With technical and financial assistance from local business programs, a well-established Island City business has moved into a brand-new building at the Baum Industrial Park.
Diesel Specialist: On one of his first days in Barnes Diesel Power’s new location, Rob Barnes inspects a part from a diesel engine. - Observer photos/BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH
Barnes Diesel Power, founded by Bill Barnes 35 years ago, recently completed the move from a cramped garage in Island City to a new, 9,400-square-foot diesel repair facility at the nearby park.
The business, co-owned by Rob Barnes, Bill Barnes’ son, and Pat O’Reilly, specializes in repair of diesel engines. Its customers include commercial truck operators and farmers.
O’Reilly said the new building is a considerable improvement over the old location, which had only two bays and was “dark as a cave.”
“A big advantage we have now is that an operator can pull a truck in fully loaded,” O’Reilly said. He added there are plans to install a bridge crane in the new facility soon.
O’Reilly and Barnes bought the business from Bill Barnes five and a half years ago, expanding services to cater to more diverse customer base.
“Dad worked exclusively on old Detroit engines, and we decided we’d do whatever needed to be done,” Barnes said.
Ground was broken for the project last November, with Mike Becker the contractor.
The expansion was accomplished with help from the local Small Business Development Center. Greg Smith, SBDC director, said the center contributed mainly technical assistance and advice.
Spacious New Digs: After doing business for 35 years in a cramped garage in Island City, Barnes Diesel Power has moved to a new 9,400-square-foot building at the Baum Industrial Park. The owners received technical assistance for the expansion from the Small Business Development Center, and financial support from Northeast Oregon Business Development. - Observer photos/BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH
“These guys are solid business owners. We served as a sounding board as they were putting their expansion plans together,” Smith said.
“They’ve set an example for entrepreneurs. They’ve shown that hard work and good cash management can grow a business.”
The partners received financial assistance from Northeast Oregon Business Development, a non-profit organization that loans money to businesses in Union, Baker and Wallowa counties.
Northeast Oregon Business Development is staffed by the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District.
Kelcey Wright is Barnes Diesel Power’s office manager. The phone number is 963-7146.