By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

County ends emergency declaration

The emergency declaration was tied to certain county actions. The one that most concerned staff and commissioners was a provision allowing employees to donate their vacation time to colleagues suffering hardship from the extended school shutdown.

Last year, commissioners rejected authorizing extra leave for employees affected by having to supervise remote schooling.

In order to let employees continue donating leave to one another for school-related reasons, commissioners tied the authorization to the governor’s statewide emergency declaration, instead.

Commissioners decided to let the county’s activation of its emergency operations center with regard to the pandemic lapse with the emergency declaration, noting the declaration could be quickly reinstated, if necessary.

Commissioners also voted two-to-one to send a letter to Gov. Kate Brown demanding she allow all businesses to reopen, arguing there should be no distinctions drawn between different types of businesses.

In other business
, commissioners:

- Denied a letter of support for the Chehalem Parks and Recreation District’s Chehalem Heritage Trails project, after asking district representatives to attend a third meeting to answer questions about the project.

The parks district is seeking a grant to fund the first phase, from Highway 219 to Rogers Landing, along Industrial Way.

Commissioners discussed at length systems development charges, which are significantly higher in Newberg than in McMinnville. Newberg city officials said they don’t know why rates are lower in McMinnville.

CPRD Superintendent Don Clements reminded them the charges were set up by the state Legislature about 20 years ago, and that CPRD did not update its charges for the first 18 years after they were implemented.

Commissioners Lindsay Berschauer and Mary Starrett said they had concerns about the application and were unwilling to sign a letter of support.

- Decided to wait to decide whether to opt in to a new building zone in Newberg that would give tax breaks to developers who build affordable housing on top of retail space in multi-story buildings.

Commissioners questioned how much of an incentive the program would be, and whether the housing provided would actually qualify as affordable for lower-income residents.

They decided to wait to make a decision until they see what the other taxing districts involved decide to do.



I feel for you Newberg residents who have system development fees that are almost triple Mac's

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