The State Land Board on Tuesday approved a land exchange between the state and Deschutes County to allow the county to expand the Redmond fairgrounds, as well as its ability to provide emergency services.
The exchange traded 140 acres of the state’s South Redmond Tract for more than 137 acres of industrial land in Redmond.
Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang told the Land Board the fairgrounds have been crucial for recent emergency response.
More than 100,000 people have received COVID-19 vaccines on-site. Circuit court proceedings have been held at the fairgrounds to accommodate social distancing needs.
The fairgrounds also provided refuge for hundreds during the 2020 fire season. Chang anticipates it will shelter future Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake evacuees.
“This land exchange will expand these possibilities—it will expand what our fairgrounds can do for our community,” Chang said.
The transaction is part of a collaborative effort between the Department of State Lands, Deschutes County, the City of Redmond and other partners to plan for the use of the South Redmond Tract, a 940-acre parcel of state-owned land southeast of Redmond.
Planning has resulted in the creation of new large-lot industrial land that will enhance economic development, as well as the sale of land to the Oregon Military Department for a new readiness center.
This, along with the fairgrounds expansion will support emergency services in Central Oregon.