County will fight depot land decision (Updated)

Editor’s note: We have learned that Morrow County’s Board of Commissioners believes the vote shouldn’t have been taken and supports walking it back so it can be properly researched. More details will be posted in the near future.)

HERMISTON – Umatilla County officials were stunned when the Columbia Development Authority Board of Directors voted that the depot land in Umatilla County would be given to the Port of Umatilla. Now, they’re mad.

“We aren’t going to tolerate that action,” Commissioner George Murdock said. “It was wrong. I’ve talked to my colleagues and they’ve told me that they’re prepared to take legal action.”

The ceding of control was not an item on the agenda for the CDA meeting, and was brought up at the very end. The motion was to allow the industrial land in Umatilla County to be operated by the Port of Umatilla and the industrial land in Morrow County to be operated by the Port of Morrow. Morrow County did not object to the decision.

“It doesn’t fit within their rules, their guidelines, their charter or anything else to do that in the first place,” Murdock said. “That land belongs to the people of Umatilla County and it’s worth quite a lot of money. We simply aren’t going to roll over and let it go away.”

The Umatilla county industrial land is valued at $15 million. It’s located near the intersection of Interstates 82 and 84.