Work to begin at Coyote Business Park
October 2006, CUJ
First phase extension of water, sewer and road service slated to start in November.
PENDLETON- The Tribes plan to break ground on the first phase extension of water, sewer, and road service to Coyote Business Park on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in November.
“This is our first major step into economic diversification after gaming,” commented Bill Tovey, Director of the Tribes’ Department of Economic and Community Development. “It’s going to mark a new era on the Reservation. Our long-term vision has always been to create a strong private sector out here. But first we have to have buildable land.”
The idea of creating a business or industrial park on the Reservation is an old one, showing up in Tribal plans since at least 1974. But it really didn’t get moving until after the Resort was built.
“The Resort gave us the muscle we needed to be able to buy a critical parcel of land at the Interstate,” said Tovey. “Since 1998, we have been working on getting this site to a ‘shovel-ready’ status. In 2002 it was designated the first Reservation Enterprise Zone in Oregon. Just recently we’ve completed the environmental assessment for the site. These things take time but now that effort is paying off.”
The business park will be built in phases. The first phase will include the creation of about six leasable lots in the northern section of the park, north of I-84 and west of Arrowhead Travel Plaza. According to Tovey, “These first lots are zoned commercial and are appropriate for office and similar type uses. We’ve always focused on the southern portion of the park, south of Interstate 84, which is zoned industrial. But it makes sense to complete Coyote North first since that is closer to the existing water and sewer lines.”
Tovey hopes that the next phases of the project will be built in 2007. Plans call for adding access improvements to Highway 331 near Coyote North and extending water and sewer lines under I-84 to serve Coyote South, once environmental analysis work is complete.
Federal and state agencies have provided support along the way.
“The State of Oregon Economic and Community Development Department provided a grant in 2001 that helped us get preliminary engineering for the site done,” said Tovey. “The Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded us funding in 2003 to do environmental analysis and master planning. Just recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a grant of $180,000 for engineering for the park. The Northeast Oregon Alliance has approved funding for the project, but that is contingent on the outcome of Measure 48. We’ve also been invited to apply for additional funds through the State of Oregon and through the U.S. Economic Development Administration.”
The total project cost for all phases is estimated at $4.5 million.
This story and photo originally appeared in the CUJ. The Confederated Umatilla Journal is the monthly newspaper of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Pendleton, Oregon.