Milton-Freewater Community Profile

PO Box 6, 722 S Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97826
Phone 541-938-5531 • Fax 541-938-3924
Web Page • E-Mail:

City Location

County(ies): Umatilla    Incorporated in 1950
Location: Northeast Oregon, 5 miles south of the Oregon/Washington border
Nearest Major Highway and Distance: I-84 | 35 miles
Nearest Major City and Distance:
Walla Walla, WA | 10 miles, Estimated Drive Time: 10 minutes
Distance to Portland: 238 miles

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

Recreational Amenities

Blue Mountains, Apple Bloom Festival, Muddy Frog Water and Corn Roast Festival, Frazier Farmstead winetasting, Mary Stewart Craft Show, 18-hole golf course, aquatic center with waterslide, hiking, skiing, camping and water sports.

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

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


Elevation: 971'      Measurement Location: Walla Walla, Wa

Monthly Ave. Low: 28°F           Monthly Ave. High: 89°F
Hottest Month: July                  Coldest Month: January
Driest Month: July                    Wettest Month: November
Average annual precipitation: 14.430"

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

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 Milton-Freewater5,533 6,470 6,540 6,585
Umatilla County 59,249 70,548 72,395 72,190
Sources: 1990, 2000 US Census; 2205, 2006 Center for Population Research and Census, Portland State University. 0 indicates data is unavailable.

Umatilla County 3,231 sq miles   22 persons/sq mile Sources: figures based on 2006 PSU population estimates;
Oregon Bluebook county square mileage

Community Age Groups

Under 5 years311 4,040 473 592

5-19 years1,030 1,101 1,212 1,605

20-44 years1,036 1,684 1,995 2,127

45-64 years1,017 959 815 1,184

65+ years711 938 1,038 962

Median Age36 32 33 31.7

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 Milton-Freewater1,082 1,745 2,251 2,450 $77,300
Umatilla County 12,759 21,035 24,333 27,676 $98,100

City of Milton-Freewater 2000 Housing Breakout:Also visit Housing and
Community Services Web Site:
Vacancy Rate:11.35%
Median Owner Cost
Owner Occupied:137

Renter Occupied:88
Median Gross Rent:$462

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

Economic Development and Employment

Principal Industries of the County(ies):
Umatilla County—Agriculture, food processing, wood products

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

Agricultural Products of the Area (Top 3 largest gross farm sales):
Umatilla County—Vegetable crops, field crops, cattle and calves

Source: Oregon State University, Extension Economic Information Office

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the County:
Umatilla County 97

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

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the City: 12
Source: City Administration

Economic Indicators

Umatilla CountyOregon


Labor Force38,17738,5191,802,9381,793,7731,840,133
Total Employment1,715,4531,679,9141,701,390
Unemployment Rate7.2%8%4.9%6.3%7.5%
Non-Farm Payroll Employment27,99028,3101,606,8001,596,1001,572,500
Total Covered Employment28,63129,2051,607,9441,596,9431,573,083
Total Covered Payroll
($ thousands county/
$ millions state)
Ave. Annual Payroll Per Employee$26,732$27,656$32,776$33,202$33,684
Number of Business Units1,8711,860108,432111,353113,097
Total Personal Income ($ millions)$157,802$162,417$94,999$98,500$101,358
Annual Per Capita Personal Income$$22,789$27,649$28,40028,792
Assessed Value of Property ($ millions)$0$4,218$198,911$210,435$219,878
Residential Construction
  Building Permits
  Value ($ thousands)





Travel Expenditures ($ millions)$0$95,100$6,133$6,128$6,208
Travel-Related Employment01,71089,80091,10090,200

 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
Sykes Enterprises, Inc.—Customer Support Call Center 400

Milton-Freewater Unified School District —Education 220

Oregon Coalition of Child Development - OCDC—Child care 106

E. Brown and Sons Inc. —Apples 80

City of Milton-Freewater—Municipality 70

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.—Click on Regional Information.

Local and Regional Economic Development Organizations

City of Milton-Freewater, Assistant City Manager — 541-938-5531 x 131

Umatilla County— 541-278-6209

Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation 541-276-6745

Port of Umatilla— 541-922-3224

Rural Economic and Community Development Agency 541-278-4625

Economic & Community Development Department Regional Development Officer— 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:
Milton-Freewater Unified School District 7
138 S Main St
Milton-Freewater, OR 97862-1343
Phone: 541-938-3551
Fax: 541-938-6704
Web site:

Staff and Enrollments:
District Certified Staff: reported October 2000—124
Total District Enrollment: reported October 2001—1,980

Other Schools in the School District (Private, Parochial)
To see if there are private and/or parochial schools in this district please visit

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


Oregon Economic and Community Development Department Workforce Advocate 503–986–0207, or visit Locate local workforce assistance at

Financial Information

Financial Institutions

Commercial Banks: 3   Savings and Loans: 0   Credit Unions: 1
Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation offers public lending programs.
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 Umatilla County assessor’s office at 541–278–6221.

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.

Umatilla County
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1997-98$15.39
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1998-99$15.36
Average 1999 Housing Value$59,055
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1997-98$883.55
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1998-99$907.09
Average School rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . $6.84

Average Non-School Rate 1998-99. . . . $5.02

Average City Rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . . $4.67

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,

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

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; Oregon Department of Transportation, Rail Section, 555 13th St., NE, Salem, OR 97310–1333, 503–986–4125, web; Oregon Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Transport Branch, 550 Capitol St., NE, Salem, OR 97301–3871, 503–378–6699, web

Oregon's Business Incentives.

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

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

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

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

Hazardous Substance Fee—Paid by possessors of nonpetroleum hazardous substance. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Petroleum Load Fee—Paid by petroleum suppliers and importers to Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Timber Severance Tax—Paid by timber owners on harvested timber’s value. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Forest Products Harvest Tax—Paid on timber cut from any land in Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Dry Cleaning Tax—Paid by operators of dry cleaning facilities. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

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

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

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

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: Milton-Freewater Fire Dept., 2 stations; Milton-Freewater RFD, 2 stations
Number of paid and volunteer firefighters: 22
Rating by Insurance Services Organization (ISO): 4*
Comments: Fire Dept. 1998 data, Rural Fire Dept. 2000 data; *ISO ratings and number of firefighters unreported-last reported numbers.
Source: Oregon State Fire Marshal, Oregon Fire Service Resource Directory 2000

Police Department: Milton-Freewater Police Department
Number of paid and reserve officers: 14

Nearest Hospital and distance: Walla Walla Hospital, 10 miles in Walla Walla, WA
Regional Hospital and distance: Walla Walla Hospital, 10 miles in Walla Walla, WA
Emergency services to community: Ambulance Service
General Clinic(s): 1

Source: City Administration

Communications Resources

Local Newspapers: Valley Times, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Blue Mountain Pioneer

Regional Newspapers: East Oregonian

Radio Stations: 1 AM, 1 FM - local stations

TV Stations: 1 local station (Walla Walla, WA)

Available Cable Television: Charter Cable

Telephone Service Provider(s): Qwest

Local Internet Service Provider(s): Yes
Number of Internet Service Providers: 3
Source: City Administration

Library System
1 public library

Source: City Administration

Planning Service/Regulatory

Regulatory SystemYear AcknowledgedYear Last
Year of Periodic ReviewComments
Comprehensive Plan1980 1999 1998
Zoning Ordinance

Building Permit System
Contract with state for building permit issuance
Subdivision Ordinance

Strategic Plan

Territory Covered by Zoning
Municipality Data unavailable at this time.     County Data unavailable at this time.
Source: City Administration

Industrial Lands
Does the Community seek industrial development? Yes
Access Statewide industrial lands database—
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:
Birch Creek Water Control District, ORS; Blue Mountain Translator District; Cover R.F.P.D.; East Umatilla Chemical Control District; East Umatilla County Health District; Echo R.F.P.D.; Elgin Community Parks and Recreation District; Elgin R.F.P.D.; Helix Park and Recreation District; Helix R.F.P.D. #7-411; Hermiston Irrigation District; Hermiston R.F.P.D. #7-404; Hudson Bay District Improvement Company; Imbler R.F.P.D.; Island City Area Sanitation District; Lower McKay Creek Water Control District; Lower McKay Dam R.F.P.D. #7-410; Lower McKay R.F.P.D.; Marion Jack Improvement District; Milton-Freewater Water Control District; Pilot Rock Park and Recreation District; Pilot Rock R.F.P.D.; Pioneer Irrigation Company; Port of Umatilla; Rieth Water District; Riverside Mission Water Control District; Riverside R.F.P.D. #7-406; Stanfield Fire District #7-402; Stanfield Irrigation District; Teel Irrigation District; Umatilla County E.S.D.; Umatilla County S.W.C.D.; Umatilla County Special Library District; Umatilla Hospital District; Umatilla R.F.P.D. #7-405; Umatilla River Water Control District #1; Walla Walla River Irrigation District; West Umatilla Vector Control District; Westland Irrigation District; Weston-Athena Memorial Hall Park and Recreation District

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


Water Supply

Operator: City of Milton-Freewater
District: N/A
Source: Surface Water; Basalt Wells
Supply: Capacity (MGD)–8.00; Pressure (PSI)–50.00

Current Water Utilization on Meter Size (MGD): 2.40-6.00 MGD
Water Costs per thousand gallons: Base rate per/thousand = 0-5,000 gal $13.25/mo; 5,000-50,000 gal $.88/1,000 gal; 50,000-500,000 gal $.95/1,000
Water Costs for Total Consumption of Residential: Based on 7,000 gallons =

Age of Water System: 1900

Water System Comment(s): System Development charges: single family $285; multi-family/commercial 3/4" $285; 1" $485; 1 1/2" $1,282; 2" $2,280; 3" $4,560; 4" $6,840; 6" $14,820

Compliance Issues:

Water debt repayment included as part of tax assessment? Data unavailable at this time.

Date of Current Master Plan: 2002

Plans for Upgrading or Expanding:
Source: City Administration

Wastewater Treatment System

Operator: City of Milton-Freewater          Age of Wastewater Collection System: 1947
District: N/A

System Design Capacity (MGD): 0.86 MGD     System Utilization (MGD): 0.65 MGD
Collection System Fees: $21.50 single fam.*    Hook-up or Connection Fee: None
Access Fee or System Development Fee: $495 single family; $495/every 5 plumbing fixtures Commercial

Comment(s) on Wastewater System: $21.50/mo. single fam. dwellings. $27.50/mo, commercial first 10,000 gal. wtr. metered. $1.46/1000 gal. wtr. after first 10,000 gal. wtr. $60.25/mo. industrial treated. $508.30 per million gal. industrial not treated. Lift station constructed 1993/94 Phase I of III - upgraded existing storage pond. 2000/01 - Phase II of III upgraded sewer treatment plant 2001/02.

Compliance Issues: None

Date of Last Facility Plan:

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion: Phase III of III currently under construction, expected to be completed in early 2003. Project consists of constructing a pond at land application facility.

Storm Drain: No    Storm Water Discharge Fee:
Fees or issues related to storm drains: N/A
Source: City Administration


Is there access to broadband

If yes, check all that apply:

Is there route diversity? Data unavailable at this time.
AccessMonthly FeeOther Fee
T1 Yes
Cable Yes

For Oregon Telecommunications information and resources, visit

Natural Gas—Provider: Cascade Natural Gas
Lines and Feed:

Rate Structure: Cost per therm– Residential: $.61337, minimum $3.00 Commercial $.50916, minimum $3.00 Industrial: $.467440, minimum $12.00

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Electrical—Provider: City of Milton-Freewater
Lines and Feed: 93 miles of lines; lines from BPA to 2 substations

Rate Structure Residential: $8.00/month, $.0381/kwh

Small commercial: $8.00/mo, energy charge: 0-15,000kwh $.03633/kwh, 15,000+kwh $.03633/kwh; Demand charge: 0-20kw no charge, 20+ kw $5.25/kw

Large commercial: $8.00/mo, energy charge: 0-15,000kwh $.0343/kwh, 15,000-85,000kwh $.0233/kwh, 85,000+ kwh $.0233; demand charge: 0-15kw no charge, 15+ kw $5.25/kw

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Solid Waste Management: City of Milton-Freewater

Permit Status: In compliance Permit #106

Utility Expansion Plans: No significant expansion plans in the near future. Due to a franchise agreement we serve customers within the city limits. May consider composting next fiscal year.

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 Click on the Statistics 200x label (x being the most recent year).


Highways Hwy 11 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
Walla Walla Airport, 10 miles in Walla Walla, Washington
Air Service Comments:

Rail Service: Yes Blue Mountain Railroad
Freight Service: Yes    Passenger Service: No
If no local service, list closest Rail Service:

Marine No

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

Public Transportation Comment:

Bus Service Available in the Community: Yes 
Scheduled Bus Service Available: Yes    Buses Per Day: 3
Local Charter Services: Yes 
Distance to Nearest Bus Service: within city limits

Trucking Service
Scheduled Freight Carrier Services: Yes  
Overnight Express Parcel Service Available: Yes 
Overnight Express Mail Service Available: Yes
Transportation Comments:

For more information relating to transportation topics please visit the Department of Transportation web site. Airports (maps and general information); Bicycle and Pedestrian Route information; Public Transportation, bus and rail

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