Malheur County plans borrowing to buy up private industrial land for future projects

Greg Smith, Malheur County economic development director. (The Enterprise/File)

VALE – Malheur County officials, in a foray into the industrial development business, plan to buy more than 200 acres of raw land, take the county $2 million into debt, and secure millions more to make the land useful to industry.

Dan Joyce, Malheur County judge, recently signed the loan paperwork for the county to borrow $2.1 million from the state economic development agency to buy two big chunks of real estate in Nyssa.

The debt and expanding real estate holdings are tied to development of the rail shipping facility, the Treasure Valley Reload Center.

The state Transportation Department already is giving the county $600,000 to buy land needed for that agricultural operation.

But county officials say they need more money to buy the rest of . . .