UNION — The Union City Council took another step Monday night, Jan. 11, toward boosting the overall condition of its ranger station.

The city council voted to award a contract of $16,000 to Fred Daggett Plumbing of Cove to do plumbing work at one of the housing units at the station. This will help the city in its effort to get the ranger station buildings to the point the public can use them in the future, said Union Mayor Leonard Flint.

The ranger station, near the northwest edge of Union, was built in 1937 and deeded to the city of Union in 1993. The station has a four-bedroom house, a three-bedroom house, a two-bedroom house, an old oil storage building, a barn, a utility building, a utility garage and two garages detached from the houses.

The council did not discuss possible uses of the property. However, in the past city council discussed plans including the possibly of converting the site into an RV park or a community center.

“Those are possible long-term plans,” said Union’s city administrator, Doug Wiggins.

Wiggins said the city also hopes to later place the ranger station on the National Register of Historic Places. He said such status could help the city draw more tourists to the ranger station.

In other action, the city council voted to have the city become a member of the American Main Street program. The cost will be $300 for two years. Wiggins said as a member of American Main Street the city could receive help with obtaining grant funding to boost its downtown. The city also could use such grants to beautify and fix up Union’s main street.

Main Street America is a program of the National Main Street Center. Its objective is to revitalize historic commercial districts. The program presently is assisting 1,600 neighborhoods and communities. The National Main Street Center has its headquarters in Chicago and has an office in Washington, D.C., according its website.

The Union City Council also discussed an opening created at the end of December when Brian McDowell stepped down after serving about 14 months. McDowell resigned because of the demands of his job with Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency.

The council received two applications from two candidates for the open position. The council will interview the two applicants at a work session on Jan. 25. The council’s goal is to appoint one of the candidates in February.

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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