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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 3 of 16 in Rural Fire Protection Brochure Series

May 8, 2008
Exploratory Committee

Understanding Of Place

People’s Sense of Rootedness1 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. This duality affects livability.

No single way to define place is completely satisfactory; everyone must draw artificial boundaries in order to describe the relationships between and among places. Place involves both territory and people. Another complication is that every person inhabits not a single place but a variety of places, not only over his or her lifetime, but also at any given moment. This phenomenon is due to the fact that people interact with the environment and with other people at many different scales simultaneously—in the home, the neighborhood, the town or city, the county, the state, the nation, and beyond.

Place An understanding of place is fundamental to the concept of livability. People live in places, move within and between places, and depend on the movement of goods to and from places. The individual characteristics of places are vital in determining quality of life. Places not only have a location, territorial domain, and natural environment, but also are social constructs, shaped by human behavior and interactions. A place is distinguished by its people, markets, governments, and institutions, as much as it is by its physical landscape and natural resources, transportation systems (including streets and roads), buildings, and boundaries.

 Unique Neighborhoods & Communities

Importance of Home in Identifying Place While it is important to recognize the multiplicity of places in the life of each person, the notion of place is very much bound up with the notion of home. 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. To the question, In what place do you live? the first unprompted reply will identify some territory and population near home. This tendency is reinforced if the person works regularly and the work site is near the home. This tendency is also reinforced if some individuals in the home attend school nearby. Other locations are important—places to shop, worship, volunteer, get medical care, be entertained, play, commune with nature, and visit friends or family members—but it is fair to say that home, work site, and school are the most important for a very large number of people.

Political Jurisdictions In practice political jurisdictions are meaningful places for all residents, even if the residents do not frequently interact. These jurisdictions are towns, cities, counties, school districts, special districts created for public utilities and fire protection, and many others. Even the state and nation are important. The fact is that political units create many common experiences for people, such as common educational experiences (in school districts), common tax rates and regulations, and common standards of public goods and services provided in the jurisdiction. Publicly elected officials live in these political jurisdictions. In creating these common experiences, governments affect citizens’ quality of life.

Importance Of Home

CACs In the late 1970s the Josephine County planning program identified 18 county citizen advisory committee (CAC) areas. Today 12 of those unique neighborhoods are identified as communities at risk from fire in the "unprotected area" (2004 Josephine County Integrated Fire Plan).

1. Colonial Valley
2. Fort Vannoy
3. Fruitdale-Harbeck
4. Hugo
5. Jones Creek
6. Jumpoff Joe
7. Lower Applegate
8. Murphy
9. North Valley (includes Merlin)
10. Redwood
11. Shan Creek
12. Sunny Valley

Unique Neighborhoods & A County-Wide Fire District Oregon’s unique neighborhoods, 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. 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