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Commission settles on Measure 37 procedure


   At a fourth meeting on a procedure for Ballot Measure 37 claims, the Jefferson County Commission announced Jan. 5 that it might adopt the ordinance as early as today, Jan. 12.
   "We are fairly close to adoption of this ordinance -- possibly as soon as next week," said Chairman Mary Zemke.
   The commission and county staff have been working to prepare a procedure for submitting claims since Ballot Measure 37 was passed by Oregon's voters in the Nov. 2 election.
   The measure requires that, under certain circumstances, city, county, or state governments pay compensation, or waive a land use regulation, if a regulation reduces the fair market value of a landowner's property.
   Initially, the county considered a complicated process that would have required appraisals, extensive research, and fees ranging from $250 for a simple waiver to $2,500 for a complicated compensation claim.
   The commission later settled on a process that would only accept waiver claims, with fees ranging from $250 for a single-family residence to $500 for other waiver applications.
   Today, the county will consider that draft, with only minor changes, at a public hearing at 11:30 a.m. The proposed ordinance is available to the public at the commission office in the courthouse annex, and at the Community Development Department.
   If there are no major changes proposed at today's meeting, the commission expects to adopt the ordinance at its Jan. 26 meeting.
CORHA update
   
Cyndy Cook, executive director of the Central Oregon Regional Housing Authority (CORHA) reported to the commission on the county's housing voucher program for 2004.
   There were 50 households served, receiving an average assistance payment of $429 per month, she said. Sixty-eight percent of those households were families with chidren, 36 percent were households with a disabled person, and 12 percent were elderly households.
   While the median household income in Jefferson County is $45,200 for a family of four, 70 percent of those receiving vouchers make $13,140 or less, 12 percent make $13,141 to $17,520, 2 percent make $17,521 to $21,900, and 1 percent makes $26,281 to $30,660.
   "We're seeing more people who are graduating off the program," Cook said.
   Although Cook anticipates that the program will receive less funding this year, she is optimistic that CORHA will be able to manage. "We're all going to take some hits," she said, adding that they still don't intend to remove people from the program.
   Instead, they expect some people to graduate from the program, after which, CORHA will not issue new vouchers. "The waiting list will remain closed," she said.
Commission assignments
   
The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners has announced assignments for 2005.
   Mary Zemke will replace Bill Bellamy as chairman, and Walt Ponsford will become the budget officer.
   Bellamy is assigned to oversee the following departments: Assessor; Treasurer; Clerk; Fairgrounds; Public Works; Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug; and Maintenance.
   Zemke will oversee: Community Development; Health and Human Services; Extension; and Surveyor.
   Ponsford will oversee: Community Corrections; Sheriff; Veterans; and District Attorney.
   Committee assignments include:
   Bellamy: Jail/911 Committee; Central Oregon Area Commission on Transportation; Community Investment Board; Solid Waste Advisory; and Health Insurance Committee.
   Zemke: Prison Advisory; Confederated Tribes Liaison; Accountable Behavioral Health Alliance; Local Public Safety Coordinating Council/School Safety; Central Oregon Community Action Agency Network; and Commission on Children and Families.
   Ponsford: Airport and Industrial Site; Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council; Economic Development for Jefferson County; Safety Committee; Chamber of Commerce; Economic Development for Central Oregon; Park Committee; Supervisory Authority; and Farm Advisory.