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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 2 of 16 in Rural Fire Protection Brochure Series

May 8, 2008
Exploratory Committee

"Unprotected Area"

Josephine County Integrated Fire Plan Josephine County has developed a local community wildfire protection plan (i.e., 2004 Josephine County Integrated Fire Plan - JCIFP); Josephine County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) - Resolution 2004-074; Memorandum of Agreement for Collaboration for Community Wildfire Protection Plan). The Colonial Valley, Hugo, Jumpoff Joe, North Valley and Merlin neighborhoods are identified as communities at risk in the middle Jumpoff Joe Creek drainage of Josephine County, Oregon (JCIFP). They are not within a fire taxing district and are listed as "unprotected". They do have fire services provided by private corporations that act as "fire departments".

1. Rural Metro Fire Department

2. Inland Fire Protection Agency

3. Grants Pass Rural Fire Department

Research Projects of the Exploratory Committee are focused on seven areas.

1. Unique Neighborhoods & Communities

2. Quality of Fire Protection

3. Delivery of Fire Protection

4. Cost of Fire Protection

5. Revenues for Fire Protection

6. Taxing Districts for Fire Protection

7. Boundaries for Fire Protection

Exploratory Committee

Unique Neighborhoods and Communities The character of a place or neighborhood, its identity, and its people’s sense of rootedness are shaped by interactions within the place and with other places. For most people, the home is one of the most important places, and the nature of social interaction and of mobility is that many other relevant places are close to home. What makes neighborhoods unique?

Quality of Fire Protection Citizens are concerned about the quality of structural fire protection service that is available to prevent loss of property, life or personal injury by fire. There are several alternatives to grading and designing structural fire protection. The Insurance Service Office (ISO) approach is one alternative. A Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10 is assigned. Class 1 represents exemplary public protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program does not meet ISO minimum criteria.

Delivery of Fire Protection Josephine County has four existing RFPDs outside cities.

• Applegate RFPD          • Williams RFPD

• Illinois Valley RFPD     • Wolf Creek RFPD

County areas not within boundaries of existing RFPD’s and outside of city limits are designated "unprotected" (JCIF). This is a large area that could be organized as a single structural fire protection taxing district or it could be organized by smaller geographic areas. Another alternative is to continue subscriptions with private fire departments.

Research Projects

Cost of Fire Protection The cost of fire protection is a function of a neighborhood’s physical landscape and built environment, the design of the quality of fire protection to be provided, and the ability of neighborhoods to support the designed services.

Revenue From Taxing Districts For Fire Protection The typical method used to pay for fire protection by a RFPD is by a tax assessment from a taxing district against property within the boundaries of a district.

Boundaries for Fire Protection Oregon’s unique neighbor- hoods, geographic features, sparsely populated areas, urban interface areas, and other factors have created an expansive, varied community landscape. This landscape has not yet resulted in a desire for a regional economy-of-scale from a large county-wide RFPD. The concept of a county-wide fire district is a model that has not been used in Oregon which has over 150 individual RFPD’s. Neighboring Jackson County has 16 city fire departments and RFPDs.

What makes a logical boundary for an RFPD? How do citizens decide what is best for them?

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

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.

The contents of this brochure are expressions of the opinions and beliefs of those that contribute based on their thoughts and experiences and are not presented for any other purpose.

- 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