The upcoming May 19 election will offer local voters the chance to elect representatives to the Vernonia School Board, The Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District, the Mist-Birkenfeld Fire District and the Columbia County 9-1-1 Communications District. There are also three ballot Measures for voters consideration.
Ballot Measure 5-243 is a county wide measure that would increase the Natural Resources Depletion Fee by thirty-five cents ($.35) per ton to a total of fifty cents ($.50) per ton. The current fee primarily provides revenue for county roads. The increase is intended to cover the costs to the infrastructure of Columbia County that result from mining activities. The additional fees would be used as follows:
• Ten cents ($.10) for road improvements and maintenance of existing roads and bridges.
• Twenty-five cents ($.25) for Columbia County Rider Transportation.
The initiative requires that none of the proposed increased funds could be used for other county general fund purposes.
Measures 5-245 and 5-246 would raise funds for the Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District. Measure 5-245 is a ten year bond for the purchase of fire apparatus and is estimated to cost taxpayers an average of $0.2621 per thousand of assessed value each year. For the owner of a home or property owner, the estimated annual average cost would be $26.21 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value. Measure 5-246 is a five year levy which would fund the salary and benefits package of a Training Captain. This person would be responsible for the District’s training program and responding to incidents. This measure is estimated to cost taxpayers an average of $0.32 per thousand of assessed value each year. For the owner of a home or property the estimated annual average cost would be $32 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value. Read More
Susan Gutenberger has announced that she will be retiring as the Operations Manager at Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District. Her retirement will be effective on October 1, 2014.
Gutenberger started her career in public safety as a dispatcher with the Redmond Police Department in 1979. In 1984 she moved to Rainier and went to work in February at Columbia 9-1-1. During her employment, Gutenberger has held the positions of Communications Specialist, Communications Supervisor, Data Specialist and Operations Manager. She also served as the acting Administrator from November 1990 to March of 1991 and again in December of 2012. She has been instrumental in the development of Columbia 9-1-1 and has contributed in many ways. Her dedication and commitment to the agency will be greatly missed.
Oregon is holding an election on May 21, 2013. There are only a few items on the ballots that we received in the Vernonia area—School Board positions and Rural Fire District Board of Directors positions.
The other item up for decision by Columbia County voters is renewal of the 9-1-1 Emergency Communication Operating Levy.
This levy is for five years and was originally approved by voters in 1998 and again in 2003 and 2008. The renewal is for the same rate as approved the last two times and is less than the original amount. Read More
On Wednesday May 8th at 5:29 AM Vernonia Fire District and Metro West Ambulance were dispatched to a report of a teenaged female in cardiac arrest. Upon Arrival of emergency personnel, they found family members performing CPR. Fre and ambulance personnel took over CPR and performed Advanced Cardiac Life Support measures.
The patient was successfully resuscitated and was transported to a Portland area hospital where family members report she is in stable condition.
According to the American Heart Association it is estimated that about 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.
Vernonia Fire District responded with two personnel and Metro West Ambulance responded with four personnel.
Vernonia Fire District commends the quick action of the family members as well as the Columbia 9-1-1 dispatchers in helping to save this young lady’s life.
The Operating Levy for the Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District is funded by the citizens on a five-year basis. Originally approved by voters in 1998, the 9-1-1 Operating Fund is due for a five year renewal.
In May 2013, voters will have the opportunity to renew the funding – at the same rate it was approved in 2003 and 2008 and 2 cents less than it was approved in 1998 – and maintain emergency communications service for every citizen in every community in the county.
This is not a new tax, but a renewal of the current Operating Fund levy that will end on June 30, 2014. The renewal measure will require approval by a majority of voters to maintain Columbia 9-1-1 funding. Read More