CANYON CITY - The Grant County Court met in its regularly scheduled session May 12. Among the items discussed were a request by the Oregon Disabilities Commission to designate a county Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator; a continuation of the county's PEER (Promoting Employee Excellence and Recognition) program; the possible upgrade of the accounts payable and payroll software to assist with PERS reporting requirements; a discussion of the Oregon Forest Highway Program Enhancement Project; and a proposal by the Women for a Viable Community to amend the 1999 Custom and Culture of Grant County resolution.

ADA

The director of the Oregon Disabilities Commission is asking counties to select a person or two to handle ADA issues. They suggest it often takes two people, one to handle employment and personnel issues and one to ensure access to meetings and buildings.

"Many entities fail to meet this requirement to designate and publish the name of the employee responsible to coordinate the government's effort to comply with ADA," states a memorandum to the board. "Yet, this position is critical as it is the duty of this individual to ensure that any complaints alleging failure to comply are investigated. Consequently, citizens don't know whom to call."

The court is talking with two individuals, who will be able to partake in free training with the state.

Employee Recognition

After a year under its belt, the Promoting Employee Excellence and Recognition (PEER) award program got a new lease on life. The commissioners said the kinks in the system have been worked out during the trial period and voted to renew the program.

Thirty-four PEER awards have been presented to county employees and volunteers, each of whom had at least one nomination from a member of the public.

Beautification

Sue Newstetter, the county's Title III coordinator, spoke to the court about the Oregon Forest Highway Program in order to get a letter of support from the commissioners. The U.S. Forest Service is the project sponsor. The program's purpose is to provide safe transportation access to and through the National Forest System lands for visitors, recreationists, resource users and others, according to a letter from Peter C. Field, transportation planner for the Western Federal Lands Highway Division. Enhancements may be interpretive signing, kiosks, viewpoints and trailheads and other activities.

Newstetter's focus was on areas around the Scenic Byway from Biggs to Baker City, 286 miles in length. A couple of the places she earmarked for possible improvements were the Sumpter Railroad Interpretive Center and the potential renovation of the Prairie City Texaco station into a visitor center. The court voted to send a letter of support.

Custom and Culture

Five members of the Women for a Viable Community came before the court to propose an amendment to the Custom and Culture of Grant County, Oregon resolution, passed May 12, 1999. The women, represented by Nancy Nickel, said the document excluded many and offered a one-page addition. The court decided to have one representative from WVC and one from the original authors of the document work on melding the two before allowing public hearings on the matter.

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