United Community Partners P.O. BOX 545 Halfway, Oregon 97834 president@unitedcommunitypartners.org 541-742-4065

UCP History

2001 United Community Partners (UCP) was formed at the request of the Halfway City Council as a 501C3 nonprofit community development organization.
  • Marvin Burgraff (mayor)
  • Gordon Kaesemeyer (council member)
The City Council assigns $20,000 from the Half.com grant which the UCP will administer.
A UCP board of directors was and bi-laws are written. Members are recruited.
  • Gordon Kaesemeyer, President
  • Tony Sowers, board member
A community meeting helps establish a potential list of projects
A long term plan, goals and strategies are established.
A program manager is hired (Mike Higgins).  He takes grant writing course.
UCP writes contracts for two grant writers, Patty Walker and Linda Collier
2002 City contracts UCP to write grant for major sewer system upgrade (final effluent sprayed on fields), $243,000
  • Patty Walker
UCP contracted to write grants for Pine Eagle Economic Development Corp (Granite Peaks assisted living project)-$80,000 in grants obtained for Granite Peaks.
  • Patty Walker
Developed a 9 page color brochure for Granite Peaks fund raising. UCP pays printer
  • Patty Walker
Grants obtained from National Fire Plan to provide matching funds to local land owners who want to clear fuels from buildings. $172,000. (Over 4 years 22 properties and 600 acres cleared and protected.)
  • Linda Collier
  • Kay Crane
  • Bruce Honeyman, Coordinator
Reviewed and updated the city’s transportation plan including sidewalk and bike path proposals, Identified funding sources
  • Patty Walker
Got several Pine Valley proposals on the Baker county top ten Needs and Issues list.
  • Patty Walker
Developed list and contact information of regional economic development organizations that can help promote local development.
  • Linda Collier
Plans benefit picnic for July 4th fireworks fund
  • Dale Beatty
UCP managers contract terminated
UCP Office set up with computer and DSL
2003 UCP support grants obtained from Ralph Smith foundation ($8000) and US Bank ($3000)
  • Patty Walker
Granite Peaks gotten  1st on Baker Co. Needs and Issues list
Leo Adler grant sought for Junior Rodeo
  • Zella Sly
Monetary and other support given to Bishop Springs wayside project ($500 paid to Ellen Obrian for grant writing)
  • Ellen O’Brian
A professional consulting team is hired to conduct a community outreach study. Interviews were conducted with many business and government people who represent different interest groups in the valley.  Recommendations for UCP publicity, networking, a ‘buy local’ campaign and project priorities reported. The following  work plan elements resulted:· Hold economic development workshops· Start small wood product business starting with clearings from the Fire Plan work· Support Granite Peaks· Develop a web site to advertise the community· Study needs related to attracting people to our community
  • Patty Walker
  • Linda Collier
A number of newspaper articles promoting interest in UCP and the above priorities are written before and after this time
2004 Morgan Grover is contracted by UCP to investigate, and promote the acquisition of the bowling alley as a community/youth center. A work plan is developed. A lease option is requested of NEODD (owners of the bowling alley). They refuse.
  • Morgan Grover
UCP receives $1000 from US Bank for the “Community Center Fund”
Gordon Kaesemeyer attends “Leadership Baker”
Two UCP operational  grants of about $8000 each gotten fromUS Bank and Ralph Smith Foundation
  • Patty Walker
UCP sponsors a businessman’s dinner with a facilitator to promote the UCP listen to business needs and reinvigorate the chamber of commerce. The Chamber has been active since.
  • Linda Collier
  • Patty Walker
Patty Walker and Linda Collier resign
UCP contracts with PARC (Public Affairs Research Consultants )of Weston, OR ,to write a Ford Foundation grant for Bowling Alley/Community Center feasibility and needs study, $6000 obtained for the study.
  • Gordon Kaesemeyer
Jeep donated to UCP, $3,300 received on sale
John Binford(formerly of UCP) purchased the Bowling Alley and begins remodel for use as a community/youth center
UCP wins Rural Community Assistance National Action Award
2005 State block grant written to develop a city “Water Master Plan” $60,000. Some of these funds went to an engineering company to write another block grant for one million dollars to repair and upgrade the city water system.
  • Steve White
Web Cam set up at the US bank linked to The Hell’s Canyon Chamber of Commerce Web site
  • Sue Forester
PARC sends completed Community Center Needs assessment and Feasibility Study
UCP gives $1000 to the Fairgrounds purchase fund
2006 Sister City established with Jeppo Finland, development ideas and people exchanged. Some monetary help given to UCP board chair Gordon Kaesemeyer to visit Finland.
UCP acts to get emergency funds from county ($7400) to prevent flooding of the city by Pine creek. Pine Telephone also gives money through UCP. Email copied to all influencial state politicians from UCP critical to getting emergency permits. Flood prevented by days or hours.
  • Gordon Kaesemeyer
  • Steve White
Leo Adler grant to operate the preschool, $3000
2007 Grant gotten to develop a large fish screen at the Five Points Irrigation Ditch. ($17,000) for study and design.
  • Linda Collier
Fire Plan grants still being obtained.
Community Center committee presents a business plan developed as part of a new effort to purchase and develop the bowling alley as a community center. The UCP would be the official responsible organization for the center and grant pass through
  • Forest and Ruai Gregory, chairmen of community center board
Linda Collier, Denise Christianson (UCP) propose “Friends and Neighbors” a group that will deliver hot meals to house bound citizens and anyone else for three dollars (or cost). The bowling alley kitchen will be rented for this. The UCP gives $2500 start up money which will be returned if not needed. They served 30-40 people/week in the first year.
  • Linda Collier
  • Denise Christiansen
UCP board chair attends Rural Development Initiatives Annual Conference (RDI) Cost $815. Promotes local issues
  • Gordon Kaesemeyer
UCP receives $7000 grant to study the business potential of the Pavilion (at the fairgrounds) the group votes to return the money since the Pavilion is in private hands. ?
The highway sign advertizing Halfway is refurbished, weeded and flowers planted with UCP labor.
  • Gordon Kaesemeyer
$100 given as seed money to Central Central, a local services registry web site that came out of a community development initiative.
$100 given to help with a mailing to solicit funds to support the medical clinic.
  • Linda Collier
2008 Ruai Gregory takes over as UCP board chairman from Gordon Kaesemeyer. She has attended the Ford Leadership training. Zella Sly is treasurer again.
  • Thanks Ruai
  • Thanks Zella
Leo Adler Grant of $2500 received for preschool
  • Ruai Gregory
UCP sponsors Erik Twombly  (Forest Service) to give talk about a new technology that could use local waste wood and provide a few jobs. This is called “Bio Char” The idea is to use a small mobile plant to create fuel oil and soil conditioner in this area and others.
2008 to present  [Document Note] This History is currently being updated by UCP – Come back soon! TBD