A decision to extend the fairgrounds local option levy, an update on the Camp Rilea wave energy project, and a request to the state for assistance in updating farm and forest land use regulations are all on the agenda for the Clatsop County Commission next Wednesday evening.
The Clatsop County Fairgrounds has not received general fund money to operate from the county in nearly nine years and instead relies on a combination of state lottery revenues, proceeds from the annual county fair and other events throughout the year, and a local option tax levy approved by voters in 2006 that raises seven cents per thousand dollars assessed valuation on properties in the county. The Commission will consider a request from the fair board Wednesday to place a ballot measure before voters in the May 2016 election to renew that local option levy for five years. This levy request is less than the previous five year levy dropping from seven cents to five cents per thousand.
In a report to the commission, Fair Manager Gary Friedman states the new levy would amount to $285,000 per year for each of the next five years which would allow the Fairgrounds operation to retain their 3 FTE full time employees and 1 part time employee. In addition the funds would contribute to maintaining and upgrading facilities and allow the Fair board to continue to offer low-cost or, in some cases, free use of the facility for youth, charitable and public interest activities.
The State Department of Land Conservation and Development is offering assistance to a limited number of counties in the state that need to update local land use plans for farm and forest zoned lands. Clatsop county planning department would like to take advantage of that offer and has drafted a letter to the state that commissioners will be asked to sign requesting that Clatsop County be included. The letter states that the last major update for those local rules happened in 1983. Beyond that only minor changes have been made, the last of which was in 1996.
The County Commission meeting begins at 6:00pm October 28 at the Boyington building on Commercial in Astoria.