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County refers dispatch center tax measure to voters

Rylan Boggs

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on August 11, 2017 5:26PM

Last changed on August 11, 2017 5:35PM

Members of the Grant County Court voted unanimously to refer to voters a ballot measure for a local option tax to support the John Day Dispatch Center.

The measure, if approved by voters, would tax property owners an additional 36 cents per $1,000 of property value. The measure will be on the Nov. 7 ballot.

This money would be used to help fund the John Day Dispatch Center, which provides dispatch services for all of Grant County, for up to five years or until the state increases the 911 tax.

The city of John Day recently received $420,000 in state funding to help operate dispatch for the next two years. John Day City Manager Nick Green and State Sen. Ted Ferrioli’s pushed the Legislature to safeguard the dispatch center for the next two years.

After that, if the 911 tax is not increased and the local option tax is not passed, the dispatch center would likely have to be outsourced. This could lead to local job loss and reduced quality of service.

The state taxes 75 cents a month for each phone line. This provides about $250,000 to John Day each year. Operating the dispatch center 24/7, year-round costs about $450,000. The 911 tax was last increased in 1995.

The court also:

• approved budget resolutions moving money from budget line to budget line in county departments.

• approved leasing a spot on Fall Mountain to the Burns/Paiute tribe for an antenna.

• approved a contract with Spitfire Cocktails to serve alcohol at the county fair and bullfights.

• signed a contract with Redmond Sign for reader boards at the fairgrounds.

• approved an intergovernmental agreement with the state to receive grant funding for juvenile crime prevention.

• approved the hire of a grant specialist and part-time assistant for the Grant County Economic Development Coordinator.

• approved the Extension and 4H Service District to lease property at the old Blue Mountain Junior High.

• approved the rental of a 500-gallon fuel tank from Ed Staub and Sons for the emergencies during the eclipse.

• approved a request from the sheriff’s office to apply for grants.

• approved a request from a landowner near Monument to vacate an unused stockpile site.


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