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Legislature gives Mount Hood rest area funding

A bill from Sen. Thomsen and Sen. Courtney is on Gov. Kitzhaber's desk

Legislation that brings funding to the Government Camp rest area on Highway 26 along with 16 other rest areas throughout Oregon is on its way to the desk of Governor John Kitzhaber.

Senate Bill 1591 transfers management of 17 rest areas to (OTE) Oregon Travel Experience, the semi-independent state agency credited with cleaning up and revitalizing the Baldock rest area on I-5, just south of Wilsonville.

The measure, sponsored jointly by Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, and Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, passed the House Thursday, one day after winning unanimous approval in the Senate.

'We went from impending closure of my district's rest stop,' Thomsen said, 'to achieving unanimity in making 17 rest areas better - all in the span of a few months. That is what happens when we listen to people, and when leaders come together.'

The Government Camp rest area near milepost 54 and the Tillamook rest area on Highway 101 near milepost 70 will be transferred to OTE next month.

In January 2013, management of the five rest areas along the I-84 Corridor will be transferred to OTE. Those area include Memaloose, east and westbound, 11 miles west of The Dalles; Stanfield, east and westbound, 20 miles west of Pendleton; Charles Reynolds, east and westbound, nine miles east of La Grande; Baker Valley, east and westbound, 10 miles west of Baker City; and Weatherby, westbound, 38 miles north of Eugene.

In January 2014, OTE management will include three more rest areas along I-5, including Cabin Creek, north and southbound, 20 miles north of Roseburg; Gettings Creek, north and southbound, 14 miles south of Eugene; and Oak Grove, north and southbound, 13 miles north of Eugene.