State officials join Odell ceremony

Construction is underway on the new Cardinal IG (Insulating Glass) plant in the mid-valley — and Gov. Ted Kulongoski is joining Hood River County in a celebration.

The governor is expected to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony that begins at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The event is open to the public and will take place at the industrial site which formerly housed the lower Hanel Mill. Also attending will be Cardinal President Roger O’Shaughnessy, and both Rep. Patti Smith, R-Corbett, and Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Mt. Hood. They will be joined by numerous other local government leaders and business representatives.

“This is an opportunity for the community to come together around the project that has involved a great deal of time and energy from partners at both the state and local levels,” said Hood River Economic Development Coordinator Bill Fashing, who organized the event.

He said refreshments will be served and several speakers will take the podium to dedicate the Gorge branch of the national company. The $8 million facility will utilize about 10 of the 12 acres purchased by Cardinal from the Hanel Development Company late last winter. The new operation is expected to be up and running in January and provide 60 jobs initially, with more openings planned as production increases.

“I’m proud to have been a part of bringing this great company to our area for much-needed job opportunities and I know they are going to love it here,” Smith said.

David Windsor, plant manager, said the schedule for construction of the 185,000 square foot building has stayed on track largely because of the efforts expended by officials at all levels of government. Once the glass assembly company stated its intent to move to Odell in February, Cascade Locks expanded its state designated Enterprise Zone to the Hanel site so the new owner would qualify for start-up tax breaks. In addition, Hood River County undertook a land-use exception process that allowed an immediate expansion of sewer lines to the property. Meanwhile, Smith and Metsger successfully lobbied for the passage of legislation that streamlined the regulatory process to redevelop abandoned mill sites. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., also vowed support for the project, calling it a “shining ray of hope” for the county.

“This project is a culmination of a collective effort by many people to bring jobs to our community. I think this groundbreaking represents the beginning of a turnaround in job creation for the Mid-Columbia and is a harbinger of things to come,” Metsger said.

Windsor said the hiring process for employees to assemble the energy-efficient windows is also underway, and there appears to be no shortage of qualified workers.

“We’re very excited with who we are finding, there are very good people around here,” Windsor said. “I’m very excited about this, everyone has just come through for us.”

Cardinal selected Odell for its newest plant because the elevation, at 680 feet above sea level, was the perfect match to prevent breakage during the sealing process for double-pane and triple-pane glass.

The company was founded in 1962 as a single manufacturing firm in Minneapolis, Minn., which remains its headquarters.

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



Log in to comment

Columbia Gorge news and businesses