Umatilla’s efforts to revitalize downtown will include hiring an economic development consultant and creating a new community development department.

Umatilla’s efforts to revitalize downtown will include hiring an economic development consultant and creating a new community development department.

E.J. Harris/East Oregonian

The city of Umatilla’s top goal for this year is downtown revitalization, and staff and city councilors are enthusiastic about prompting a change.

Early in 2018 the Oregon Department of Transportation plans to give Sixth Street a facelift using bulb-outs, decorative crosswalks, new lighting and other features to encourage drivers passing through town on Highway 730 to slow down. In the meantime, however, the city is doing its own part to change downtown Umatilla’s image.

“Basically what we’re saying is Umatilla is open for business,” councilor Mark Ribich said.

As part of that change, the city plans to create a new “community development” department with a new department head that would focus on economic development, code enforcement and parks and recreation.

Read more at the East Oregonian.