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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 5B of 16 in Rural Fire Protection Brochure Series

May 8, 2008
Exploratory Committee

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Approximate Boundary for County-Wide RFPD

Delivery Of Fire Protection By RFPDs

Delivery of Fire Protection Service by Rural Fire Protection Districts (RFPD’s) County areas not within boundaries of existing RFPD’s and outside of city limits are designated "unprotected" by the 2004 Josephine County Integrated Fire Plan. This area could be organized as a single RFPD or by multiple RFPDs.

RFPDs Are Formed By Petition Or Order Citizens can petition the Josephine County Board Of County Com-missioners (BCC) to form a RFPD (ORS 198.750). A petition for forming an RFPD formation can come from electors, or owners of land in the proposed RFPD (ORS 198.755). The BCC can put the formation question to the voters without a petition. It determines the territory of a new district in the county.

Issue of Publicly Funded Fire District was identified by the Grants Pass Daily Courier on July 5, 2006.1 The 2006 issues identified were increases in fire insurance premiums for those with the Grants Pass Rural Fire Department, increases in subscription rates charged by Rural/Metro, and inadequate response times. Since that time almost a dozen articles have addressed the fire issue.2-12

Josephine County Fire Protection Committee (FPC) A FPC was established and members appointed by the BCC on November 13, 2006 (Josephine County Resolution No. 2006-078).

Draft Standards For The Delivery Of Structural Fire Protection In Unprotected Areas In 2007 the FPC recommended to the BCC a boundary to provide structural fire services in the "unprotected" area, and standards intended to regulate the delivery of structural fire protection. If approved the BCC would find that establishing a non-exclusive franchise system, with minimum standards, for private providers of structural fire protection services, is in the public safety interest to both its residents and firefighters.

Potential Josephine County-Wide RFPD

Potential Boundary Outside of the high elevation timber county the FPC proposed county-wide district boundary generally encompasses the 12 neighbor-hoods (i.e., county citizen advisory areas) identified as communities at risk in the "unprotected area": 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, and 12. Sunny Valley (see title page map).

FPC Recommendation Excerpts from the minutes of the FPC’s January 23, 2008 meeting follow.

• "November could be the first step."

• "It is too soon to create a tax base."

• "Better chance of survival if we go for November with no tax base."

• "If there is no tax on the November ballot is it easier to pass a tax at the next opportunity? Yes it would be easier."

• "They may even consider a two year levy to start."

• "Agrees with an incremental approach."

• FPC "Recommendations. A motion was made and seconded to work towards the November ballot, and the committee recommended the Board of Commissioners form a fire district with a governing board and no tax district at this time."

Fire Protection Committee

BCC The BCC will probably have the issue placed on the November 2008 ballot without a petition from the citizens in the proposed district.

A fire district on the November ballot will be decided by voters, and it will be up to a citizen board elected at the same time – if the district passes – to address funding, [BCC] Ellis said.12 "That is a citizen-driven issue," he said. BCC] Toler said Raffenburg bringing up taxing districts puzzled him, as commissioners don’t have the power to create new taxes through district. "All that would be by the vote of the people of this county," he said.12

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. Roler, Dennis. July 5, 2006. Publicly funded fire district is badly needed. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Editor’s Opinion. Grants Pass, OR.

2. Mackin, Harry. No date (2007?) Tax-supported fire district way to go. Guest Opinion. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

3. Stumbo, Stacy. August 3, 2007. Commissioners postpone vote on fire rules. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

4. Stumbo, Stacy. September 12, 2007. Group studying fire protection will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday in courthouse. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

5. Stumbo, Stacy. September 17, 2007. County a step closer to new fire standards. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

6. Stumbo, Stacy. September 20, 2007. Commissioners’ proposed fire protection rules don’t go far enough, some say. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

7. Stumbo, Stacy. September 20, 2007. Ellis will run again. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

8. Stumbo, Stacy. November 7, 2007. Fire district could go to Nov. ‘08 ballot. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

9. Stumbo, Stacy. January 16, 2008. Fire Protection Committee still seeking answers. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

10. Stumbo, Stacy. January 30, 2008. Fire Protection Committee won’t pack it in. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

11. Snyder, Patricia. February 19, 2008. Raffenburg won’t seek re-election. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

12. Snyder, Patricia. February 20, 2008. Disappointing departure. Grants Pass Daily Courier. Grants Pass, OR.

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2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society