SALEM — The State Land Board on Tuesday approved plans for a major Redmond-area project that would include an expansion of the county fairgrounds, a new Oregon National Guard facility and a new industrial park.

The three board members — Gov. Kate Brown, Treasurer Tobias Read and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson unanimously endorsed the plan. Brown and Read were at the meeting Tuesday in Salem. Richardson, who was ill, took part by telephone.

The agreement now goes to the Redmond City Council, which is expected to formally sign-on at its Sept. 11 meeting.

“This is a massive milestone for Redmond and the entire Central Oregon region,” Redmond Mayor George Endicott said Tuesday in an appearance before the board.

The project covers approximately 945 acres of undeveloped state land that was obtained 10 years ago from the federal Bureau of Land Management. Except for some military exercises, the land has remained unused and does not have roads, electricity, irrigation or other infrastructure.

Known as “The South Redmond Tract,” it is located at the southern end of the city limits, just east of U.S. Highway 97, about one mile from Redmond Airport.

Deschutes County would acquire 140 acres in the northernmost part of the property to expand the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center. Another 20 acres would be the site of a new state-owned Armed Forces Readiness Center. The remaining 785 acres would be annexed into Redmond and developed for large lot industrial purposes.

The state agreed to pay $200,000 for permits on the project, and $2.6 million for basic infrastructure.

The State Land Board manages property to benefit the Common School Fund, with revenues going to support K-12 education in Oregon. Money generated from the Redmond tract plan will go to the Common School Fund.”

“I think this is an incredible opportunity,” Brown said.

— Reporter: 541-640-2750, gwarner@bendbulletin.com

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