Union County Commissioner Donna Beverage is following up on her campaign promise to help businesses in Union County by being the point person for the Baum Industrial Park.

The Baum Industrial Park is a 60-acre piece of industrial-zoned land owned by the county near the La Grande/Union County airport.

One of the county’s goals for this particular piece of land is to bring in businesses that will create family-wage jobs.

Recently, utilities for the park — including a conduit for electricity, sewer, gas and water — were brought to the industrial park in order to make it ready for businesses.

“People are getting interested,” Beverage said. “Existing businesses are wanting to expand. The utilities going in is a big incentive, and it’s reasonably priced.”

Last week, the Union County Commissioners subdivided the property into 12 potential parcels so interested businesses could get a better idea of how much they would be able to purchase. However, the lot lines can be moved to accommodate a business’ needs.

“(The commissioners) had our first approved offer (for the Baum Industrial Park) on Monday,” Beverage said. “And other people are looking to get approved soon too.”

Another incentive the county is offering to potential businesses — as well as to the businesses already there — is paved roads. Right now, Commerce Road and the park’s other road — to be named Anderson Road after the late Steve Anderson who worked to get the Baum Industrial Park, Beverage said — are both graveled. Through a grant from Oregon Department of Transportation, plus contributions from Business Oregon and the county, the roads will be paved to make it easier on the businesses who are already there.

“We want to support existing businesses,” Beverage said. “And we want to have an incentive for new businesses to come here.”

Read the full story in Wednesday's Observer