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About Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 25, 2017)
COUNTY TEAMS HEADED TO POST-SEASON PLAY
Issue No. 28
October 25, 2017
Library district boundaries set
By Kathleen Ellyn
Wallowa County Chieftain
The way has been cleared for the bulk
of Wallowa County to vote on whether to
create a special taxing district next May
to fund libraries.
City councils in Wallowa, Joseph
and Enterprise have approved resolu-
tions including those cities in the pro-
posed district boundaries. Lostine City
Council voted to opt out.
The decision was a split vote in Los-
tine. Several Lostine residents are work-
ing with the council to encourage a sec-
ond look at the issue.
The district idea came before the Enter-
prise City Council on Wednesday night.
Among concerns of the Enterprise
City Council were that a tax for librar-
ies will put the city closer to a taxa-
tion ceiling imposed by the state on
Ballot Measure 5, approved in 1990,
states that no taxing district may col-
lect more than $10 per thousand of
property assessed value. The current
tax rate in Enterprise is $8.90 per thou-
sand dollars of assessed valuation.
If the proposed library district is
approved, the tax rate would climb to
$9.57 per thousand in Enterprise, leaving
just 43 cents per thousand for funding of
a previously discussed countywide recre-
ation district or ﬁ re district.
There were also misgivings about
the city library’s ability to carry on with
all the programs the county now pro-
vides. Some council members said they
were not aware that when the county
library goes away, 900 outreach pro-
grams to children, families, elderly or
homebound might be cut down to 100
or less. Also the SageCat interlibrary
loan system would no longer be avail-
able to residents outside city limits with-
out purchasing a library card.
Council members also expressed con-
cerns with the remarkable speed at which
the Wallowa Valley Library Foundation
Spokeswoman for the Founda-
tion, Autumn Wilburn, explained that
the timeline is driven by the procedural
requirements of state law for getting on
the May 15, 2018 ballot.
Approval of the ballot measure in May
will avoid the negative consequences of
the county library closure because taxes
can be collected to operate the libraries
Council members said they had only
recently received the complete feasibil-
ity study for the proposed district and
felt rushed to make a decision without
Foundation president Autumn Wil-
burn and former foundation president
Kim Witherrite, along with a contingent
of Foundation board members, library
professionals and citizens fought to con-
vince the council to allow them the six
months additional time needed to explain
See LIBRARY, Page A7
building financial base
The Wallowa Valley Library Foundation fundraising commit-
tee has been actively working since July to raise funds to endow
A number of projects are under way including a rafﬂ e for a
new women’s bicycle donated by Outlaw Motor Sports, partici-
pation in the Christmas Bazaar in Joseph the two weekends after
Thanksgiving; sale of crocheted “bookworms” and auctions at
the Soroptimist Thrift Shop in Enterprise.
The group is also seeking grants.
The bicycle rafﬂ e will be Nov. 1. More crocheters are also
“We are looking for ways to raise money outside of Wallowa
County, as well,” said committee chairwoman Annette Byrd.
“There are many people outside the county who are watching
carefully to see how this plays out. Former residents are con-
cerned, and many willing to help out.”
Byrd said the goal is to place the foundation on ﬁ rm footing to
help support all of the libraries in the county on an on-going basis.
See BASE, Page A7
to Joseph council
By Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain
cil voted unanimously to
appoint Kathy Bingham
to the council at a special
meeting Oct. 23. Bing-
ham fills the spot vacated
by former council member
Tyler Evans, who resigned
his seat over the summer.
The city had intended to
vote on the position Oct.
12; however, a council
quorum was not present.
Council members Tom
Clevenger, Rodd Clark,
Pearl Sturm and Teresa
Sajonia attended the meet-
ing as did mayor Dennis
Sands and city administra-
tor Sandra Patterson.
Initially, former council
member Sharan Newell had
also applied for the empty
seat. Bingham attended the
meeting Monday, and New-
ell did not.
Pearl Sturm nominated
Bingham for the position
while Sajonia seconded.
The vote was unanimous
with Sands abstaining as
Newell is his sister.
Bingham will fill the
remaining three years of
Evans’ position. He was
elected in 2016 after serving
a temporary appointment.
After thanking the coun-
cil and receiving their good
wishes, Bingham asked
for a copy of the council
rules and also asked if she
were required to take ethics
Sands said he would get
her a copy of the rules and
noted the League of Ore-
“As we go
I hope you’ll
all be patient
out what I could be doing
wrong or right or need to
change,” Bingham said.
Bingham, who has lived
in Joseph since 2006, later
told the Chieftain she had
no hesitation about throw-
ing her hat in the ring as
she had attended meetings
over the past 11 years and
knew sessions could get
contentious. She also had
a close friend, Pam Lotta,
who served on the council
for a number of years.
“I’m retired, and I have
the time and energy to put
into doing the job,” she
said. “I want to do some-
thing for my city. I enjoy
living here, and I think we
face some challenges that
need careful consideration
in the future.”
Bingham said the chal-
lenges were pretty straight-
forward: Sewer and water
plant operations, street
repairs, budget and eco-
“We have the same chal-
lenges most small cities in
the nation have,” Bingham
said. “We’re not unique
in any way. It’s just that
we have a volunteer base
here and a very low tax
rate. We can’t make that
dollar stretch anymore,
and we have to be cre-
ative in how we make it
Kaydance Payne was among a number of children who enjoyed a candied apple during the Fall Festival Celebration Oct. 19 at
Wallowa Elementary School. The event was sponsored by the Wallowa Cougar Parent Advisory Committee. In addition to ap-
ples, the 100 or so children who attended also had the opportunity to play several games and tour through the haunted house.
Rabid skunk reported; OK Theatre plans centennial beneﬁ ts
By Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain
A skunk found in Wallowa
County has tested positive for
Wallowa County Health
Department has issued warn-
ings for residents to stay clear
of skunks, dead or alive.
“Do not touch, hit or destroy
it and do not try to remove it,”
a department spokesman said.
Call Oregon Department of
Fish and Wildlife at 541-426-
3279 or Brady Smith at 541-
530-9949 to have it removed,
and call your healthcare pro-
vider or local public health
department immediately to
report the exposure and deter-
mine if preventive treatment is
If the animal is available for
testing and the test results are
negative, preventive treatment
is not needed. For concerns
about a domestic animal please
call your veterinarian.
Rabies is a virus that affects
the nervous system in humans
and other mammals. A person
may contract rabies through a
bite, scratch, or saliva from an
infected animal. If untreated,
rabies is fatal.
Recommendations to help
prevent the spread of rabies:
• Keep vaccinations up-to-
date for all dogs, cats and other
animals you own.
• Seek immediate veterinary
assistance for a pet if it is bitten
by a wild animal.
• Do not touch, feed or unin-
tentionally attract wild animals
with open garbage cans or litter.
• Teach children never to
handle unfamiliar animals, wild
or domestic, even if they appear
The ﬁ rst in a series of cen-
tennial fundraisers to push the
renovation of OK Theatre in
downtown is Oct. 27 at Los-
“Countdown to Centen-
nial Celebration” is designed
to begin the process of raising
$56,000 in matching funds
for a $100,000 grant awarded
by the state earlier this year OK Theater’s first in a series of fundraisers is set for Oct. 27
to the Greater Enterprise at Lostine Tavern.
Main Street organization,
features bidders competing
which will oversee contract- d’oeuvres.
Event guests are encour- to pay for speciﬁ c items such
ing for the theater’s renova-
aged to wear period cos- as bathroom ﬁ xtures, heat-
A signature beer, OK IPA, tumes to celebrate 100 years ing and ventilation systems or
has been brewed especially by of movies and live entertain- electrical installations.
“Some of the events will
Terminal Gravity for the the- ment. Plans for the renova-
ater and will be unveiled and tion will be revealed before be performances, some will
be auctions –– the timeline
available for purchase along the main event.
Professional auctioneer will be revealed at the kick-off
with pre-Prohibition cock-
tails. Vali’s Alpine Restaurant John Topp plans a new twist
will provide small plate hors on the live auction, which
See OK, Page A7