The Union County Safe Communities Coalition received a much-needed boost for its programs Wednesday when the county board of commissioners formally accepted a grant from the federal Drug Free Communities Support Program. After a briefing from Commission on Children and Families Director Vicky Brogoitti, the board accepted the grant that could yield up to $625,000 over five years.
Brogoitti said the coalition will receive $125,000 of the grant money in the first year, and more in subsequent years if performance standards are met.
The Safe Communities Coalition consists of community leaders, parents, young people, religious organizations, health care and business professionals.
The group has focused on underage substance abuse the past four years. Its grant application was the only new application funded in Oregon this year. Eighty-seven communities shared in $12 million awarded by the Drug Free Communities Support Program.
The grant money will be used to facilitate programs to prevent youth drug abuse and underage drinking.
In other business Wednesday, the county board of commissioners approved an ordinance regulating fuel dispensing at the Union County Airport.
The board took the action following a public hearing that had been continued from an earlier meeting. No one was on hand to offer testimony for or against the ordinance.
Before the vote, Administrative Officer Shelley Burgess told the board minor changes were made in the proposed ordinance following the first part of the public hearing last month.
The finalized version approved Wednesday establishes a fuel flowage fee for operators who deliver gasoline, other propellants and oil to the airport property. The fee is 10 cents per gallon on gasoline and other propellants, and 10 cents a gallon for oil.
The ordinance also requires people who accept, store or dispense fuel to keep records detailing dates and amounts. In addition, it grants the county authority to review records, accounts, stocks, facilities and equipment.
In still another matter Wednesday, the board tabled consideration of a draft court order that would clear the way for the sale of two county properties.
The county wants to sell a 3.75-acre parcel on Good Road known as the Union County Rock Pit, and the 5.40-acre parcel on Yarrington Road known as the Yarrington Rock Pit.
Action on the court order was delayed because the board needs more information concerning lots-of-record before it can set a minimum bid. The properties would be sold by the county sheriff.
Also during Wednesday’s meeting, the board approved two requests for Title III funds. The requests included $10,000 for uniforms for Union County Search and Rescue, and $20,000 to fund the county’s Search and Rescue coordinator position.
Title III funds are federal funds made available through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.
In still other business, the board appointed Elgin resident Jay Moore and North Powder resident Carrie Crook to the Ambulance District Advisory Committee.
Moore is a driver for the Elgin Ambulance Service. Crook is a 14-year member of North Powder’s Quick Response Team.
In a portion of the board meeting set aside for public comment, Irene Gilbert, an active opponent of the proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Farm, made comments critical of Planning Director Hanley Jenkins.
Gilbert said she doesn’t believe Jenkins adequately addressed Goal 5 planning issues in his review of the project and that litigation could result if the state approves Horizon Wind Energy’s application for a site certificate.
Horizon Wind Energy has applied to the state for a site certificate to build the wind farm on land in the Craig Mountain Area near Union. The proposal has sparked bitter controversy in the county.
While the Oregon Department of Energy’s Energy Facility Siting Council is the approving authority for the site certificate, all state and local planning and zoning requirements must be met.
The application is currently under review.