ok County's economy will be getting a much-needed shot in the arm with the news this week that the county is now a Rural Renewable Energy Development Zone (RREDZ), providing tax incentives for renewable energy firms that hope to come to the county.
The Crook County Court passed a resolution on April 2, which was then sent to the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department and was approved by state officials earlier this week.
Two companies have expressed an interest in building in the Crook County area. One is a biomass plant that will be located north of Prineville and is directed by Ochoco Power LLC of Bend, which is a subsidiary of Sylvan Power. Some of the biggest news is that the $40 million building is anticipated to create 60 to 100 jobs for the county - much needed news in light of recent difficult economic times. Also, a wind farm will be placed in the southern portion of the county. The proposal comes from Pacific Windpower and will create another 10 to 15 jobs. Construction could begin in late 2008.
"Jobs are attached to all of this," explained Prineville Economic Development Director Jason Carr of Economic Development for Central Oregon. "You have to be creating jobs in order to qualify for the tax breaks."
The news of the two companies moving to the county is good news for the tax base and especially good news for those who are looking for work.