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Juniper Canyon Substation building grant approved

County and fire district officials have been told their application for almost $600,000 with which to build a new substation in Juniper Canyon has been approved
Although the check is not yet in hand, the governing board of the county's rural fire district has been advised their application for funding for the Juniper Canyon substation has been approved.
   The grant is from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Oregon Economic and Community Development. County Judge Scott Cooper said Wednesday morning that OECD's Darrin Fleener had informed him that the county)s application on behalf of the Crook County Rural Fire Protection District for $585,000 to construct a firehouse in Juniper Canyon has been approved.
   This is the maximum amount of grant allowable under this program, which passes dollars through to worthy local projects from the state, Cooper explained. "The main architect of the proposal was Capt. John Hite of the Prineville Fire Department. The CCRFD board and staff also played major roles."
   The grant funds are available only to counties and cities, so the court's involvement also was critical, Cooper added. "In addition to serving as the applicant, the court also provided letters of support to the project and ranked it as a county priority for economic development. This is a big win and represents actual dollars returned to the community."
   CCRFD board member Karen Lang agreed with Cooper, saying Hite had been working on getting this money since the first of the year. The board members are pleased and excited about getting the grant, Lang said when asked about it, but admitted they didn't have much to do with it.
   "Since the election, the board has become more of a governing board," she explained, "and doesn't deal with the operational aspects of the district. It is John, who deserves all the credit."
   Hite said he expects to have the authorization in hand this week. With that the process can begin. "We've been busy, getting all out ducks lined up - talking with architects and engineers," Hite said. "This will be a Type II building and have to be designed to meet code and be ADA accessible."
   Because of the funding source, the grant funds can only be used for construction in low to moderate income communities. That, Hite pointed out, limits the money to the rural fire district's Zone 3, the Juniper Canyon substation.
   "We have to keep this totally separate from the Powell Butte Substation," Hite explained, "which will be funded from the operating budget of the district. We've also applied for grants which could reduce the amount coming from that budget, though."
   Work on the Juniper Canyon Substation will begin as soon as possible and could be completed and operational early in 2003. The site is on a parcel of land that was donated to the district some time ago by Richard Doty. A smaller grant received earlier this year paid for a well to be drilled and the septic system installed.