Day: February 9, 2012

House committee hears bill that could affect local fire election

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes  The outcome of a March election deciding which fire district will service the Clearlake neighborhood could hinge on a bill before the Oregon legislature. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 4090 and an amendment that could affect the election, or at least settle future, similar disputes. The underlying bill isn’t closely related, but carries an emergency clause that could make the entire text – and its amendments – effective immediately upon passage. The committee didn’t vote on the issue, and a date to further consider it has not yet been set. The Keizer City Council has voted to withdraw the Clearlake area from Marion County Fire District No. 1 pending a March election, which would decide if Keizer Fire District would take over the territory. A court decision in April over the legality of the city’s actions could also affect the election’s ultimate outcome. The relevant amendment to House Bill 4090 would require that cities provide a particular service before withdrawing an area from a special district. In Keizer’s case, that would mean the city of Keizer would have to have a fire department of its own before withdrawing territory from an independent fire district. It would also mandate that the area considered for annexation be able to vote independently of an entire district. For...

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