Present were Board Members Byron Smith, Dan Dorran, Ed Brookshier, Kim Puzey, Larry Givens and Don Miller. Also present were Heather Cannell, Heather LaBeau, Nate Rivera (arrived at 7:02) and Jayati Ramakrishnan of the East Oregonian, and members of the public. Vijay Patel was excused.
Chairman Byron Smith called the meeting to order at 7:00 am.
Ed moved and Dan seconded to approve the meeting minutes from the regular Board meeting on
June 21st. Motion carried unanimously.
Public Safety Building
Larry stated that the public safety building has been placed and is in the process of being painted. At a later date there will be discussion regarding a ramp on the back side of the building. The Sherriff’s office is appreciative of those who worked to accomplish placement of the structure.
Chairman Smith opened the discussion on well usage of the wells drilled on the property. There have been previous conversations of using the wells supplemental to the irrigation water. The attorney is working to move from a limited license to a permit for using the wells. She would like to see some usage of the wells to solidify the reasoning for the licensing. There are three potential sources for water; City of Hermiston, Stanfield Irrigation District and the potential wells.
After some discussion, the board concurred the wells should continue to be developed. The board thanked the Stanfield Irrigation District for their efforts over the last year.
Budget & Fiscal Reports
Chairman Smith gave an update on the financials. The end of fiscal year report is a tentative closing of the books for the fiscal year. Event revenue exceeded the estimate. Dan approved and Larry seconded to approve the monthly financials. Motion carried unanimously.
Ed motioned and Dan seconded to approve the June Disbursements. Motion carried unanimously.
Larry motioned and Ed seconded to approve the July Disbursements. Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Smith reported on the May/June Monthly event report and the Quarterly Events Report.
The donor wall is being built. Nate reported the plaques will be arriving on Monday.
No update was given as Vijay was excused from the meeting.
John Eckhardt with Knerr Construction reported they will be laying block for the monument sign and the donor wall beginning Monday. They are down to punch list items and cleaning items on the large bathrooms. The small animal barn needs the restroom area finalized. The beef barn and the swine barn are complete. Interior fencing will be started on Monday. The ticket booths will be placed as the fencing is installed.
Carl Hendon of Hendon Construction reported that the final inspection will be Wednesday. There will be power to the pump station on Tuesday. It is anticipated the Certificate of Occupancy will be issued after the final inspection.
Chairman Smith publicly thanked the contractors for their effort to bring the project to where it is at today.
There will be an Executive Session relating to the General Manager position.
Chairman Smith announced that Heather Cannell has resigned her position at EOTEC and has accepted a position at the Sage Center.
Heather stated is has been a good experience and she is proud to be part of the project. She has prepared the files and records through October. This should allow for an easier transition for whomever takes over the position. Ed thanked Heather for her work.
Heather suggested that EOTEC take over the fire extinguishers for the barns from the fair. It will keep the extinguishers on EOTEC’s inspection rotation. The fair accepts this arrangement.
Dust suppression is scheduled for the first week of August. It will be two applications. The road has recently been graded.
Heather recommended that something be done in the future to address protecting the HVAC and gas lines/valves located behind the building. Currently, the fair is letting EOTEC use their panels.
There was discussion for what is requested for the ribbon cutting ceremony. It was decided there would be light refreshments in the lobby area and the ribbon cutting would be at the front gate. This is scheduled for August 7th at 5:30.
Heather inquired of the board any items they may like to see in the EOTEC booth at the fair. It was suggested to have a map of future expansions highlighted on a board and a big Thank You to the community poster.
Mr. Puzey asked when the money from the state would be available for the road improvements. The governor has not yet signed the bill.
Event Security and Emergency Operations Plan
Tom Roberts from the Sheriff’s office presented the Event Security and Emergency Operations Plan. Tom thanked everyone who helped work on the plan. It is a living document that can be adjusted as lessons are learned. Heather will send the plan to the insurance company to review.
The fair has production meetings daily and can review the plan with the necessary people on-site.
For the benefit of the neighbors present, if driveways are blocked while a vehicle is parked in the right of way, it can be towed immediately. If the vehicle is pulled into the driveway, it is considered on private property and 72 hour notice must be posted prior to towing the vehicle. If property owners do post a notice to tow, they should also notify dispatch to keep them informed.
The county will post No Parking signs on both sides of E Airport Rd. They will also put out public notices on their website. The speed limit will be temporarily reduced to 25 MPH.
Chris Waine noted that the City and County seem to be more responsive to issues. Wayne showed a video of a truck driving over a recent dust abatement application. He stated it has very little effect on the actual amount of dust.
Waine questioned the cost of developing a road and feels safe to say that the $1.2 million dollars will not be sufficient to do anything of substance to Ott Road. He is requesting that EOTEC and the county work together to put something in place so the issue does not have to continually be revisited.
Waine stated that his well previously produced 35 to 40 gallons per minute and is currently producing only 10 gallons per minute. He has water rights for somewhere between 11.5 and 12 gallons per minute. He will be filing a claim and asking the state to repeal the more recent water rights. Chairman Smith responded that EOTEC has pumped no water from the wells.
Waine informed the board that the Neighborhood Association has been formed and their Articles of Incorporation will be filed.
Ryan Murray 1835 E Airport Road. Mr. Murray stated that his father purchased the property in 1988 and he replaced the pump in his well a few months ago. He does not know what the issue is, but his well is down from 20 -25 gallons a minute to 5 gallons a minute.
Larry and Kim exited the meeting at 7:50am.
George Anderson 625 W Division Ave. Mr. Anderson is a local attorney. He stated that the water table is dropping for a variety of reasons, including more efficient irrigating and ditches being piped.
Kim returned to the meeting at 7:54am.
The next regular meeting will be on Friday, August 25th, @ 7:00 am at EOTEC located at 1705 E. Airport Road, Hermiston, OR.
Dan expressed his thanks to everyone for their work and invited everyone to attend the fair.
Executive Session Recess
Byron recessed the meeting at 7:55am and announced the Board will convene in executive session in accordance with ORS 192.660 (2)(a), which allows the Board to meet in Executive Session to consider the employment of a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent.
Representative of the news media and designated staff shall be allowed to attend the executive session. All other members of the audience are excluded. Representatives of the news media are specifically directed not to report on any of the deliberations during the executive session, except to state the general subject of the session as previously announced. No final decision may be made in executive session. At the end of the executive session, the board will return to open session which the audience may attend.
Larry returned to the Executive Session at 8:44am.
Chairman Smith adjourned the Executive Session and reconvened the board meeting at 8:53am.
As there was no further business the meeting was adjourned at 8:53am.