Chemeketa named as finalist

SALEM — The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) announced finalists for its 2019 Awards of Excellence, which recognizes exceptional work among the nation’s two-year colleges.

Chemeketa was chosen as a finalist for the Exemplary CEO/Board Award. The award recognizes a community college whose CEO/Board of Trustees collaboration and working relationship are exemplary in promoting effectiveness in community college governance.

“The dedication of the Board and their commitment to professional development, regional and national advocacy, strong partnerships, service to their communities and the workforce and their belief that all students deserve a quality education make them unique, shared Chemeketa President, Julie Huckestein. Board members consistently demonstrate a strong commitment to student success through their daily actions, monthly board meetings and the annual budget process.”

Agency approves senior center funding

DALLAS — The Dallas Urban Renewal Agency gave final approval to using $600,000 in urban renewal funds to help pay for building a new senior center on Feb. 19.

 The agency board, the members of the Dallas City Council, unanimously passed a resolution amending the district’s plan to allow money to be used for a public building.

The agency will take out a $1 million loan for pay for the senior center building money and for an upcoming project to improve the 600 and 700 block of Main Street downtown. The district pays about $86,000 in debt service on a loan for improvement made to the 800 and 900 blocks of Main Street, said City Manager Greg Ellis.

The new loan would add $77,000 per year.

The city secured a $1.9 million Community Development Block Grant in 2014 to build a new senior center, but the project suffered delays, including a location change. Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority, which administers the CDBG program, already waived the deadline last year so the city could finish the project.

A new hurdle emerged on Feb. 5 when the city opened bids to build the new center came higher than the funds available to pay for it. Ellis said the lowest bid was $2,188,000, and after design and other costs, $1.6 million of the grant was left for construction.

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