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July 11, 2012     The Sun Paper
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July 11, 2012
 

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By Marguerite Alexander Correspondent, The Sun Following a presentation by J.W. Millegan on a proposal to build a world-class equestrian center near Wallace Bridge, the Willamina City Council voted unanimously to support the idea. Millegan requested a letter of support for the equestrian center which he anticipates will bring 100 full-time and 50- part-time jobs to the local area. According to the local busi- nessman and entrepreneur, similar venues in other parts of the country have generated more than $185 million in lo- cal spending in just three months. Millegan needs to show public support in order to gain approval to move the conser- vation easement. "I need your support," he told the council. He must submit an informal request to move the conserva- tion easement by July 12. The following week representatives from the federal agencies will visit the site. Millegan has already gath- ered letters of support for the Wallace Bridge Ltd. from eleven different entities includ- ing the Polk County Board of Commissioners, the Willam'ma Economic Improvement Dis- trict and the Willamina School District. He is also receiving assistance from the Portland office of Congressman Kurt Schrader, the U.S. Representa- tive for Oregon's 5~ congres- sional district. Millegan searched for an ideal location to place the equestrian center for 10 years. "This is the best property I could fred in the whole state of Oregon," he told the Willamina City Council. His original plans involved working around the conserva- tion easement where it lies. Millegan later came to the conclusion that it wouldn't work. Not only did the original plans require major access to Highway 22--something he wants to avoid--they impact the water level of the property and provide fewer benefits to the plants and animals living there. Millegan, who has a history in land use planning, said he has much respect for land use laws. By moving the boundaries of the easement it would not only provide the fiat land that he needs for the venue, it will im- prove and expand the ease- ment. "I'm trying to reduce the conflicts," he said. build a equestrian Wallace Brk Vote online at SheridanSun.com In addition, register and comi! on this story online Let us know what you think. Millegan met with Tom Finegan of the National Re- sources Conservation Service representatives and representa- tives from the Fish and Wild- life service in April. "They agreed that the land in the pro- posed easement is superior to the land in the current .ease- ment," he said. As far as recent concerns voiced by a member of the Sheridan City Council regard- ing the coyote hunts forcing wildlife to stampede onto the highways, Millegan told the Willamina City Council that he will place fencing along those roads. Additionally, the hunts, which don't involve guns, will move away from the highways, he pointed out. Millegan is assuming the risks associated with the devel- opment. It won't cost the pub- lic a dime, he said. "It costs me," Millegan said. He told the council the greatest risk to the public is not getting the equestrian center which could transform the city. It would bring jobs, tourists that would not otherwise visit the community and would make Willamina the cultural mecca of Oregon. Since competition in- volves periods of waiting, participants will need some- thing to do between events. They will come into town, he told the council. Building an international equestrian center is a passion of Millegan, driven by his love of horses and his interest in the various competitive events. His desire to make the entire site handicapped accessible is driven by the fact that his wife has early-onset Parkinson's dis- ease. "This is all happening faster than I anticipated," Millegan told the council. If Millegan can get approval to change the boundaries and location of the conservation easement, it will take two years to get through the permitting process and have the project shovel ready, he said. Wednesday, July World's larg 11, 2012, The Sun 5 )- turkey hits Mac this week Turkey Rama, McMinn- Rama" theme, with the spirit ville's annual summer festi- and focus of an old-fashioned val, is scheduled for Friday community festival. Now in and Saturday, July 13 and 14, its 52nd year of hosting Tur- at East Wortman Park and key Rama, the McMinnville other locations throughout Area Chamber of Commerce town. is thrilled to once again be able This city-wide celebra- to partner with the tion, the largest in Yamhill McMinnville DowntownAs- County, offers activities for sociation in presenting this everyone to enjoy, and fea- year's event. tures the World's Largest Tur- In keeping with tradition, key BBQ! the Chamber will again host For 52 years, thousands of its world famous Turkey BBQ people have flocked to at East Wortrnan Park on Sat- McMinnville for the food, urday, July 14, 11 a.m. to 5 fun and entertainment. The p.m. Grill Master Rick weekend's activities wilt also McEvoy and his team of vol- include the Turkey Trot, unteers will fire up the grill to Davis Shows NW Family cook more than five tons of Camival, and much more! mouth-watering turkey 9ver This annual celebration the weekend. produced by the McMinnville Turkey dinners are priced Area Chamber ofCommerce at $13 for adults, $9 for se- since 1961 dates back to the niors and $6 for children. first"Yamhill County Turkey Fully-cooked barbecued tur- Fair" held in 1938. Yamhill key halves are $17 each and County had become Oregon's can be purchased at four lo- largest turkey producer and cations around town: the Bar- the fair was developed as a becue site at East Wortman forum for local growers to Park (11 a.m. until sold out), share feeding and breeding Town Center/Rite-Aid Shop- techniques. The event evolved ping Center (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), intothe"PacificCoastTurkey the downtown festival on Exhibit" and then became Third and Davis Streets (Noon Turkey Rama when the Chain- until sold out), and at a half berjoined in 1961. sale station at the south side This year's event returns of town- location to be deter- to the original "Turkey mined (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). W e,WL Bead Sale "Personalities & Reflections" 20-40% off .... ,I? Spaghetti Soups & Salads Hot & Cold Sandwiches everythin&.old can new again. 226 NE 3rd McMinnville 824 SE 1st St. 503.472.7868 McMinnville, Oregon 503-583-1398 We Offer Wide Experience In... 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