WATCHDOG: Malheur County’s bid to grab $15 million in federal money stymied by errors in application

County officials hoped a $15 million grant from the federal government would develop their business park next to a planned rail reload center. The county's application, though, was rejected. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)

VALE – The phone call to Washington, D.C., in November wasn’t good news for Malheur County.

County officials already knew that they had been turned down for several million dollars needed to turn Nyssa-area farmland into an industrial park.

The official from the U.S. Department of Transportation explained weaknesses in the county’s bid for a $15 million grant. The merits of building out the industrial park weren’t evident, the official told county representatives on the Nov. 19 call.

But then the Transportation Department analyst delivered more sobering news.

The agency deemed as “unacceptable” the . . .