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Top state official recommends no state money for Nyssa rail project until risks addressed

The director of the Oregon Transportation Department has concluded Malheur County shouldn’t get state money for a rail shipping center in Nyssa until “significant risks and concerns” about the project are addressed.

The director, Matt Garrett, outlined his concerns in a Feb. 11 letter to the Oregon Transportation Commission. The commission is scheduled to consider the proposal for the Treasure Valley Reload Center at its Feb. 21 meeting.

Garrett’s concerns come as the Malheur County Economic Development Department and a local public corporation, Malheur Economic Development Corp., hope to persuade the state commission to approve construction of the Nyssa project and release $26 million in state money.

Garrett’s letter, however, is the latest that questions elements of the Malheur County project. According to Garrett, the Transportation Department staff, an outside consultant, and a special review committee all have . . .