By Nathalie Hardy • Columnist • 

Commissioners select transit designer

The Oregon Department of Transportation has awarded the county a $1.16 million ConnectOregon grant to help fund the project. The county hopes to complete it by Jan. 31, 2014.

The center will be built at the former site of the Yamhill Community Action Partnership, east of the McMinnville Post Office on Second Street. It will replace a makeship center consisting of little more than a row of shelters along Fifth Street, in front of the county courthouse and jail.

The Yamhill County Transit Area, overseen by the county, plans to develop a 700-square-foot office, a covered seating area, a 400-square-foot public restroom, six bus bays and a bike storage facility on the site. The county is contributing the property to meet ODOT’s 20 percent match requirement.

The declaration of intent by the county commissioners allows the county staff to begin negotiating final terms of a contract with the design firm.

In other business, the commissioners:

n Approved changes designed to more closely align the county’s Revolving Loan Fund, established in 1985, with its original intent of stimulating economic development.

Making that fund more accessible was one of the goals spelled out in a contract the county authorized with the GROW Yamhill County Project, led by Jody Christensen of the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership. It has a balance of just over $200,000.

n Approved purchase of a sliver of land from county IT Director Murray Paolo and his wife, Karly, for $1,328.

The county needs about 1/20 of an acre for a bridge improvement project on Laughlin Road. Before agreeing to accept the offer from his employer, Paolo cleared it with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

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