Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) and Rep. Greg Barreto (R-Cove) secured over $20 million for important Eastern Oregon projects ranging for irrigation to health care. The funding will help refurbish the Wallowa Lake Dam to meet current safety standards and will allow fish passage for the first time in over 100 years. Additionally, the Umatilla County Jail will receive $1.6 million to remodel a section dedicated to mental health services. The jail project builds on the longtime work of former State Rep. Bob Jenson (R-Pendleton) and his wife Evelyn. A detailed list of projects is included below.
In addition, $2.5 million were allocated to the Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness, which will be a partnership between the Center and Winding Waters Clinic in Enterprise. This could be a strong model for integrated health care practices in rural areas. The Farm 2 project in Pendleton also received their final funding installment of $8 million to begin construction on the Agricultural Science Pavilion. The project is a team effort between local governments, Blue Mountain Community College, and the Round-Up.
Hansell & Barreto released the following statement:
“These projects are essential in building up the Eastern Oregon economy and ensuring that our constituents have access to high-quality health care in their communities and don’t have to drive hundreds of miles away. The investments in vital infrastructure for irrigation, educational facilities, and health care will set a strong foundation for a prosperous Eastern Oregon. Securing this funding would not have been possible without the hard work of local leaders and engaged constituents from throughout the region, who came to the Capitol to make their case. This is a great day for Eastern Oregon.”
Both Hansell and Barreto had been meeting with constituent groups since 2017 in helping them secure funding for these projects. “Senator Hansell and Representative Barreto worked hard for Eastern Oregon and delivered for us, even though they were in the super-minority in Salem. We are very grateful for their leadership and representation,” said Wallowa County Commissioner Susan Roberts.
The projects are:
· Wallowa Lake Dam Rehabilitation
· Umatilla County Jail Renovation
· Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness
· BMCC Facility for Agriculture Resource Management