Photo by Patrick Mulvihill
HR AIRPORT, Ken Jernstedt Airfield, has been on the rise with new facility developments planned. The Windmaster Urban Renewal Agency moved last week toward a plan change which would allocate partial match funding for a transportation grant at the airport sought by the Port of
As of Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Hood River County Board of Commissioners, acting as the Windmaster Urban Renewal Agency, took action June 19 toward a plan amendment that would divert renewal funds toward a grant supporting Ken Jernstedt Airfield.
The board held a first reading on an ordinance that will amend Windmaster Urban Renewal Plan to allocate $200,000 of urban renewal debt capacity toward a local match for a state transportation grant.
The Port of Hood River, owner of the airport, has been seeking a “Connect Oregon VI” grant to fund improvements, such as a north ramp project, as a first phase in a layered series of facility upgrades at the airport.
Port leaders requested the amendment in early 2017, asking that the county identify the Aviation Technology and Emergency Response Center as an eligible project.
The total project cost of phase one of the grant project — slated for planning and pre-construction work — was about $2 million. The grant request was $1.3 million from the state, with a local match of $800,000. The port sought for the county to make up $200,000 of that cost.
The airfield lies within the Windmaster area in south Hood River, where local governments have worked in recent years on a renewal plan targeting sewer service and transportation. The strategy was established in November 2007 to address deficiencies in the project area. The plan was amended in June 2016 to add more transportation projects as well as connecting second and third phases inside a health hazard overlay zone.
Allocating dollars toward the airport grant would result in a second amendment from the Windmaster board.
Ordinance text states the grant would lead to constructing infrastructure on the north side of the airport: “such infrastructure will include grading, drainage, paving and utility upgrades.”
The ordinance continues, “Whereas, the Windmaster Urban Renewal Plan goals and objectives allow for construction of infrastructure, and the project at the Hood River Airport is an infrastructure project that will facilitate future economic development at the (airport).”
After tackling general meeting items last week, the board of commissioners temporarily adjourned and reconvened as the Windmaster Urban Renewal Agency in order to okay the second Windmaster amendment.
Commissioners are expected to finalize the new plan amendment at their July 17 meeting with a second reading of the ordinance, as well as a public hearing. The board would also adopt a funding agreement with the port.
In other business, the county board was set to meet Tuesday, June 27 at noon to consider a variance to the county personnel code in order to allow employees to make a second donation to Mike Anderson, a deputy with the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.
The board also set an end of fiscal year meeting for 3 p.m., in which they will consider ratification of several union contracts.