Ontario Community Profile

444 SW 4th Street, Ontario, OR 97914
Phone 541-889-7684 • Fax 541-889-7121
Web Page http://www.ontariooregon.org

City Location

County(ies): Malheur    Incorporated in 1899
Location: Eastern Oregon, adjacent to the Snake River on the Oregon/Idaho border. City resides in the Mountain Time Zone.
Nearest Major Highway and Distance: I-84 | Local
Nearest Major City and Distance:
Boise, ID | 57 miles, Estimated Drive Time: 1 hour
Distance to Portland: 370 miles

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

Recreational Amenities

Lake Owyhee State Park, Succor Creek State Recreational Area, Snake River @ Farewell Bend, Bogus Basin Ski Resort, Brundage Mt. Ski Resort, Anthony Lakes Ski Resort, Sumpter, Unity Phillips Reservoir, 5 city parks and one golf course, indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, skate park.

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: 2,150'      Measurement Location: Ontario

Monthly Ave. Low: 19°F           Monthly Ave. High: 96°F
Hottest Month: July                  Coldest Month: January
Driest Month: July                    Wettest Month: December
Average annual precipitation: 9.680"

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 Ontario9,394 10,985 11,245 11,325
Malheur County 26,038 31,615 31,800 31,725
Sources: 1990, 2000 US Census; 2205, 2006 Center for Population Research and Census, Portland State University. 0 indicates data is unavailable.

Malheur County 9,926 sq miles   3 persons/sq mile Sources: figures based on 2006 PSU population estimates;
Oregon Bluebook county square mileage

Community Age Groups

Under 5 years527 0 865 1,041

5-19 years2,039 0 2,261 2,720

20-44 years1,850 0 3,086 3,486

45-64 years1,353 0 1,578 2,043

65+ years754 0 1,435 1,695

Median Age28 0 35 30.9

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 Ontario1,931 3,275 3,819 4,445 $85,900
Malheur County 5,896 9,083 10,649 11,233 $86,900

City of Ontario 2000 Housing Breakout:Also visit Housing and
Community Services Web Site:
Vacancy Rate:8.12%
Median Owner Cost

Owner Occupied:1,134

Renter Occupied:612
Median Gross Rent:$453

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

Economic Development and Employment

Principal Industries of the County(ies):
Malheur County—Agriculture, livestock, food processing

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

Agricultural Products of the Area (Top 3 largest gross farm sales):
Malheur County—Cattle and calves, field crops, vegetable crops

Source: Oregon State University, Extension Economic Information Office

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the County:
Malheur County 26

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

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the City: 17
Source: City Administration

Economic Indicators

Malheur CountyOregon


Labor Force14,86714,8671,802,9381,793,7731,840,133
Total Employment1,715,4531,679,9141,701,390
Unemployment Rate8.4%8.9%4.9%6.3%7.5%
Non-Farm Payroll Employment12,11011,8401,606,8001,596,1001,572,500
Total Covered Employment13,12812,6601,607,9441,596,9431,573,083
Total Covered Payroll
($ thousands county/
$ millions state)
Ave. Annual Payroll Per Employee$23,163$24,164$32,776$33,202$33,684
Number of Business Units920913108,432111,353113,097
Total Personal Income ($ millions)$566,279$581,883$94,999$98,500$101,358
Annual Per Capita Personal Income$$18,608$27,649$28,40028,792
Assessed Value of Property ($ millions)$0$1,446$198,911$210,435$219,878
Residential Construction
  Building Permits
  Value ($ thousands)





Travel Expenditures ($ millions)$0$36,400$6,133$6,128$6,208
Travel-Related Employment056089,80091,10090,200

 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 November, 2002

Employer—Product/ServiceNumber of
Heinz Frozen Foods—Frozen Potato Products 1,100

Treasure Valley Community College —Education 260

SRCI—Correctional Institution 1,000

School District 8-C—Education 380

Holy Rosary Medical Center —Health Care 480

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 Ontario—http://www.ontariooregon.org 541-881-3210

Malheur County Economic Development—http://www.malheurco.org/ 541-881-0327

Ontario Development Corporation 541-889-8012

Ontario Chamber of Commerce —http://www.ontariochamber.com/ 541-889-8012

Ontario Visitors & Convention Bureau—http://www.ontariochamber.com/ 541-889-8012

GEODC Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation 541-575-2786

Economic & Community Development Department Regional Development Officer—http://econ.oregon.gov/ 541-575-1050

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


Public and Private Schools K–12

Public School District:
Ontario School District 8C
195 SW 3rd Ave
Ontario, OR 97914-2768
Phone: 541-889-5374
Fax: 541-889-8553
Web site: http://www.ontario.k12.or.us/

Staff and Enrollments:
District Certified Staff: reported October 2000—189
Total District Enrollment: reported October 2001—2,838

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
Boise State University located in Boise, Idaho–55 miles away; Albertson’s College located in Caldwell, Idaho–30 miles away.

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/.
Industrial Training Center; Training and Employment Consortium

Financial Information

Financial Institutions

Commercial Banks: 6   Savings and Loans: 1   Credit Unions: 1
7 mortgage brokers, 2 financial companies
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 Malheur County assessor’s office at 541–473–5117.

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.

Malheur County
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1997-98$12.62
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1998-99$12.51
Average 1999 Housing Value$52,414
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1997-98$645.47
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1998-99$655.70
Average School rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . $5.66

Average Non-School Rate 1998-99. . . . $8.52

Average City Rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . . $5.54

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: Enterprise Zone

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: Ontario Fire Department, 1 station
Number of paid and volunteer firefighters: 41
Rating by Insurance Services Organization (ISO): 3-8*
Comments: Last reported in 1996; *number of firefighters from City web site; ISO rating is last reported rating in directory.
Source: Oregon State Fire Marshal, Oregon Fire Service Resource Directory 2000

Police Department: Ontario Police Department
Number of paid and reserve officers: 32

Nearest Hospital and distance: Holy Rosary Medical Center
Regional Hospital and distance: Holy Rosary Medical Center
Emergency services to community: Ambulance Service & Life Flight
General Clinic(s): 3

Source: City Administration

Communications Resources

Local Newspapers: The Argus Observer

Regional Newspapers: The Oregonian, The Idaho Statesman

Radio Stations: KCID, KSRV AM stations, KSRV FM

TV Stations: City receives Boise, ID, area stations

Available Cable Television: Cable One, Snake River Communications

Telephone Service Provider(s): Malheur Bell

Local Internet Service Provider(s): Yes
Number of Internet Service Providers: 7
Source: City Administration

Library System
Ontario Public Library

Source: City Administration

Planning Service/Regulatory

Regulatory SystemYear AcknowledgedYear Last
Year of Periodic ReviewComments
Comprehensive Plan1985 1999 2007
Zoning Ordinance

Building Permit System

Subdivision Ordinance

Strategic Plan

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:
Malheur County E.S.D.; Malheur County S.W.C.D.

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 Ontario
District: N/A
Source: Ground Water Surface Water; Snake River, 8 wells
Supply: Treated; Capacity (MGD)–11.00; Pressure (PSI)–75.00

Current Water Utilization on Meter Size (MGD): 4.40-9.70 MGD
Water Costs per thousand gallons: Base rate per/thousand = $6.58 0-4,000 gallons
Water Costs for Total Consumption of Residential: Based on 7,000 gallons = $9.24

Age of Water System: 1910

Water System Comment(s): Hook up Fee: actual cost of material + labor + 15% administration costs.

Compliance Issues: Yes

Water debt repayment included as part of tax assessment? No

Date of Current Master Plan: 2002

Plans for Upgrading or Expanding: City is currently working on designing a 4MGD water treatment plant expansion, as well as construction of a major supply line upgrade to the west side of town.
Source: City Administration

Wastewater Treatment System

Operator: City of Ontario          Age of Wastewater Collection System: 1958
District: N/A

System Design Capacity (MGD): 3.06 MGD     System Utilization (MGD): 1.90 MGD
Collection System Fees: $35.29 (1 ERU) at 7,700 gal/mo.    Hook-up or Connection Fee: *
Access Fee or System Development Fee: Resolution of intent adopted 1997.

Comment(s) on Wastewater System: *material + labor + 15% + $10.00 inspection fee. Major system improvement project completed in 1995 and 1999.

Compliance Issues: None

Date of Last Facility Plan: 1997

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Storm Drain: Yes    Storm Water Discharge Fee:
Fees or issues related to storm drains: Residential: $1.16/month; Business: $6.41/month (sq. ft. impervious area divided by 2,500 times $1.10 = monthly fee)
Source: City Administration


Is there access to broadband

If yes, check all that apply:
Microwave Fiberoptic

Is there route diversity? Yes
AccessMonthly FeeOther Fee
T1 Yes
Cable Yes

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

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

Rate Structure: Cost per therm: Residential: $.91034, minimum $3.00 Commercial: $.81773, minimum $3.00 Industrial: $.7796900, minimum $12.00

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Electrical—Provider: Idaho Power Company
Lines and Feed:

Rate Structure Residential: First 300 kwh $.038766/kwh, 300 kwh+ $.048164/kwh Customer Charge per meter per month $4.00
Commercial: $5 per meter per month single phase; $10 per meter month 3 phase
$3.81/kw and .031986/kwh
Industrial: $10 per meter per month
$3.81/kw and .0311234/kwh

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Solid Waste Management: Ontario Sanitary Service

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 I-84 N/w/SE route, local; Hwy 20 W route, local; Hwy 26 W route, local; Hwy 201 N/S route, local   Transportation Access Fee: $0

Community Air Service Yes Ontario Municipal Airport If no local service, list closest Air Facility
Air Passenger Service: No
Airport Freight Service: Yes FedEx, UPS Boise, ID
Air Service Comments: Navigation Aids: NDB; Runway Dimensions: 14/32: 4,531' x 100'; Runway surface: asphalt, fair condition; Operations: 17,000 flights/yr.

Rail Service: Yes Union Pacific
Freight Service: Yes    Passenger Service: No
If no local service, list closest Rail Service: Passenger: Pasco, Salt Lake City

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 Greyhound, City of Ontario bus
Scheduled Bus Service Available: Yes    Buses Per Day: 4
Local Charter Services: No 
Distance to Nearest Bus Service:

Trucking Service
Scheduled Freight Carrier Services: Yes  Eastern Oregon Fast Freight and UPS
Overnight Express Parcel Service Available: Yes Fedex, Roadrunner, Airborne Express, UPS, Post Office
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) 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)