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EDITORIAL: Perseverance pays off in pursuit of Malheur County rail project

There are many local heroes who can take a bow for the success in winning state approval of the Treasure Valley Reload Center. No question that determination, flexibility and persistence paid off big time for Malheur County.

Let’s acknowledge the lead role of Greg Smith, Malheur County’s economic development director, and Grant Kitamura, president of the Malheur County Development Corp. Smith fought his way through sharp critiques from the state – and from the Enterprise – to find a way to make Nyssa’s rail project economically feasible. Kitamura worked hard behind the scenes to marshal the essential commitment of the onion industry to use the new service.

That led the Oregon Transportation Commission last week to go all-in on the rail project. There are still plenty of strings attached to be sure public money is wisely used before $26 million is . . .