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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Lime city promoter hopes to bring jobs to Huntington

Lime city promoter hopes to bring jobs to Huntington


By Terri Harber

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Steven Golieb plans to bring businesses to the eastern Baker County community of Huntington.

The city of 440 residents is about five miles southeast of Lime, which now contains the rundown and vandalized remains of an abandoned lime quarry and cement producing plant. 

Golieb, president of Project Lime, Corp. and chief executive officer of Golieb Global, ultimately intends to turn Lime into a self-sustaining city that could support 4,000 to 5,000 people. 

Getting support for this development effort is going to be important as it progresses, Golieb said.

Huntington residents would be affected by such development just a few miles away.

Golieb has visited Huntington multiple times and talked to people there about what he wants to do.

The purpose of bringing employment to the area now “is to show how serious I am about developing Lime,” Golieb said.

“The sooner I can get people involved, the better. There’s no reason to wait to bring jobs to the area if I’m capable of that.”

‘Time banking’

Golieb announced that Time Banking, LLC, would be coming to Huntington first and that people could apply for jobs there soon, perhaps as early as next month.

This will be a start-up endeavor. It’s not a traditional bank — the exchange of time and labor among customers will serve as currency.

Direct exchanges of services between two parties, such as with bartering, aren’t required at a time bank. Activities occur among all active members and are documented by the bank in individual accounts.

One member might fix a kitchen window for another member. The effort and result would be noted and both parties’ accounts would be adjusted by adding time to the repair person’s account and taking away time from the account of the person whose window was fixed.

Later, the window repairer could approach the bank to fulfill his or her own need — an evening of child care, for example.

The person providing the child care isn’t the one who received the repair work but is a bank member and someone identified as a child care resource. 

So after the child care is provided, these parties’ accounts are adjusted to reflect the effort provided and service received.

The person who received the window repair work would be paying back the bank by offering their own service — such as a Swedish massage — to a fourth member.

Then the cycle continues.

A time bank not only keeps track of services provided and services used. It also knows what each member can offer as a service and matches customers with special skills to those who require that skill.

There are existing time banks in Oregon such as the Portland Family Time Bank in Portland, Southern Oregon Time Bank in Ashland, and Umpqua Valley Time Exchange in Roseburg.

It’s a concept created by law professor Edgar Cahn. He conceived the idea more than 30 years ago while in the hospital recovering from a heart attack.

Cahn talked about it during an interview with National Public Radio in 2011.

 “I really realized that I didn’t like being useless. And that was 1980, and we were declaring a lot of other people useless like we are now. And I thought, well, if we’ve got all these useless people and all these problems and all these needs, why can’t we put the two together?”

Golieb envisions Lime as becoming a community that embraces “social and societal change, environmentally responsible practices, alternative educational approaches and much more,” according to the main website for his holding company.

Time banking is a way of doing business that fulfills community needs, he said.

He expects that the bank would need 20 employees by the end of this year.

Employees hired to work at the bank will be paid with money, Golieb emphasized.

Realizing a vision 

The other two businesses he intends to bring to Huntington in the near future already exist and would be relocated or expanded to Eastern Oregon.

Edible Wilds, LLC focuses on gardening and nature. A pine syrup it sells that comes from Utah blue spruce trees — that state’s official state tree — has garnered some attention.

Its minty and piney flavor has a “sweet finish,” said Kathy Stephenson, a food writer with the Salt Lake City Tribune. 

She also reported that the all-natural syrup is collected in “an eco-friendly manner,” through the bottom branches, without tapping or drilling holes.

Part of the money raised through sales of the syrup goes to Project Lime, Corp., and Tree Utah.      

Edible Wilds might begin hiring people from Eastern Oregon in late 2013. It would add a line of natural mouthwash and colognes to its product line. 

The other business is Leo Lasagna, a provider of web services, including design, consulting, mobile web development, video and photography.

All three companies are part of Golieb Global, Golieb’s holding company based in Salt Lake City.  All would move from Huntington to Lime once the latter site is ready to be occupied, he said.

Most of the jobs at these companies in Huntington would be in customer service, sales, web development and as receptionists.  

Baker County ended up owning the roughly 1,000 acres of property that comprise Lime after foreclosure proceedings in 1999. It had been home to a cement factory until around 1980. 

Golieb intends to pursue grant funding and donations to pay for the cleanup, which he hopes won’t be as extensive as originally predicted because initial tests indicate that in some areas the toxins “have weathered away,” he said. 

A variety of pollutants still likely need to be cleaned up because of Lime’s manufacturing past. But more testing will be needed to determine the precise amount of environmental damage.

Golieb wants to incorporate Lime as a city. This process requires that people live there. He believes incorporation would make it easier to obtain some cleanup and, subsequently, development grants.

He’s planning to continue meeting with state legislators to see whether they could somehow assist in the redevelopment.

Economic potential

Baker County wants to see the area developed. It’s a location with moneymaking potential, in part due to its proximity to Interstate 84.

Mike Wiley, owner of Howell’s Cafe and Streamliner Lounge in Huntington, and a Huntington native, said he has watched a variety of jobs leave the area, including the railroad, the quarry and cement plant. 

He also made note of the 2011 closure of the truck stop at nearby Farewell Bend. 

The truck stop provided a gas station, restaurant and motel to drivers using the interstate and people vacationing at the state park.

Huntington has become more of retirement location than a working community for families during recent years because there aren’t many jobs available. It offers “no reason for our kids to stay when they grow up, or return to live after going away to college,” Wiley said.

He has spent time with Golieb during the past year or so as Golieb has been making frequent trips to the area while working on redeveloping Lime. 

Howell’s Cafe has been used by Golieb as a meeting location. Wiley might end up renting office space (the banquet room at Howell’s) to Golieb as well if the businesses indeed come. 

“It would help Huntington, the county and the region,” Wiley said about the prospect of new employment arriving. “So many jobs have left this area. Any new industry would be a plus. ... It needs a spark.”

Golieb is trying to attract enough interested parties to the area so he can persuade Baker County officials to give him the property rights. He hopes that would occur this summer.

A New Yorker who relocated west for his education, Golieb majored in environmental science at Utah Valley University. He started thinking about applying sustainability within a community setting several years ago.

Golieb also plans to write a book about the experience.

Information about job openings will be featured on the Project Lime, Corp. website, www.projectlime.org. Also submit job-related requests and resumes to Project Lime, Corp., P.O. Box 144, Huntington, OR 97907.  

The holding company website, goliebglobal.com, provides information about the various businesses and serves as a gateway to individual company websites, including those with operations coming to Huntington. The Time Banking, LLC site isn’t up yet, however.

 
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