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County accepts state marijuana revenue

Firewise programs to benefit from federal funding.

By Richard Hanners

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on November 13, 2017 11:58AM

Grant County Commissioner Jim Hamsher

Eagle file photo

Grant County Commissioner Jim Hamsher

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Grant County doesn’t allow recreational marijuana sales, but it benefits from sales elsewhere in Oregon.

Treasurer Julie Ellison told the County Court on Nov. 8 that they needed to approve a supplemental budget resolution to receive $14,597 in state marijuana revenue. She noted that the funding was not restricted, and a member of the audience suggested that the money be used to educate the public about drug issues.

In other news, the court obligated $85,531 in federal Secure Rural Schools funding. According to Sally Bartlett, the Title III administrator at the county’s economic development office, the county initiated the funding in August, and no public comments were received on how the funding will be spent.

The court approved spending the money on three projects: $40,531 to support the Firewise Communities program in John Day, Canyon City, the Laycock Creek area and Dayville; $10,000 for search and rescue and emergency services in the county; and $35,000 for updating the county’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan in coordination with the Forest Service.

The court voted 2-1 to allow Kimberly Lindsay of Community Counseling Solutions to sign some mental health contracts on behalf of the county after County Judge Scott Myers has reviewed them.

Myers said the change would simplify the process and address delays in getting certain contracts approved. Commissioner Jim Hamsher voted against the change, saying he wanted to review the contracts.

The Grant County Planning Department received a noncompetitive $4,000 grant from the Grant Young Memorial Fund, named for a popular state planner who had worked on Eastern Oregon land-use issues. Use of the money is not restricted, County Planner Hilary McNary told the Eagle.

Airport Manager Haley Walker reported that the Forest Service will expand its lease at the regional airport by about 7,792 square feet, providing the county with an additional $1,246 in annual revenue. She said the Forest Service had already been using the space and will be billed retroactively to June.


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