County OKs funds for Burns survey

Posted on December 24th in News

City requests money to move forward with zone change

By Debbie Raney
Burns Times-Herald

Burns Interim City Manager Bill Guindon appeared before the Harney County Court on Dec. 17 to request assistance from the county to help pay for a traffic impact survey on West Monroe.

The survey is necessary to move forward in zoning changes for a proposed industrial site. The City of Burns requested $8,000 from the county, and Guindon reported the city would foot the bill for the remaining $1,000. The proposed land-use redesignation from residential to industrial would be on 100 acres adjacent to the Oregon Youth Authority. About 40 acres of the land is owned by the county and the other 60 is owned by the tribe. All of the property is within the Burns city limits.

According to Harney County Planning Director Brandon McMullen, the cities of Burns and Hines, the Paiute Tribe and the governor’s office have all worked together to make more industrial land available. The major inhibitor, said McMullen, is finding land that is not in the flood plain.

Harney County Judge Steve Grasty said the Southeast Regional Alliance (SERA) Capacity Building funds would suit this project, and he said he felt the alliance would be on board. The project will be presented to the SERA, but in the meantime, the court approved the $8,000 to fund the study.

Guindon told the court that Scott Fairly, from the Governor’s office, is still looking for other funding from the state. It would be a possibility that the county’s contribution would be considerably smaller.

On a related subject, Peggy Asmussen from Teague Motor Company, commented that she hoped the Monroe Street Intersection Project could successfully be completed. “We’ve tried to redo the intersection so many times it’s ridiculous,” Asmussen said. “It would be good for the city, as well as us. I encourage the city and the county to do something and get it taken care of.”

The intersection project would create a safer entrance and exit from Hines Boulevard to Monroe Street, near Teague’s new car lot. The City of Burns would trade equal land with Teague Motor Co., allowing the car lot to be moved away from the intersection, as well as redirecting traffic off North Grand.

Guindon explained that the Burns Planning Commission had already approved the project, and it would go before the council in January. He said that there are still clarifications to be made by the Oregon Department of Transportation.


• In other business, the county court reviewed an updated business plan from Wayne Baron of the 4R Recycling Center and approved waiving the lease fee for the county-owned property until the center is again showing a profit;

• signed a memorandum of understanding with the Harney County Amateur Radio Emergency Services/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services;

• approved the appointment of Angie Witzel to the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee, to replace Chris Phillips;

• read a request from the Burns Paiute Tribe to support the acquisition of property near Christmas Valley, in Lake County. No action was taken.

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