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The Observer Paper 11/26/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow DeBoie WINS COMMISSION SEAT

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DeBoie WINS COMMISSION SEAT

ENTERPRISE — It looks like Dan DeBoie of Joseph will be the next Wallowa County commissioner.

With 611 votes in Tuesday's Republican primary, DeBoie unseated incumbent Darrell McFetridge, who had 421 votes. Ken Wick received 492.

The election is not a done deal, said DeBoie, noting that even though there was not a Democrat in the primary, he could still possibly face a write-in campaign in the November general election.

However, DeBoie did say that he was looking forward to taking on some of the challenges the county faces.

Economic development is a big piece, he said, because of the way it affects main street businesses and schools. It all works together, he said.

DeBoie also wants to make the county operate as efficiently as it can, because there's not a whole lot of money there, either.

DeBoie said he plans to work toward having local government open and accessible to the public.

In the money issues, final unofficial results show the 50 percent voter turnout was achieved for both the Wallowa Lake Fire District and the Enterprise school bond measure.

With a vote of 657 in favor and 587 opposed, the Enterprise School District will be able to issue up to $2.4 million in general obligation bonds payable from property taxes, to mature in 10 years or less.

The funds will be used to renovate, upgrade and improve Enterprise high, middle and elementary schools, including re-roofing, heating, ventilation and air condition improvements and disabilities upgrades. Re-roofing is the biggest priority on all three buildings, Bill Eggers, Enterprise School superintendent said.

The outcome is very positive in light of Measure 13 going down, Eggers said.

"It's really nice to know that folks in the Enterprise community support us in fixing our buildings. It is a very difficult time to ask for additional monies as bad as the economy is. We appreciate the people stepping up for this,'' Eggers said.

The new Wallowa Lake Rural Fire Protection District was formed Feb. 4 by the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners.

Voters at Wallowa Lake decided to have their own fire station. They passed a funding measure by a vote of 63 to 30. The measure is expected to raise $51,205 the first year by establishing a permanent tax rate limit of 95 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation to allow for revenue for operation of the district. This will include contracting for fire protection, starting construction of a fire station, training firefighters, furnishing firefighting equipment, and conducting fire prevention and safety education.

The City of Wallowa lost its bid for revenue bonds to build a new emergency services building.

Wallowans voted 204 to 109 not to issue up to $175,000 in revenue bonds payable from the city's general fund and other available revenues.

Bond proceeds would have been used to demolish the old fire station and construct a new emergency services building at an estimated cost of $250,000. The city expected to receive a federal grant to pay the balance of the cost.

City of Joseph residents passed 246 to 109 a charter amendment to allow the city to adopt an annexation process by city ordinance, which can be more restrictive than state statute and require a public hearing. The present statutory language does not require a public hearing in certain instances. The amendment further requires that all annexations comply with the local Joint Management Agreement controlling land within the urban growth boundary.

Initially it was looking like there was going to be a very low turnout, Wallowa County Clerk Charlotte McIver said.

McIver, however, was pleased with the turnout at 63.5 percent. The final unofficial count was that 2,872 ballots were cast out of 4,524 registered voters.

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