The city of Hermiston moved into its new city hall in stages beginning in early October.
The eastern Oregon community’s new city hall was jointly funded by the city and Umatilla County.
The county provided $3 million in exchange for first-floor space for a health department outpost. The city funded its share with a $9.6 million bond backed by enterprise zone funds – money it receives in lieu of taxes on new industrial projects, such as a Lamb Weston plant expansion.
Griffin Construction of The Dalles, Oregon, constructed the three-story building at 180 N.E. Second St. While the site was torn up, crews replaced utility lines in the area and expanded the parking lot.
The new city hall is twice the size of the original one, which was in a former bank built in 1965. That structure was demolished to make way for the new building.
The addition set off a chain of moves within the city.
Hermiston’s municipal court relocated to the new city hall, which freed up space at the Public Safety Center for the Hermiston Police Department and Umatilla Fire District 1.
The Hermiston Library’s lower floor, which housed city services during construction, is now being used by the library.
And lastly, the city building department moved into city hall, freeing up Hermiston’s historic Carnegie building for another as yet unspecified use.
“We conducted a survey to find out how residents prefer to access city services and determined that it would be the best long-term option to build a modern facility from the ground up,” said Byron Smith, Hermiston’s city manager.
The new city hall opened to the public Oct. 5. An open house is planned Oct. 20, followed by the city council’s first official meeting in its new chambers.
The court was expected to move in by the latter half of October.
The U.S. flag raised at the new city hall was supplied by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and previously flew above the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in recognition of a fire that destroyed Shearer’s Foods in February.
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