Local government

County buys warehouse to store sheriff’s office, road department equipment

VALE – County officials recently bought a warehouse owned by Ironhead Inc. to create more room to store equipment for the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office and the Malheur County Road Department.
Malheur County Judge Dan Joyce signed the agreement Feb. 16 for a 14,000-square-foot warehouse behind the Vale Fire Department at 390 North Ironhead St.
The county agreed to pay $1.4 million for the warehouse and two lots totaling 4.6 acres.
The county will use the money from a $12 million outlay of federal Covid relief funds to buy the complex.
“I think it is a good idea. It couldn’t fit us any better for timing,” said Jim Mendiola, Malheur County commissioner.
Kelly Johnson, Ironhead owner, said the building was constructed around 2002.
He said he wanted to sell to focus more on the rock and gravel operation he owns in Vale.
“I was ready to streamline and I think this is something the county needs,” said Johnson.
Mendiola said the purchase was attractive because it will help both the sheriff’s office and the road department.
Mendiola said once the county finalizes the purchase, the sheriff’s office can move equipment now stored at the old Vale Fire Hall. That building, just across the street from the sheriff’s office, is in poor shape and not large enough to accommodate specialized equipment like search-and-rescue gear.
The county road department will store equipment like snow plows and road graders at the new facility.
“Equipment is pretty expensive to be sitting outside all the time so I think this will work for both departments,” said Mendiola.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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