EDITORIAL: Malheur County officials need to act quick to save rail project

Greg Smith, Malheur County's economic development director (Mark Ylen/Mid-Valley Media)

The message from the Oregon Transportation Commission last week was unmistakable. Malheur County, despite years of effort and more than a half million in taxpayer dollars, can’t yet make the case that a rail shipping center in Nyssa wouldn’t become a sink hole of even more public money. County officials have just a few days to rescue this project from failure.

For months, county officials worked to convince the state to hand over $26 million in public money. The county’s economic development operation has often resorted to rosy claims instead of hard facts to make the case. If that poor work results in no deal, the county’s agriculture industry and the community will be the losers.

Consultants and state officials . . .