9/6/22 RRVFDEC Minutes Prep for Eboard and community involvement

Members: Scott, Walt, John, Jennifer, Reta

EBoard – Group decided that each member will request support letters from about 5 community members. We will send those to representative, senator and members of the EBoard after we learn next week if we are on the agenda.

Talking points for letters: (submitted by Scott on 9/7/22)

Row River Valley Fire District

Talking Points

September 9, 2022

  • The Row River Valley (the towns of Dorena, Culp Creek, and Disston) has no effective fire protection.
  • Senator Prozanski and Representative Hayden have asked the Legislature to approve $80,000 in funding to help create the Row River Valley Fire District. 
  • Chief Wooten (South Lane Fire District), John Flanagan (East Lane Forest), Heather Buch (Lane County Commisioner) all support our effort for a fire district.
  • The Row River Valley has been identified as being at “high and extreme risk for fire” as well as being in the wildland-urban interface.
  • Every year, one or more houses in our community burn to the ground with no practical way to save them. 
  • South Lane Fire District does a great job but their fire station is too far away and they can’t respond in time.
  • A fire in the forest here will likely burn the entire community like the Holiday Farm Fire.
  • Community members have been working to provide effective fire protection since last April but the process is too complicated and too expensive to succeed without funding.
  • Please approve the requested funding.


Co-Chairs of the Emergency Board of the Oregon State Legislature:

 To:​Senator Peter Courtney, Co-Chair

​Representative Dan Rayfield, Co-Chair

​Joint Emergency Board

​900 Court Street NE

​H-178 State Capitol

​Salem, OR 97301

Mapping: Reta and Katherine Reinecke (a possible new member) are working on a spreadsheet of data gleaned from County online map about each parcel along the Row River Road and Shoreview Drive that will possibly be in our boundaries.

It was suggested that we might need to know the taxable portion related to development of the property rather than the entire property. Reta will try to find that data to add to spreadsheet.  

Paula of LCOG was unable to find anything from past fire district attempts.  She is out of town now. But her services will cost us $100 an hour after we use her first 5 hours of donated time (4 to go).   Scott

Lane County did accept the idea of applying for the Josephine County funds that were unused, but only if we do not get anything from the EBoard.     Scott

Membership: The group discussed who would be eligible to vote as we invite more people into the committee. It was decided we will invite people who are really interested and see if they sincerely want to become involved before voting on decisions. Thus like a core “board” group and a Community Group.  The community group could contribute opinions and ideas but must adhere to the group goal and purpose before the “board” will accept their votes. 

Flannigan of Forest service is in solid support of our endeavors. Walt will ask for a letter of support from him.

Jennifer will contact the Cottage Grove mayor to ask for support letter.

Reta will contact Faythe Stewart for a support letter and possible contacts.

Karen P talked to the Sunshine Club about our committee and it’s goals. Many signed letters of support. And Kathleen Istudor would like to help our cause.

(Thank you Karen for doing this! Reta decided to take a vacation at the coast instead of going to the club meeting!)

Reta will contact Katy Vaughn to see if she will write a letter from the Historical Society point of view and protecting some historical sites.

Jennifer and Scott will contact Register-Guard and Sentinel for stories about the fire district efforts. 

John will check for web site availability for committee information sharing.

John shared the PowerPoint presentation he is working on. 

He went through the 

WHO – concerned community members

WHY – tired of seeing our neighbors homes burn

WHAT –  GOAL. Create a workable fire protection strategy to protect homes and structures with less than 30 minute response time 

WHAT – We need to know if any of these is feasible 

  1. Fire trailers with a dispatcher.     #. Volunteers with 300 -500 gallons of water. Possible quick response. No liability insurance, no training. Not all on standby at all times. These may not be legal and may be subject to lawsuits. And to have a dispatch system set up with access to 911 calls staffed with full time dispatchers, will cost money.
  2. Annex to South Lane Fire District.  # Additional tax added to our existing EMS tax. Over 30 minute response until fire stations can be built (5-10 years) excludes training for quick response fire trailers 
  3. Create a separate new Row River Valley Fire District. # create a central office with paid dispatchers for calls from 911.  Might be able to send out quick response trailers plus the trained fire crews. As a district, all volunteers would get training and insurance.  Would have to have several full time employees and lots of volunteers. A temporary barn or such structure would need to serve as temporary fire station until regulation (and additional voter supported levy to pay for it) fire station could be built. (5-10 years).
  4. Do nothing and rely on your neighbors to be home and willing to fight fire.
  5. Contract with SLFD and have 30+ response time (contract is same as the tax they collect in CG) 

HOW. – Possibility for 1 to work for the entire network and complete house fires is questionable. And we have legal questions that must be settled. 

For possibilities 2 and 3 we need to have the proposed boundaries. This is time consuming and will require expert assistance plus a lawyer. We also need to know the costs involved and possible revenue steams. And so much more information that must obtained from experts.  All of these consultants cost money. 

WHERE – This committee is applying for a grant from the State EBoard for funding to help us determine if any of the proposed solutions are viable. 

WHAT – If the experts deem it possible and determine the costs, then this committee will be able to share our findings and let the community decide how we can protect our homes and families from destructive fire. 

Regular meetings will be on 2nd Thursday of the month.

Next meeting will be September 16 Dorena Church 5:30