Tom Vialpando (left) Vale mayor and Katy Lamb, interim city manager, look through city bill ledger at the old city hall last week. A plan by the city to rent out space in the old building is paying off as Elkhorn Public Defenders signed an agreement to rent two vacant offices. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

VALE – The old Vale City Hall isn’t empty and that is good for city officials.

Elkhorn Public Defenders, a Canyon City law firm, and the city inked an agreement Feb. 1 for the organization to rent two offices in the old city hall.

Elkhorn Public Defenders will join Malheur County as tenants in the new building. The Malheur County District Attorney’s Office uses the former city council chambers for grand jury sessions.

The city also continues to donate space for the Vale Food Pantry in the basement.

Katy Lamb, interim city manager, said the county pays $350 a month.

“It is a three-month lease because of Covid,” said Lamb.

Elkhorn Public Defenders will pay $650 a month, said Lamb.

Leasing the building was an important component in the plan by the city to move out of the old city hall.

The city bought the Umpqua Bank building at 150 Longfellow St. N. It now houses city staff and an office for State Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale.

The new leases won’t generate a financial windfall for the city, said Lamb.

“But we will gain a little bit and we also have property taxes and we will absorb that money to help pay taxes and monthly utilities,” said Lamb.

Lamb said the city’s intent was not to make money on the leases but to pay for the “hard costs of the building.”

Vale Mayor Tom Vialpando said the leases are a “great deal.”

“As a business move it was a good one because we’ve added another asset to our profile,” he said.

There is one office still vacant but Vialpando said he hopes a new tenant will come along to take it soon.

Vialpando said the location of the old city hall is ideal for a firm like Elkhorn Public Defenders.

They can just walk across the street to take care of business at the courthouse, he noted.

“Say they have a hearing at 1 p.m. and another one at 4 p.m. At least now they have an office to go back and work in,” he said.

He also said Elkhorn may expand.

“They will bring more people in with the possibility of wanting more space. When the city moved out that piece of property it became prime property to me,” said Vialpando.

Time to license Fido

In other city news, he reminded Vale residents that all dogs in the city must be licensed.

The deadline to get a dog a license is March 1, said Vialpando.

The cost of a license is $10 for an unaltered dog and $5 for an altered dog. Proof of rabies vaccination is also required.

For more information residents can call city hall at 541-473-3133.

Crab feed coming

Vialpando said the annual Vale Crab Feed – sponsored by the Vale Community Coalition – will be April 10 at the Vale Fire Hall.

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

Previous coverage:

Moving on up: Vale city leaders relocate to new city hall

Vale council approves plan for new city hall

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