Editor’s Note: The following editorial is from the East Oregonian newspaper, Pendleton, Ore.
Success is sweet. Pendleton City Manager Larry Lehman and the city council can take a bow. We should all give them high fives.
Keystone RV Co. has decided to recommit to Pendleton and purchase the city-owned manufacturing building and the surrounding 30 acres, of which 10 acres are unused, for $3.12 million.
This purchase will net the city $1.25 million to use as it wishes, potentially to spawn further economic development in the city.
We thank Keystone, too, for its commitment to Pendleton as its western manufacturing center. Keystone and support companies Lippert and Kinro employ roughly 450 people locally.
There were questions when the city council supported Lehman in building a facility that Keystone now uses and is buying. It was an economic development risk that worked.
The lesson we should learn from the city’s success with Keystone is that attracting industry takes time, but it is worth some risk. The Keystone jobs are critical to the current economic health of Pendleton and the eastern part of Umatilla County. Perhaps the dollars earned from this success can fund further success at the industrial park and on other land in the city.