Goodfellow gets a thru pass

Elected officials and city staff stand with Bob Schwenkfelder, CEO and board chairman of Commercial Tire, readies to cut the celebratory ribbon on Tuesday for the opening of the portion of Goodfellow Street near Southeast Fifth Avenue, which will be the location of his new store due to open in about February. Pictured, from left, are City Councilor Michael Braden, Mayor Riley Hill, Schwenkfelder, City Councilor Ken Hart and Public Works Director Al Cablay, of Jacobs.

ONTARIO — Elected officials, staff and public work crews from the city of Ontario, along with members of the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated a ribbon cutting on a new stretch of roadway on Tuesday morning.

The portion of Goodfellow Street that is finally finished is alongside Waremart and what will be the future location of the new Commercial Tire building, which is currently being constructed. The price of that new building is about $3 Million, according to Bob Schwenkfelder, CEO and board chairman of the company which, he said, became employee-owned in November of 2019. The price of steel is rising and driving the price of the building up everyday, but a new location has been a long-time coming, Schwenkfelder says.

Saying that hindsight is 20/20 and that he could have developed a better side originally, Ontario grew, and like Ontario, so did the business.

“I’m happy to be part of the growth in Ontario after 20 years,” Schwenkfelder said. “I like Ontario and what’s going on.”

He said he is hopeful that it will bring more growth, and while he’s not sure what he will do yet with the other property on East Idaho Avenue once the move is made to the new facility, he said he’ll likely find a new tenant or sell it.

In addition to Oregon, Commercial Tire has locations in Idaho, Washington and Utah, and Schwenkfelder said there are about 650 employees company wide.

The plan initially was to aim for a move-in by October, he said, however added that it is looking like that has been pushed out to February of 2022 for now.

Before the ribbon cutting, Ontario Mayor Riley Hill made remarks about the completion of the street, which was a vision of the city since 2007 when Walgreens was built.

He explained that the city paid to pave the street through use of Street System Development Charges that came from new commercial development.

“So, in many ways, the local commercial business helped fund the improvement,” he said.

Schwenkfelder also helped in funding getting the street extended with his new building.

Not counting the city’s portion, Bob Goodwin a developer of land on the east side of the road, and Schwenkfelder paid about $260,000 in total to improve the stretch of Goodfellow street, with Commercial Tire also paying for improvements on his half of the half-street section near Southeast Fifth, according to Community Development Director Dan Cummmings.

Goodwin and Schwenkfelder worked together to pay for curb, gutter, sidewalks, road base, utilities underneath and the road base up to the finished gravel, Cummings said, with the city only paying to put asphalt on top of that.

Hill expressed gratitude on behalf of the city to Idaho Materials’ crews, including Kevin Crockett; to Durham Gravel works for the sub-base and concrete sidewalks; and to Warrington Construction crews for installation of underground materials.

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