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Rail board draws big interest

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

VALE — Malheur County’s economic development director is recommending the county create a new public corporation to manage the proposed $26 million rail shipping center.

That would be a key step to launching a project expected to boost the local agriculture economy and create new jobs.

Greg Smith, the economic development director, said he would recommend the stand-alone company in a presentation to the Malheur County Court this Wednesday, too late for press time.

County commissioners are leaning towards the idea and already are gathering names for those who would serve on the new company’s board.

“In reality it is time for Malheur County to have one. They are great tools for economic development,” Smith said.

The shipping center would form special trains loaded with area produce that has been trucked in. The trains would then head east, cutting time and . . .