WashCo News February 2024

The owners of the Hillsboro Hops minor league baseball team want Oregon taxpayers to help fund the construction of a new stadium. Washington County Commissioner Jerry Willey also wants Washington County to dedicate a portion of the Transient Lodging Tax to the project.

Proponents cite increased tourism and other benefits, while opponents question the viability of the project when the team can’t fill their current 4500-seat stadium, built for them just 10 years ago. 

The County Board of Commissioners (BCC) decided to add a proposal to the agenda for their February 6 meeting after hearing the proposal at the January 30 Work Session. The rush to approve it is because the MLB will have the authority to force the sale of the Hops to owners in a place where civic leaders are willing to ensure a new ballpark will be built. 

The state legislature is set to consider a $25-million investment during the February short session. Jody Wiser and her group Tax Fairness Oregon ask, “Should the state give $25 million to build baseball stadiums for professional, privately-owned baseball teams? We sent you our commentary on it in September: and have done considerable research since, leading to this talking points paper we’ve been sharing with legislators.”

Liquor license application services for businesses in unincorporated Washington County are being administered by the Department of Land Use and Transportation. The service was relocated from the County Administrator’s Office effective January 2. For information and/or to begin the liquor license application process, visit Liquor, Marijuana and Psilocybin Applications or email lmp@washingtoncoutnyor.gov

Thursday, February 15, 6 pm via zoom

Intel operates two semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Washington County. They are located at the Ronler Acres campus in Hillsboro and the Aloha campus in Aloha. Both campuses produce semiconductor products, more commonly called computer chips. Both campuses emit pollution and are regulated by DEQ’s Air Quality Program under a single air quality permit. Intel applied for modifications to its existing air quality permit.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has reached the stage where they have a draft permit ready to put out on public notice that complies with all state and federal regulations and considers what was shared at the public information meeting DEQ held in October 2023. 

The public comment period began on January 10, and ends on Friday, March 1 at 5 pm. A virtual public hearing has been scheduled on Thursday, February 15, at 6pm. In addition to electronic notifications to individuals and communities, DEQ sent out a post card to all residents and businesses within a two-mile radius of both the Ronler and Aloha Intel in January.

All updates continue to be available on the DEQ project web page including the draft permit and other related materials. People are welcome to continue sending questions to Nina Deconcini, at nina.deconcini@deq.oregon.gov or 503-804-0840.

Boards, committees, and commissions advise the County Board of Commissioners (BCC) on matters of interest to people who live and work in Washington County. Committees themselves do not pass ordinances to establish policy; their purpose is to study issues and make recommendations. Commission members are volunteers appointed by the BCC. In many cases, members must be residents of Washington County. Serving on an appointed board or commission is a great way for Washington County residents to participate in decisions that affect them and to learn more about how local government works.

Find the list of vacancies and get details of duties and requirements here

The BCC is looking to the public for input about revisions to the county government’s 30-year-old strategic plan. A brief online questionnaire is available until February 16 for community input on the updated 18-page draft document, including modernized language for the organization’s vision and mission statements, guiding principles, fundamental approaches, and department-by-department goals. As described in the draft document’s introduction, “The intent of this document is to illuminate the current state and the path forward for Washington County government.” County commissioners plan to review public input at their Work Session on February 20 and consider adopting the final version of the updated plan on February 27.