Malheur County has an unprecedented opportunity to shake off economic doldrums with legislation announced last week. We need to be sure not to let this chance slip away.
House Bill 2012 would create a new agency with one core task: give the border area of Malheur County a fighting chance to compete more evenly with Idaho. The creation of the Eastern Oregon Border Economic Development Region would accomplish that with several features.
One is local control. The seven individuals who would serve on the new board would be picked by the Malheur County Court and then appointed by the governor. That means the local perspective will be welded into the structure.
The new region would get state money for a host of tasks. The legislation calls for $10 million to start. A handful of projects could chew that up in a hurry. The effort, of course, would get . . .