Canby Council discusses changes
The Sept. 19 Canby City Council meeting was chock full of interesting things including explanations for the Fire District bond measure on the November ballot, the program plan for the 2019-20 Heritage and Landmark Commission as well as a new coordinator for the Economic Development Division.
Fire Chief Jim Davis and Matt Dale, a division chief explained why the district thought a $4.9 million bond measure over 10 years is necessary. Each dollar bill is currently divided into personnel-64 percent, capital outlay-7 percent, materials and supplies-21 percent and contingency fund-8 percent. This is the first ever bond measure
That's been fine for a while but it's important to note that Canby's population is increasing and as it increases so do 911 calls and the need for ambulances and faster response times.
"We have met and exceeded our response times in all three areas [we cover]," the chief noted along with 20 volunteers, 19 career fire fighters that are cross trained paramedics. Firefighters responded to 2,888 service calls in 2017. The measure would provide funds to upgrade the medical response and fighting equipment. It would allow cardiac monitors, a new ladder truck and the money to replace or refurbish aging apparatus that are deemed past their operational life.
It's also important, he said, to be able to replace and refurbish equipment to meet the district's needs. The district's board of directors reviewed several options to help achieve success and came up with the bond measure over a 10-year period during which the district will set aside money for capital projects.
For example, the area needs a medium response equipment station north of the city. The current stations, in town and on Highway 170 don't necessarily function for women firefighters and daily personnel, Davis said. He suggested the fire station needs upgrades, as does the station on Highway 170.
"We're in an excellent location that can be built onto," he added. He also would like to see a medical aid station in the north. "We would need to buy property in the future on the northern area where we could add a fire station."
The bond measure would cost $0.28 per 1,000 assessed valuation of homes, adding about $78 per year to the average home or about $6.50 per month.
But if it fails, the cost to maintain aging equipment and the districts two stations would increase. The lack of funds would also impact response times as the ambulances and fire trucks age and stations are not designed to handle increasing emergency call volume if vehicles are out of service for repairs.
Economic Development Director Jamie Stickle introduced Calvin LeSueur, who will join her in Economic Development working as the New Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator. The new city employee has an extensive background working in economic development for the city of Boulder, Colo. and more recently in the same position in Forest Grove. He also was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay from 2014-16 on a community development project. He is bilingual speaking fluently in Spanish. A little aside, LeSueur, also is an animal lover with a dog name Jagua.