Business & economy, Local government

TIMELINE: Greg Smith’s time in Malheur County comes to an end

Greg Smith first quit as economic development director and now has quit as project manager for the Treasure Valley Reload Center. He has had a troubled tenure in Malheur County.

November 2000 – Greg Smith is elected to the Oregon House, serving as a Republican from Heppner.

December 2000 – Greg Smith forms Gregory Smith & Company as an economic development and business consulting firm.

November 2013 – The Malheur County Court contracts with Smith’s company “to coordinate existing and new economic development opportunities” in the county for $9,000 a month.  Smith at some point begins using the title “director” though he is never formally given that title by the county.

July 2018 – Malheur County contracts with Gregory Smith & Company to serve as project manager for the Treasure Valley Reload Center for $6,000 a month.

September 2018 – Greg Smith on behalf of Malheur County Development Corp., created by the county to oversee the project, submits a plan to state, anticipating opening of rail center in July 2020.

August 2019 – Greg Smith advises a new Ontario business it isn’t eligible for a property tax break after his team told the business otherwise and it launched construction. Malheur County officials took no action when the duplicity became public.

May 2020 – Greg Smith’s team applies to the federal government for money to develop a county industrial park. The application is so weak the government rated it “unacceptable.”

October 2021 – Smith orchestrates groundbreaking ceremony at the Nyssa site.

April 2022 – Greg Smith says in press release that estimate of $9.8 million cost overrun on the reload center is a “worst case” figure. “We look forward to a grand opening in 2022!”

June 2022 – Greg Smith notifies the county he won’t continue as economic development director, because “the environment surrounding economic development has become incredibly toxic.”

February 2023 – Greg Smith notifies officials his company is resigning as project manager of the Treasure Valle Reload Center, effective in 11 days.


Request to state for help grows as Smith walks away from Nyssa rail project

Short of money, rail managers ask contractors to hold onto bills for work already done

SPECIAL REPORT: Another state bailout for Nyssa rail project in the works

SPECIAL REPORT: Smith pledges scrutiny of rail project budget, can’t produce one

SPECIAL REPORT: State suspends payments for Nyssa rail project

NEWS TIP? Send an email to [email protected].

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE – The Malheur Enterprise delivers quality local journalism – fair and accurate. You can read it any hour, any day with a digital subscription. Read it on your phone, your Tablet, your home computer. Click subscribe – $7.50 a month.