JOHN DAY - Valerie Luttrell, telecommunications supervisor for the John Day Police Department, told City Council members at the April 12 meeting that police have received a grant of $166,783 from the Criminal Justice Services Division of the Oregon Office of Homeland Security.

Luttrell said the grant would be used for a computer aided dispatch, a records management system, a 75-kilowatt generator for dispatch, Jersey barriers and a digital surveillance package for City Hall, the John Day Police Department and the Dispatch Center.

"We didn't get everything we wanted, but we are happy and will be able to put the money to good use," she said. "The surveillance package will include eight cameras and the new generator will be able to run the entire building."

Luttrell said the funding came from a countywide application and the equipment will benefit all law enforcement agencies in Grant County.

When questioned by Mayor Bob Quinton, Luttrell said Jersey barriers are abutments that will be placed between the highway and the building.

"They will be integrated with the landscaping and will keep cars from running off the highway and crashing into the building," she said. "They should look pretty good, kind of like an island between the highway and the building, when we get them up."

The police department was also recently notified it will be the recipient of an additional $40,000 as part of a community assessment communication grant that was applied for by Gilliam County.

"There are five counties involved in this grant award," Luttrell said. "Gilliam County will be receiving the largest amount, $1.5 million, and we will get $40,000 as part of the package. We will use this money to make improvements in our intercounty radio communication system."

City Manager Peggy Cary reported that on March 23, the Public Safety Committee met with two members of the John Day Rural Fire Board along with John Day Fire Chief Ted Johnson and it was the consensus to have Johnson apply for a state grant for a feasibility study to determine if combining the two districts would be cost effective.

"Ted told me the chances are almost 100 percent we will get the grant," Cary said.

"One of the things we need to do is build a new fire hall," council member Jack Grubbs said. "It has been proposed many times and we have to move ahead with plans."

"I think we have a lot of motivated people (who want a new fire hall) and I think we are going to be successful this time around," Quinton said.

The city should know by June if the grant application was successful.

In other council business:

• Dates of June 18, July 30, Aug. 27 and Sept. 17 have been set for the downtown Saturday Market. On those dates, vendors will have booths set up in the parking lots of FirstBank and the Bank of Eastern Oregon offering crafts and small food items for sale.

A portion of Southwest Brent Street will also be blocked off during the Saturday Markets.

• Declined a request from the City of Prairie City for a donation of funds for the July 4th fireworks display.

Cary stated as of March 31, John Day had just $300 remaining in the community promotions line item, which comes out of the general fund, and council members agreed that the City could not afford to make a donation.

• Quinton made appointments to standing city committees, with a few changes.

Grubbs, a former member of the Public Safety Committee, will now serve along with Don Caldwell and Gene Officer on the Public Works Committee.

"From your experience with OTEC, I would like you to serve on the Public Works Committee," Quinton told Grubbs. "With new council member Steve Schuette's experience with the Oregon State Police, I would like him to take over the position on the Public Safety Committee."

Leslie Linley and Chris Labhart will round out the Public safety Committee.

Quinton, Grubbs and Officer will be members of the Administrative Committee.

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