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Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society

Exploratory Committee
Research Projects
Unique Neighborhoods and Communities
Quality of Fire Protection
Lost Property, Life, Or Personal Injury By Fire
Potential Josephine County-Wide RFPD
Design of Existing Fire Departments In Josephine County
Revenues for Fire Protection
Taxing District for Fire Protection
Boundaries for Fire Protection
Issues:  Challenges of Forming a County-WIde RFPD
Issues: The Details
Issues:  An Informed Public





Brochure 10B of 16 in Rural Fire Protection Brochure Series

May 23, 2008
Exploratory Committee

Issues Of Consequence

Proposed RFPD The Josephine County Board of Commissioners (BCC) approved Josephine County Order No. 2008-017 under the authority of ORS 478 and ORS 198.835 which proposes the county-wide Mid-Rogue RFPD recommended by the county’s Fire Protection Committee (FPC). This order proposes a RFPD boundary without a tax rate.

Question Will voters approve Order No. 2008-017 if on the November ballot when it does not provide full financial and organizational standards of disclosure that a citizen RFPD petition must provide within law in ORS Chapters 478 and 198?

Future Questions if voters approve the ballot measure for a Mid-Rogue RFPD boundary and a slate of directors to create a new governmental entity with taxing authority. The present ballet measure design leaves the future uncertain and avoids the hard issues relating to unique local boundaries, level or quality of service, number and location of fire stations, and tax rates.

• First Question. What is the planning period to try to develop organizational structure, requirements of equipment, personnel, fire station locations, real property and administrative organization and other associated and appropriate costs?

• Second Question. Would the new RFPD board ask voters on the May 2009 ballot for approval of a permanent tax rate to pay for structural fire services within the county outside of cities and existing RFPDs?

• Third Question. Would the new RFPD board ask voters to annex into this new RFPD the four existing RFPD's within the county?

• Fourth Question. Would the new RFPD’s equipment and personnel aid in wild land fire services to augment the Oregon State Fire Marshall wild fire suppression efforts, such as the biscuit fire?

Thinking About Forming a RFPD?

Issues Of Consequence to Address When Forming a Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD)

1. If the voters fail to approve the order will the BCC proceed, in spit of the voters, to from a fire district under the authority of ORS 476?

2. What will be accomplished in the November election? If it passes, a boundary will be formed, a slate of directors will be approved and the new RFPD will have authority over structural fire protection services. What is the procedure for selection of directors and qualifications? Will the directors receive daily compensation or serve as non-paid directors?

3. Will the RFPD directors have authority limits for loans, bond indebtedness, interest payment or ad va lorum taxing? How will funds be available to pay legal and organization specialists?

4. What is the cost of a fire district? A permanent tax rate requires voter approval. The new district’s board will probably ask voters for approval of permanent tax rate on the May 2009 ballot. The range of tax rates for the county’s existing RFPDs is from $1.06 to $2.98 per $1,000. The average is $2.24 per $1,000.

Applegate RFPD $2.53 per $1,000

Illinois Valley RFPD2 $2.38 per $1,000

Williams RFPD $1.06 per $1,000

Wolf Creek RFPD $2.98 per $1,000

5. The 2006-7 RFPD boundary area assessed value $2,045,310,000 (rework numbers with new number = $2,045,310,000) x $2.50 per $1,000 = $4,982,225.00, estimated annual budget. As we know, Illinois Valley is asking for tax rate increase to $4.00 per $1,000, which could apply here: $4.00 per $1,000 = $7,971,560.00 possible, annual fire service budget.  (rework numbers with new number = $2,045,310,000) . A property assessed value of $250,000 x $4.00 per $1,000 = $250 thousand x $4.00 tax rate = $1,000 RFPD annual tax.

More Questions?

6. (Jim to update with his notes) The proposed RFPD boundary includes wild lands without structures. We think this is unjustified.

The RFPD boundary that was recommended by the Fire Protection Committee (FPC) is used in County Resolution No. 2006-078, to form a RFPD.

7. (Jim to update with his notes) Will the BCC adopt by ordinance the fire standards approved by the fire standards committee if the petition for formation of a RFPD fails?

8. (move to No. 5?) Private Fire Departments Rural Metro is owned by a corporation. This company has 7 fire stations servicing the area that the BCC has defined with a boundary for formation of a RFPD. It is a misrepresentation that this area is referred to as unprotected" because structures in this boundary area are protected by Rural Metro and others for less than $2.00 per $1,000 of assessed real property value.

A property assessed value of $250,000 x $2.00 per $1,000 = $250 thousand x $2.00 tax rate = $500 approximate Rural Metro subscription cost.

Want more information? Contact a member of the Exploratory Committee.1

 RFPD Exploratory Committee’s Mission

Mission An independent Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD) Exploratory Committee (Exploratory Committee) to investigate the potential for forming a RFPD in the general Merlin-Hugo region was formed in the fall of 2007.

Big picture ideas for the exploratory effort include the following.

1. Identifying a range of boundaries for potential RFPD(s).

2. Identifying a range in level of services from potential RFPD(s).

3. Identifying a range of fees or assessments for services from potential RFPD(s).

4. Identifying revenues for services from potential RFPD(s).

The ultimate goal is a higher level of fire protection service for a lower cost.

The purpose of the Exploratory Committee is to gather information adequate enough to understand the rules/process to form a potential RFPD (i.e., rules, difficulty, pros and cons, levels of service, fees/assessments, elections, etc.). This includes educational outreach efforts.

The Exploratory Committee’s purpose is limited to investigating and researching the potential (i.e., merits and liabilities) for forming a RFPD. Other potential actions will be considered and acted upon by other entities after the Exploratory Committee’s purpose has ended.

- Donations Are Not Tax Deductible -

Edited by Exploratory Committee

1. More information is provided in the Exploratory Committee’s educational outreach program of 16 brochures.

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2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society