WARRENTON - Warrenton commissioners expressed support for the Clatsop County Fairgrounds Tuesday, but told Mike Scholerman, chairman of the Fair Board, they still had reservations about forming a special tax district to fund its operations. For the second time in two weeks, they voted unanimously to table Scholerman's request for a resolution in favor of forming such a district, which would establish a stable funding base for the struggling county fair.

Astoria and Gearhart adopted the resolution earlier, but Seaside and Cannon Beach have not taken any action. After the Warrenton meeting, Scholerman attended a Cannon Beach work session, where he told the council that since Warrenton has tabled the issue, and Seaside seems split, the fair board plans to regroup and talk about options.

If all five cities eventually support forming the district, and voters approve it in a countywide election in May, the district would have a tax base of $350,000 to cover operating expenses, pay for repairs and improvements and boost the two-person staff.

The cost to local taxpayers would be nine cents per $1,000 property value, or $18 a year for the owner of a $200,000 home. Clatsop County would be the first county in the state to create such a district, a move made possible only recently by the Oregon Legislature.

In other business Tuesday, the Warrenton Commission approved Wilkins Construction's low bid of $189,000 to replace Rilea Armed Forces Training Camp's water line with a larger one, made of ductile iron. Rilea buys its water from Warrenton. The new 12-inch water line "will give Camp Rilea sufficient fire flows they have long needed," City Manager Ed Madere said.

The commission heard a presentation from Steve Winstead, the city's building official, on code compliance since implementation of a new ordinance supported by the Warrenton Business Association and designed to deal with dangerous buildings. He said he is making good progress because the ordinance gives him the right tools to do the job.

Mayor Gil Gramson accepted an American Flag from Della Wilson, who served on the commission for many years.

Gramson also announced that the latest round of testing shows that Warrenton's drinking water is now in compliance with federal standards on disinfection byproducts. And he praised Warrenton Fire Chief Ted Ames and Police Chief Bob Maxfield for their work in creating a tsunami evacuation pamphlet.

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