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Ontario leaders assert dust-up over rail facility was a ‘misunderstanding’

By Pat Caldwell
The Enterprise
ONTARIO – As soon as Cliff Bentz saw the seemingly explosive email last week, he picked up the phone.
Bentz, an Ontario attorney who represents Malheur County in the Oregon House, called Ontario Mayor Ron Verini and City Manager Adam Brown.
He needed answers.
He had a copy of an email that suggested Ontario city officials were planning to disrupt the effort to site a rail shipping center in Nyssa.
The email was written by Greg Smith, the county’s economic development director. According to the message, obtained by the Malheur Enterprise, Smith said he had been told the Ontario city manager planned to write state officials about “disappointment in the process” and that the application for state money for the project “be rejected.”
The email jolted those gingerly working their way through the political landscape to bring to reality a rail shipping plant now destined . . .