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New CHD will not levy new taxes, will continue with dissolution

In the continuing process of dissolution of the Columbia Health District many unexpected steps have had to be taken by the current CHD board. First, a short introduction to elected laws, rules and requirements from the state of Oregon was provided, free of cost, by the Special Districts Association.

One of those recommendations was to obtain legal advise for many facets of operating an elected board. Because the intent and focus continues to be to stop the 38-cent taxation and dissolve the special district, six attorneys have been contacted in this regard. None have charged a fee.

However, the previous board left owing one attorney approximately $600 for the dissolution work completed before they left office. There is uncertainty at this time whether there will be additional attorney or other fees accrued by the old board. Any legal fees associated with the district are legal obligations to which the current board must adhere in order to comply with laws set forth by the state of Oregon regarding special districts. As for the legal actions taken prior to the seating of the current board, the five directors paid all of the court filing fees out of their own pockets well before being sworn into office.

The current CHD is seeking answers that most of the voters have requested. It is also attempting to decipher records. Part of this process is obtaining the breakdown of the expenditure of the tax funds into those funds spent for development of a hospital, those spent supporting public health and those funds transferred to the private non-profit foundation.

The current board is not stopping the dissolution. It is not reinstating the 38-cent tax. It as attempting to wrap up unfinished business inherited from the old board. The voters will decide whether to dissolve the district with the special election in September.

- Columbia Health District Board