To the Editor:
We have lived and worked in Grant County for over 40 years. We have seen that, whenever one community does well, we all benefit. Grant County Court can help accomplish that goal by making a positive decision to pay the county’s fair share in the Fourth Street project in John Day.
Why is it our fair share?
The Fourth Street project is necessary because of damage done by the floods of two years ago, and its reconstruction will benefit the county in key aspects — health, safety and economics. Fourth Street is the shortest and fastest route from the hospital to the Grant County Airport, the Malheur Fire Rappel Center, the industrial park and flights for Air Life. The difference of a few minutes can make the difference in the life or death of a loved one, or in controlling a forest fire.
Both city and county residents pay taxes to the county General Fund every year. We expect the court to make decisions that help build a thriving economic base for our county. This is one such decision. The city of John Day has already invested their share of funds and effort into obtaining the FEMA grant and engineering design. The city has asked the county for only $400,000 of the $1.6 million cost.
What’s the good news? The county has the added benefit of an accumulated $50 million Road Reserves Fund that has been funded by the federal Secure Rural Schools program. The purpose of the program is to provide funding for schools, road maintenance and other county services. The Fourth Street project fits that description of road maintenance and county services, so let’s use this excellent resource to solve a problem.
It is time for the county court to work in collaboration with the city to create a healthy economy for all of Grant County!
Adele and Mark Cerny