Goals are to establish collaboration and reduce substance abuse among youth

By Debbie Raney
Burns Times-Herald

Members of the Harney County Court were the first to see a new PowerPoint presentation outlining the local efforts to combat drug, alcohol and tobacco use by minors.

During the first county court meeting of 2011, Ashlee Voges and Alicia Goodson offered the court the opportunity to comment and critique the presentation which summarized what the Drug Free Community grant had established in Crane and Burns schools. Voges and Goodson told the court that Harney Partners for Children and Families aspires to reach two goals with the five-year grant. The first goal is to establish and strengthen community collaboration and the second is to reduce substance abuse among youth. The PowerPoint presentation went in-depth on how the coalition will achieve these two goals. The presentation will be presented to local community groups and organizations.

In other county court business, Karen Moon from the Harney County Watershed office requested a $16,600 in-kind contribution from Harney County for an Oregon Water Enhancement Board grant, for the 2011-2013 biennium. Moon told the court that the budget for the grant has not been increased from the 2009-2011 biennium. The match from the county provides office space, phone, utilities, printing and copying, at $8,300 per year. The court agreed to continue the in-kind contribution to the watershed council.

Moon also requested that a new member from the county court be appointed to the watershed council, as Jack Drinkwater is no longer a member.

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Judge Steve Grasty updated the court on the sage grouse issue. He said the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is arranging for a meeting with all of the counties involved, to meet collectively. The meeting would include representatives from Crook, Deschutes, Lake, Grant, Baker and Harney counties. The ODFW, said Grasty, has said they would have a draft of the Sage Grouse Strategy available two weeks before the meeting, as it has been modified two times with no one seeing it.

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A bid was  awarded to Tony Hauth for burning slash piles in Theimer Park. The contract will be for $70 per acre, with about 380 acres in the park needing work done. The award was made with the understanding that verification of insurance must be provided by Hauth before the contract begins.

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A letter from South Harney School District #33 requesting that the county declare the Fields School’s driveway a public access driveway was reviewed. The driveway into the school does not have easement from the private landowner, and the landowner is concerned about liability. Judge Grasty stated that the court will look into the logistics and decide how best to resolve the issue.

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Dan Nichols and Ramona Hofman were reappointed to the Harney County Commission on Children and Families. Patty Dorroh told the court that another member had resigned and a new appointment will have to be made in the future.

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Brandon McMullen gave a brief overview of the work plan the Harney County Planning Department will be using to provide building department services for the county. Immediate services will be provided by Harney County partnering with Lake County Building Department to provide inspection and plan review services. The Deschutes County Building Department will also be utilized on an as-needed basis for certain services.

McMullen also requested that the court set a Land-Use Hearing to Amend the Harney County Zoning Ordinance, which would update code under HCZ 3.080, Airport Vicinity Overlay. A hearing date of Feb. 2 was set for the purpose of reviewing the planning commission recommendation.

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The court discussed a proposed franchise agreement between Harney County and Falcon Cable Systems company.

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Resolution #2011-01, in the matter of establishing a Harney County DEQ On-Site Reserve Fund, was approved.

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The court appointed Judge Grasty as the county budget officer for 2011-2012; Sandra Richards and Stephen Finlayson as the Justice of the Peace Pro Tempore for 2011; and the Burns Times-Herald as the official county newspaper for 2011. Appointments for the county health officer and county medical examiner will be made at the next court meeting.



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