County considering selling health building

Grant County has announced it is entering negotiations to sell the building at 528 E. Main St. in John Day that currently houses Community Counseling Solutions and the Grant County Health Department.

Grant County is interested in selling one of its larger facilities, the public learned during the court’s March 14 meeting.

Following an executive session held to negotiate real property transactions, Judge Scott Myers announced that Commissioner Boyd Britton will represent the county in negotiating the sale of the building at 528 E. Main St. in John Day.

The building currently houses Community Counseling Solutions and the Grant County Health Department.

In other county court news:

• The court approved a resolution declaring a drought emergency. Myers said the idea originated with the county watermaster. The measure opens the door for federal relief funding for Grant County ranchers and farmers who may be impacted by drought this year, Myers told the Eagle. A request asking the governor to declare a drought emergency was sent to the Oregon Water Resources Department and the state’s Office of Emergency Management.

• The court approved a contract between the John Day Canyon City Parks and Recreation Department and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office for security services during a food and drink summer festival event on June 30. Britton asked that the sheriff’s office to try to use reserve officers to bring down costs.

• The court approved a request from Victim Assistance Director Andrea Officer to spend $8,000 on travel expenses for mandated training. Five people will attend the training, with funding coming from four different grants. The court also approved a request from Officer to spend $900 on print advertising in April to promote sexual assault awareness.

• The court appointed Tanner Elliott, Shiloh Fretwell, Judy Kerr and Beth Spell to the OSU Extension and 4-H Advisory Council. Kerr was also appointed to the council’s budget committee.

• The court appointed Baker County Justice of the Peace Don Williams as Grant County Justice of the Peace Pro Tem. Williams has served in this capacity in the past.

• During a special meeting March 7 with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Grant County planning staff, landowner Art Brenner expressed concerns about potential impacts resulting from the Grant County Planning Commission’s designation of the state’s adjacent property as a Level 5B significant aggregate site.

Under that designation, certain activities might not be allowed on adjacent properties. These restrictions could potentially affect Rick Henslee, who leases Brenner’s property to run cattle, and the public water supply for the nearby unincorporated community of Dale.

This problem with state gravel pits has come up in the past, Myers told the Eagle. Following the March 7 hearing, the court remanded the matter back to the planning commission with instructions to come up with a way to designate the site as Level 5C, which would be less restrictive. The court also authorized county planning staff to utilize legal counsel in the matter.

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