Fuel system planned for I.V. Airport

Construction excise fees were increased to benefit Grants Pass School District 7 at the Sept. 21 Board of Josephine County Commissioners’ weekly business session.
The GPSD7 board voted to increase these fees in the fall of 2016, but the governments of Grants Pass and Josephine County were not notified of this decision.
Six years later, an amendment to an intergovernmental agreement among JoCo, the city of Grants Pass and GPSD7 will put into effect the resolution approved by the school district board. This IGA was originally signed in 2008, a year after Oregon Senate Bill 1036 authorized school districts to impose a construction excise tax to fund capital improvements for school facilities.
The IGA amendment will see the construction excise tax increased to $1.23 from $1 for residential construction; $0.61 from $0.50 for non-residential, with a cap of $30,700 increased from $25,000.
In addition, the city and county will retain 4% of the tax in the form of an administrative fee to cover the cost of administering the tax. Previously the administrative fee was 1%.
Commissioner Darin Fowler noted that this amendment will bring the construction excise tax collected on GPSD7’s behalf to the same amount collected for Three Rivers School District.
A ninth amendment was made to a contract for personal services between Josephine County and WPMed LLC, better known as Wellpath.
Since 2012, the county has contracted with Wellpath to provide medical services at the jail. This contract is renewed annually and carries a cost of $1.38 million over the next year.
During discussion on the renewal, it was noted that Wellpath has opted out of providing pharmaceuticals to inmates, and alternative options are being considered to fill this lapse in service.
Airports Director Jason Davis joined the board to detail a task order with Precision Approach Engineering for the airport waterline, which would include engineering design, bidding services and limited construction administration.
Davis noted that the “long-awaited” project will bring potable water to the Grants Pass Airport.
The total cost is $267,800 and will be covered exclusively by American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
Commissioner Dan DeYoung commented, “I think this follows right along with our wishes as a board to have something solid come out of ARPA that we can point fingers to down the road and say, ‘This is what we did with it.’”
“This is gonna be great,” said Davis. “This is gonna help us provide the infrastructure needed for more future development and help a lot of the businesses that are already at the airfield.”
“Getting water and sewer to the airport is a huge moment in history, so congratulations,” Fowler told Davis. “It’s a big deal.”
A second task order with Precision Approach was also considered, this one concerning the planned Jet-A and Avgas aircraft fueling system at Illinois Valley Airport. This task order carries a price tag of $400K, also 100% funded by ARPA.
“We’re hoping to have design complete this fall with hopefully spring construction,” said Davis.
He went on, “Anyone who has been to the Southern Oregon area knows that in the summertime, the Illinois Valley Airport is heavily used for the fire efforts in this area, and we always struggle to provide them with fuel, so this is gonna help us with that ability and also benefit the airport and community out there.”
DeYoung noted, “This also creates a revenue stream for the airport.”
The Sept. 21 meeting was the rare one where no community members opted to speak during requests and comments from citizens.
With no anti-vaxx conspiracy theories or complaints about property taxes to be entertained, the board moved to unanimously approve all of the aforementioned administrative actions.
The sole item under the board’s consent calendar was sale of unused county property at 395 W Jones Creek Rd to the prior owner of record for $19,048.67, which was authorized with no fuss.
As of press deadline, today’s weekly business session was slated to begin at 9 a.m. and the premiere agenda item was set to be the second reading and adoption of an ordinance changing the zoning of Grants Pass Over-Niters RV park from residential to commercial, a misclassification that took half a century to rectify.