Heppner Community Profile

PO Box 756, 188 W Willow, Heppner, OR 97836
Phone 541-676-9618 • Fax 541-676-9650
Web Page http://www.heppner.net/city • E-Mail: heppner@centurytel.net

City Location

County(ies): Morrow    Incorporated in 1887
Location: North East Oregon
Nearest Major Highway and Distance: I-84 | 42 miles
Nearest Major City and Distance:
Pendleton | 60 miles, Estimated Drive Time: 1 hour
Distance to Portland: 185 miles

Source: Oregon Department of Transportation, State of Oregon Map; Oregon Blue Book

Recreational Amenities

Umatilla National Forest, Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, Willow Creek Lake, St. Patrick's Celebration, Celebrate Heppner, Oregon Trail Pro Rodeo and County Fair, Penland Lake, Willow Creek Water Park, Cutsforth Park, Auson Wright Park, Morrow County Museum, walking tour, big game and bird hunting, cross country skiing, snowmobiling.

Planning a vacation or a tour through an area of Oregon? Visit the Oregon Tourism Commission's web site at http://www.traveloregon.com/ for more information.

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce, local convention and visitor bureau


Elevation: 1,883'      Measurement Location: Heppner

Monthly Ave. Low: 26°F           Monthly Ave. High: 86°F
Hottest Month: July                  Coldest Month: January
Driest Month: July                    Wettest Month: November
Average annual precipitation: 14.040"

Humidity (Hour 10, local time):
Average July afternoon humidity: 34%
Average January afternoon humidity: 77%

Source: Oregon Climate Service

Information in the Community Profiles was derived from many sources, including local, state and federal sources. The Oregon Business Development Department cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Questions and comments may be directed to the department by telephone 503-986-0123, by fax 503-581-5115 or by email biz.info@state.or.us.

Profile Topics

Community Age Groups
Industries and Products
Demographic Data
5 Largest Employers
Economic Development Orgs
Financial Institutions
Business Taxes
Public Safety
Community Communications
Water Supply
Wastewater Treatment System
Natural Gas & Electrical

Profiles Home Page



City of Heppner1,412 1,395 1,420 1,415
Morrow County 7,625 10,995 11,945 12,125
Sources: 1990, 2000 US Census; 2205, 2006 Center for Population Research and Census, Portland State University. 0 indicates data is unavailable.

Morrow County 2,049 sq miles   6 persons/sq mile Sources: figures based on 2006 PSU population estimates;
Oregon Bluebook county square mileage

Community Age Groups

Under 5 years0 115 95 83

5-19 years0 0 300 291

20-44 years0 0 464 390

45-64 years0 0 298 348

65+ years0 247 255 283

Median Age35 0 38 42.3

Source: US Census, 0 or N/A indicates data is not available. Median value is the middle value, not an average.


Total Housing Units1970198019902000Median Value of
Housing, 2000
City of Heppner479 635 660 649 $73,200
Morrow County 1,489 2,833 3,412 4,276 $89,000

City of Heppner 2000 Housing Breakout:Also visit Housing and
Community Services Web Site:
Vacancy Rate:11.86%
Median Owner Cost

Owner Occupied:409

Renter Occupied:174
Median Gross Rent:$392

Source: US Census. Median value is the middle value, not an average.

Economic Development and Employment

Principal Industries of the County(ies):
Morrow County—Agriculture, food processing, utilities

Source: Oregon Employment Department, Covered Employment and Payroll Reports, 1998

Agricultural Products of the Area (Top 3 largest gross farm sales):
Morrow County—Field crops, cattle and calves, specialty products

Source: Oregon State University, Extension Economic Information Office

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the County:
Morrow County 19

Source: Oregon Employment Department, Covered Employment and Payroll Reports, 1998

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the City: 2
Source: City Administration

Economic Indicators

Morrow CountyOregon


Labor Force4,5174,7661,802,9381,793,7731,840,133
Total Employment1,715,4531,679,9141,701,390
Unemployment Rate10.8%10%4.9%6.3%7.5%
Non-Farm Payroll Employment3,0803,1101,606,8001,596,1001,572,500
Total Covered Employment3,3723,4941,607,9441,596,9431,573,083
Total Covered Payroll
($ thousands county/
$ millions state)
Ave. Annual Payroll Per Employee$27,296$28,374$32,776$33,202$33,684
Number of Business Units263274108,432111,353113,097
Total Personal Income ($ millions)$217,980$241,691$94,999$98,500$101,358
Annual Per Capita Personal Income$$20,826$27,649$28,40028,792
Assessed Value of Property ($ millions)$0$1,326$198,911$210,435$219,878
Residential Construction
  Building Permits
  Value ($ thousands)





Travel Expenditures ($ millions)$0$9,600$6,133$6,128$6,208
Travel-Related Employment019089,80091,10090,200

 Preliminary Data
Sources: Oregon Employment Department; Center for Population Research & Census, PSU; U.S. Census Bureau; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Oregon Tourism Commission; Oregon Department of Revenue; Oregon Economic and Community Development Department.

5 Largest Employers, Public and Private as of December, 2002

Employer—Product/ServiceNumber of
Morrow County—Government 120

Morrow County Health District—Government 110

Morrow County School District—Education 67

Heppner Ranger District— 3,060

Bank of Eastern Oregon— 20

Source: City Administration

Oregon Employment Labor Market Information

This link takes you to the Oregon Employment Department, Labor Market Analysis database. County information can be obtained here. http://olmis.emp.state.or.us/—Click on Regional Information.

Local and Regional Economic Development Organizations

City of Heppner—http://www.heppner.net/city 541-676-9618

Heppner Chamber of Commerce—http://www.rapidserve.net/chamber/index.html 541-676-5536

Morrow County Tourism Committee 541-676-5536

Greater Eastern Oregon Economic Development Corp. 541-276-6745

Mid-Columbia Economic Development District—http://www.mcedd.org/ 541-296-2266

Willow Creek Valley Economic Development Group 541-676-5536

Port of Morrow 541-481-7678

Economic & Community Development Department Regional Development Officer—http://econ.oregon.gov/ 541-963-8676

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department


Public and Private Schools K–12

Public School District:
Morrow School District 1
PO Box 368
Lexington, OR 97839-0368
Phone: 541-989-8202
Fax: 541-989-8470
Web site: http://www.morrow.k12.or.us/

Staff and Enrollments:
District Certified Staff: reported October 2000—155
Total District Enrollment: reported October 2001—2,293

Other Schools in the School District (Private, Parochial)
To see if there are private and/or parochial schools in this district please visit http://www.ode.state.or.us/pubs/directory/

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Oregon Community Colleges and Public Universities

Oregon map with higher ed institutions identified

legend for map

For a list of public and private educational institutions in Oregon visit http://www.oregon4biz.com/ed.htm.


Oregon Economic and Community Development Department Workforce Advocate 503–986–0207, or visit http://www.oregon4biz.com/workforce.htm. Locate local workforce assistance at http://www.worksourceoregon.org/.

Financial Information

Financial Institutions

Commercial Banks: 1   Savings and Loans: 1   Credit Unions: 0

Source: City Administration


Sales Tax Oregon has no general sales tax.

Property Tax
Property—Who pays? Owners of real and business personal property, according to the assessed value of taxable residential, commercial, farm, industrial, utility and timber property.

County assessors use permanent rates set for all taxing districts in fiscal year 1997–98, when taxes were significantly reduced with a statewide average 17 percent cut in tax levies. Certain types of levies are outside this reduction. The tax rates cannot exceed $15 per $1,000 of real market value. For 1997–98, all property was valued by county assessors at 90 percent of the July 1, 1995, levels. For subsequent years, assessed values are limited to a 3 percent annual growth rate. Construction since July 1, 1995, is valued at the average rate of similar properties in the area. Business personal property requires annual filing. One–third payment is due by November 15. If fully paid by November 15, a 3 percent discount is allowed. Special exemptions, tax relief programs and deferrals are available. For more information contact the Morrow County assessor’s office at 541–676–5607.

Tax rates are representative of the largest tax code in the city. The rates are expressed as tax liability per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Morrow County
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1997-98$14.30
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1998-99$14.43
Average 1999 Housing Value$35,997
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1997-98$0
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1998-99$519.44
Average School rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . $7.09

Average Non-School Rate 1998-99. . . . $20.81

Average City Rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . . $13.83

Business Taxes
Property—see above

Income—Corporations doing or authorized to do business in Oregon pay excise tax. Corporations not doing or authorized to do business, but having income from an Oregon source, pay income tax. For more information contact the Oregon Department of Revenue, 955 Center St., NE, Salem, OR 97301, 503–378–4988, http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/.

Unemployment Insurance—Employers pay this. For 2002, new employers are assigned a fixed rate of 3 percent of taxable wage base. Tax rates for existing employers are based on employers' experience and range from 1 percent to 5.4 percent of taxable wage base. Taxes are paid quarterly and are due by the end of the month following the quarter. In 2002, the tax is paid on the first $25,000 of wages paid to each employee. The rate schedule in effect depends on the balance in the Trust Fund as of August 31 each year and the amount of revenue needed to maintain the balance at a level adequate to pay benefits. For more information contact the Oregon Employment Department, 875 Union St., NE, Salem, OR 97301, 503–947–1488, web http://www.employment.oregon.gov/.

Utilities, Railroad, Weight-mile—Who pays? All railroads and investor-owned utilities operating with the state pay an annual fee. For-hire and private motor carriers operating into, within and through the state pay weight-mile taxes. Rates—limit of .25 percent of gross operating revenues of investor-owned utilities; .25 percent charged on 2002 revenues. Limit of .35 percent on gross operating revenues of railroads; .267 percent charged in 2002 revenues. Applications, plate fees and per-mile rates dependent on declared combined weight of vehicle. For more information contact the Oregon Public Utility Commission, 550 Capitol St., NE, Suite 215, Salem, OR 97301–2551, 503–378–6611, web http://www.oregon.gov/PUC/; Oregon Department of Transportation, Rail Section, 555 13th St., NE, Salem, OR 97310–1333, 503–986–4125, web http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/RAIL/; Oregon Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Transport Branch, 550 Capitol St., NE, Salem, OR 97301–3871, 503–378–6699, web http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/.

Oregon's Business Incentives.

Other incentives: Work Opportunity Credit, Welfare-to-Work Credit, Enterprise Zone property tax relief (includes hotel/motel option)

Motor Vehicle Licensing, Driver Licensing, Fuels—Who pays? Owners and operators of motor vehicles. Oil companies importing fuels. Truckers using Oregon highways. Fees—Registration fees, driver license fees and renewals (contact the Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services division 503–945–5000, web http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/

Hunting and Fishing Licenses—contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, PO Box 59, Portland, OR 97207, general information 503–872–5268, licenses/tags/permits 503–872–5275, web http://www.dfw.state.or.us/.

Amusement Device Tax—An excise tax is imposed upon every person who operates an amusement device in Oregon. An amusement device is a video lottery game terminal. More information from the Oregon Lottery Commission, 500 Airport Rd SE, Salem, 97301, web http://www.oregonlottery.org/.

Emergency Communications (9–1–1) Tax—Telephone companies providing local exchange access services in Oregon Collect this tax from their customers. The tax, which is $0.75 per line per month, is reported and paid quarterly. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/.

Hazardous Substance Fee—Paid by possessors of nonpetroleum hazardous substance. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/.

Petroleum Load Fee—Paid by petroleum suppliers and importers to Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/.

Timber Severance Tax—Paid by timber owners on harvested timber’s value. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/.

Forest Products Harvest Tax—Paid on timber cut from any land in Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/.

Dry Cleaning Tax—Paid by operators of dry cleaning facilities. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/.

Alcoholic Beverages—Manufacturers and/or import wholesalers of malt beverages and wines pay a privilege tax. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of distilled spirits, malt beverages and wines pay license fees. Employees who serve alcoholic beverages pay for service permits. For more information contact the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, PO Box 22297, Portland, OR 97222, 503–872–5000 or 1–800–452–6522 (in Oregon), web http://www.oregon.gov/OLCC/.

Tobacco Products—Cigarette and tobacco products distributors are required to purchase tax stamps for cigarettes or pay a percentage of the wholesale price on other tobacco products. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/.

Transit Payroll Tax–paid by employers in the Tri-Met (Portland area) and Lane Transit District (Eugene) for mass transit systems. Administered by the Department of Revenue, web http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/.

Many local governments in Oregon collect other taxes, such as hotel-motel taxes. Contact the city or county in which you are interested for more complete information about taxes in that area.

Source: Oregon Department of Revenue, “A Summary of Taxes,” January 2002; County information–County Assessor’s Office

Community Services and Resources

Public Safety/Emergency Services

Fire Station(s) serving community: Heppner Fire Department, Heppner Rural Fire Department
Number of paid and volunteer firefighters: 20
Rating by Insurance Services Organization (ISO):
City of Heppner

Police Department: Morrow County Sheriff's Department
Number of paid and reserve officers: 3
Comments: Contracted with Morrow County. Positive comments from citizens as to Sheriff's activities in town.

Nearest Hospital and distance: Pioneer Memorial Hospital, Heppner
Regional Hospital and distance: Pioneer Memorial Hospital, Heppner
Emergency services to community: Ambulance Service, Life Flight Service
General Clinic(s): 2

Source: City Administration

Communications Resources

Local Newspapers: Heppner Gazette-Times

Regional Newspapers: East Oregonian, Hermiston Herald

Radio Stations: KUMA Pendleton, KONA Tri Cities

TV Stations: Portland, Tri Cities, ABC, CBS, NBC etc

Available Cable Television: Heppner Cable TV

Telephone Service Provider(s): CenturyTel

Local Internet Service Provider(s): Yes
Number of Internet Service Providers: 2
Source: City Administration

Library System
1 public library

Source: City Administration

Planning Service/Regulatory

Regulatory SystemYear AcknowledgedYear Last
Year of Periodic ReviewComments
Comprehensive Plan1980
Zoning Ordinance
2002 Update
Building Permit System

Morrow County contracted through City of Boardman
Subdivision Ordinance

Strategic Plan
2003 Update

Territory Covered by Zoning
Municipality Yes     County Yes
Source: City Administration

Industrial Lands
Does the Community seek industrial development? Yes
Access Statewide industrial lands database—http://www.oregonprospector.com/
Source: Economic and Community Development Department

Special Districts and Associations (ports, water, sewer, etc.)
Name of Special District and the Oregon Revised Statute it was created under:
Heppner R.F.P.D.; Heppner Water Control District; Morrow County Health District; Morrow County Unified Recreation District; Morrow S.W.C.D.; Oregon Trail Library District; Port of Morrow; Willow Creek Park District

Special Districts Association of Oregon—727 Center St., NE Salem, OR 97301, 503–371–8667 or 800–285–5461 http://www.sdao.com/
Source: City Administration


Water Supply

Operator: City of Heppner
Source: Ground Water; Deep wells, Willow Creek Aquifers
Supply: Capacity (MGD)–1.0; Pressure (PSI)–68.00

Current Water Utilization on Meter Size (MGD): 0.7 MGD
Water Costs per thousand gallons: Base rate per/thousand = $11.75 basic rate; 0.80/1,000 gal after first 1,000
Water Costs for Total Consumption of Residential: Based on 7,000 gallons =$16.55

Age of Water System: 1938

Water System Comment(s): $300 hookup fee; other fees/permits or costs billed monthly. Water system master plan completed. Proposing water system improvements 2003.

Compliance Issues: None

Water debt repayment included as part of tax assessment? Yes

Date of Current Master Plan: 2002

Plans for Upgrading or Expanding: Proposing improvements in 2003
Source: City Administration

Wastewater Treatment System

Operator: City of Heppner          Age of Wastewater Collection System: 1954
District: City of Heppner

System Design Capacity (MGD): 0.5 MGD     System Utilization (MGD): 0.25 MGD
Collection System Fees: $21.10    Hook-up or Connection Fee: $300
Access Fee or System Development Fee:

Comment(s) on Wastewater System:

Compliance Issues:

Date of Last Facility Plan: 1994

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Storm Drain: Yes    Storm Water Discharge Fee:
Fees or issues related to storm drains: None
Source: City Administration


Is there access to broadband

If yes, check all that apply:
Fiberoptic Satellite

Is there route diversity? Yes
AccessMonthly FeeOther Fee
T1 Yes
Cable No

For Oregon Telecommunications information and resources, visit http://www.oregon4biz.com/inn.htm.

Natural Gas—Provider: None
Lines and Feed:

Rate Structure:

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Electrical—Provider: Columbia Basin Coop
Lines and Feed:

Rate Structure Data not available at this time

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Solid Waste Management: Heppner Garbage Disposal

Permit Status:

Utility Expansion Plans:

Utilities Source: City Administration; PGE information supplied by PGE. Note: We update utility rates periodically. Actual rates may change more often than that. For the most current rate for any carrier please consult the Public Utilities Commission web site at http://www.puc.state.or.us/commsion/default.htm Click on the Statistics 200x label (x being the most recent year).


Highways Hwy 74 NW/E route, local access; Hwy 207 N/S route, local access   Transportation Access Fee: $0

Community Air Service No
If no local service, list closest Air Facility
Air Passenger Service: No
Airport Freight Service: No
Morrow County Airport, 9 miles in Lexington
Air Service Comments:

Rail Service: No 
Freight Service: No    Passenger Service: No
If no local service, list closest Rail Service: Passenger - Hermiston Freight - Port of Morrow

Marine Yes
Description: Port of Morrow
Docks, Port Facilities: Same
Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Transportation issues which might confront development, such as non-attainment air shed, etc.:

Public Transportation Comment: County Dial-A-Ride

Bus Service Available in the Community: No Morrow County Special Transportation
Scheduled Bus Service Available: No    Buses Per Day:
Local Charter Services: Yes Mid Columbia Bus
Distance to Nearest Bus Service:

Trucking Service
Scheduled Freight Carrier Services: Yes  UPS, Fedex, USPS, Eastern Oregon Fast Freight
Overnight Express Parcel Service Available: No 
Overnight Express Mail Service Available: No
Transportation Comments:

For more information relating to transportation topics please visit the Department of Transportation web site. Airports (maps and general information) http://www.tripcheck.com/About/airport.htm; Bicycle and Pedestrian Route information http://www.tripcheck.com/About/bicycle.htm; Public Transportation, bus and rail http://www.tripcheck.com/About/busrail.htm.

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce (proprietary information)