- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) - A domestic violence shelter in Eastern Oregon has dropped a protest against eviction from a building the county plans to raze and replace with a new courthouse.

A board member for Shelter From the Storm in La Grande says the group will work on finding new quarters instead of appealing a decision on the courthouse site, the Observer (https://bit.ly/1waDbec) reported.

“At this time, we feel that the appeal was a distraction from our No. 1 goal, which is to focus our attention on services for our clients and our relocation plans so those services are disrupted as little as possible,” said board member MaryEllen LaBerge in an email.

Union County moved its courts and staff into a former hospital in 1992 after its previous courthouse was condemned.

Last year, it was promised $2 million in state funds, nearly two-thirds of the estimated cost of the new building.



The county commissioners decided to build on the county-owned land where the shelter has been since 1998.

Last year, shelter officials were told they had to move.

But shelter officials and their supporters protested and said there was room for both the shelter and the courthouse.

They rejected the county’s offer of space in the old hospital, saying it was unsuitable for a shelter and considered unsafe.

The group’s last effort was to file an appeal with the La Grande City Council, which had approved the courthouse site plan.

But, LaBerge said, the nonprofit’s board judged that the appeal had little chance of success.

La Grande City Planner Mike Boquist said the decision means the city’s approval of the site plan can no longer be challenged.

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Information from: The (La Grande) Observer, https://www.lagrandeobserver.com/

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