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Eastern Oregon Economic Development Planning Project

In 2017, the Oregon Legislature set aside funds for DLCD to help eastern Oregon cities and counties prepare an Economic Opportunity Assessment (EOA), the primary purpose of which is to inventory employment lands available for development. Employment lands are commercial and industrial lands that employ people. Each city is required to have a 20 year supply of employment lands.

All eastern Oregon cities qualified under the Bill however, DLCD prioritized economically distressed counties with a population less than 20,000. Grants were awarded to 32 cities in eight counties.

In addition to the employment lands analysis, the EOA reports included strategies for economic development and target industries. Examples included hiring a local economic development point person, update strategic plans, develop a Housing Needs Analysis to secure lands for new housing development, seek target industries, provide an incubator for new and small businesses.

Grants funds also provided digitized maps for the cities, a first for most of the cities who participated. An initial review of natural hazards and infrastructure needs were also identified.

Now that the reports are complete, DLCD staff is working with the cities and counties to adopt the EOAs as part of the city Comprehensive Plans. Below are the final reports. Note: many of these will be updated and edited before final adoption by the cities. DLCD encouraged the local jurisdictions to customize the reports to suit their individual needs.

Looking ahead, DLCD is hopeful that the agency will be able to assist rural cities in the future with planning projects such as the EOAs. Additionally, together with other state and local agencies, DLCD hopes to work with the cities and counties to implement the recommendations in each study, a path toward sustainable and thriving economies.

Who Was Eligible To Apply

All cities and counties in Eastern Oregon were eligible to submit a Request for Assistance. Eastern Oregon is defined in state law as the following 17 counties: Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Wheeler. Because EOAs are completed for a specific urban growth area, a county government is eligible only as a convener for a group of cities within its boundaries.

DLCD received more interest in EOAs than the available funding could cover. Priority was given first to cities that are: (a) in a county with a population smaller than 20,000; (b) in a distressed area; and (c) geographically isolated. Second priority was given to those cities that are: (a) in a county with a population smaller than 20,000; and (b) in a distressed area. The department considered local government readiness and gave special consideration to those applications that included multiple cities within a region or county.

Applications

DLCD accepted applications for planning assistance from cities and counties in Eastern Oregon through May 31, 2018. For reference, the application is linked here. The deadline for applications has now passed and no new applications will be accepted for this current funding cycle.

2018 Planning Assistance Awards

This project funding has allowed DLCD to contract with consultants to provide planning assistance to cities and counties in Eastern Oregon. Thirty-two cities will receive a buildable lands inventory in 2019. Twenty-seven cities will receive an adoption-ready economic opportunities analysis (EOA) concluding steps needed to maintain a 20-year supply of employment land. One additional city (Maupin) was added to the list using other agency funds bringing the total number of cities receiving an adoption-ready EOA to 28, and the total number of cities receiving assistance to 33. The following cities and counties are participating in this project:

Baker County: Baker City, Haines, Halfway, Huntington, Richland, Sumpter, Unity
Grant County: Canyon City, Dayville, Granite, John Day, Long Creek, Monument, Mt. Vernon, Prairie City, Seneca
*Wallowa County: Lostine, Joseph
Harney County: Burns, Hines
Lake County: Lakeview, Paisley
Wheeler County: Fossil, Mitchell, Spray
Sherman County: Grass Valley, Moro, Rufus, Wasco
Gilliam County: Arlington, Condon, Lonerock
*Wasco County: Maupin

*All counties shown above are acting as a convener for the group of cities within their administrative boundary, except for Wallowa and Wasco counties.

Related Documents

House Bill 5201 Section 177
Frequently Asked Questions
Request for Assistance
Notice of Intent to Award

Contacts

Leigh McIlvaine
Economic Development Specialist
leigh.mcilvaine@state.or.us
Phone: 503-934-0071

Tamra Mabbott
Eastern Oregon Regional Representative
tamra.mabbott@state.or.us
Phone: 541-325-6924

Scott Edelman
Central Oregon Regional Representative
scott.edelman@state.or.us
Phone: 541-318-7921

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