing on a proposed street vacation that drew a number of opponents.

The issue centers around the old Tum-A-Lum property near Auto Kool. The property owner, Mitco Investments Co., wants to sell it to a developer who plans to build a hotel on the land. In order to accommodate the development, the city voted to vacate 15 feet of W. Ridgeway Avenue that is part of a 60-foot right-of-way west of N. First Street and east of the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way. Rhonda Sallee, owner of Auto Kool and five other tax lots, objects to the street vacation, arguing it will substantially reduce the value of her land by restricting access in and out of her properties. She has said she would sue the city if it proceeds with the street vacation.

At its Dec. 22 meeting, the council directed staff to prepare an ordinance and findings for the council to adopt at tonight’s meeting if the tentative decision is to approve the street vacation. The agenda for tonight’s meeting, however, does not contain an ordinance on the proposed street vacation. Instead, the agenda includes an executive session “to consult with counsel concerning the legal rights with regard to current litigation or litigation likely to be filed.”

Also at tonight’s meeting, the council will swear in two new members and two returning councilors at tonight’s meeting.

New councilors Clara B. Fitzgerald and Doug Smith will be sworn in, as will incumbents Jackie Myers and Lori Davis.

The council will also vote on a resolution authorizing the city to accept a $2 million Community Development Block Grant to build a new senior center. The council will also vote on an ordinance that authorizes the issuance of revenue obligation notes to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to construct, repair and expand the city’s wastewater treatment facility and water delivery facility.

Tonight’s meeting is at 7 p.m. at Hermiston City Hall.