Proponents of a single fire district covering Hermiston and Stanfield make their case today before the Umatilla County Board of Commissioners.

Hermiston’s fire district covers 103 square miles and Stanfield’s 52, according to a 2012 feasibility study about the re-districting plan.

The proposed district would encompass both and add some additional areas that may not be in either district now.

At least three measures will be on the November ballot to take on the task: One for Hermiston voters to dissolve the Hermiston Fire and Emergency Service District; one for Stanfield voters to dissolve the Stanfield Fire District; and a third for voters of both districts to allow the formation of a new fire protection district.

Voters would pay $2 per $1,000 of assessed property value for the new district. That’s about 6 cents less per $1,000 for Stanfield residents, but 80 cents more per $1,000 for Hermiston property owners.

To read more about the proposal for a new fire district, visit www.hermistonfire.com.

The board also will hear about the difficulty the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office has filling sergeant positions.

Sheriff Terry Rowan said the problem is compression — when the pay and benefits for line staff start to supercede the pay and benefits for supervisors.

Rowan said there is little difference between the position of senior deputy II and their supervisors, sergeants, so there is not much incentive for someone to promote to sergeant and take on greater responsibility. And compression is a hurdle for recruiting someone for the job.

Rowan said this is more a “housekeeping” issue, and the aim is to find some relief.

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