Our Joseph Contract

The fire district contracts annually with the City of Joseph and its volunteer fire department for fire protection and rescue services. The district board and the city agreed on the following contract for 2013-14:

THE CITY OF JOSEPH, a Municipal Corporation

1. THIS CONTRACT (“Contract”) is entered into this 1st day of July, 2013, between the CITY OF JOSEPH, a Municipal Corporation of the State of Oregon (hereinafter called “City”) with an address at P.O. Box 15, Joseph, OR  97846, and WALLOWA LAKE RURAL FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT (hereinafter called “District”) with an address at P.O. Box 922, Joseph, OR  97846.

 2. The City is an incorporated city of the State of Oregon and maintains fire fighting equipment and an all volunteer fighting staff.  The District desires fire fighting services under ORS 190.010; 190.030 and 478.300.  The City has agreed to furnish fire fighting services and the District has agreed to compensate the City for fire fighting services in accordance with this Contract.

3. The physical boundaries of the District are identified on the map accompanying this Contract as Exhibit “1“.

4. This Contract has been offered by the City and it is agreed that, commencing July 1, 2013 by receipt of signed Contract, the City shall, subject to the provisions of this Contract below, upon receipt of notice by telephone or otherwise, provide fire fighting services that can be reasonably furnished by the City for the properties located within the District.

5. It is further understood that it is the responsibility of individual landowners within the District to provide adequate access to the property within the District for the City’s fire equipment.  It is further understood that it is not the responsibility of the City or the District to provide adequate access to the property for the fire equipment.  The City shall not be liable for any damage to property nor personal injury nor loss of life within the District should the fire equipment not reach or not attempt to reach the site(s) because of inadequate access (i.e. ruts, potholes, narrow road, narrow or impassable bridges, mud, snow, ice, bridges unable to safely bear the weight of the fire equipment, or inability of fire equipment to turn around, etc.).

6. Fire Hydrants:  The City shall have no responsibility or obligation for repair, maintenance, testing and flushing of fire hydrants in the District.

7. It is further provided that the Fire Department’s commanding officer(s) or incident commander for Fire Department official in charge (collectively “Officer in Charge”), shall exercise their judgment from the information received to determine the amount and type of fire equipment which will be provided by the City and the amount and type of fire equipment to be dispatched to property within the District and that no faulty judgment or ill-advised action on the part of the dispatcher or Officer in Charge, shall create any liability against that individual or against the City, or defeat the right of the City to compensation as herein provided.  Nevertheless, the Officer in Charge shall have all powers, rights and duties of both the City and the District with respect to the functions and activities described in this Section 7 and Section 12 below.

8. It is the responsibility of the City to maintain appropriate fire fighting equipment (as provided in Section 9 below), training, fire fighters (subject to the provisions of Section 10 below), and any other staff required under Oregon Law and provided personal protective equipment for the volunteer fire fighters in the Fire Department.  The City shall retain sole decision making authority with regard to the use, storage, acquisition, disposition, and maintenance of all City equipment and personnel.

9. Despite the preceding Paragraph 8 to the contrary, the City has no obligation to acquire additional fire fighting equipment, nor any obligation to replace any of the current City equipment or future fire fighting equipment for the purpose of enabling the City to fulfill the City’s obligations under this Contract. The City will give the District notice if any significant portion of the current City fire equipment (collectively "City Equipment") become inoperative for longer than 60 days or (other than for maintenance or repairs) are sold or otherwise disposed of.

10. The City has no obligation to provide adequate fire fighting personnel.  The City has no funds to hire paid fire fighting personnel and is entirely dependent on the good will of the volunteers to provide fire fighting services under this Contract.  The City shall not be held liable for any response delays due to limited or lack of manpower.  However, the City will make reasonable efforts to maintain a sufficient number of volunteer fire fighting personnel to adequately man the then current equipment.

11. The City shall not be held liable for repair or replacement of equipment or apparatus used by the Joseph Volunteer Fire Department that is property of the Wallowa Lake Rural Fire Protection District.

12. The Officer in charge has authority to request mutual aid.

13. Under this contract, the city agrees to waive any and all cost recovery fees for any current resident and or property owner within the Wallowa Lake Rural Fire Protection District. These fees include equipment and manpower reimbursement fees billed for special services such as Rope Rescue, Jaws Rescue and Motor Vehicle Accidents. After such an incident, proof of current residence or ownership of property within the district may be requested.

14. The City and the District agree that the Contract service from July 1, 2013  to June 30, 2014  will be paid from the District in the amount of $35,125.00  with equal payments being paid quarterly (April, July, September and December).

15. If signed, this Contract shall be in full force and effect commencing 12:01 A.M., July 1, 2013.   In the event the District should wish to withdraw from this contract before its end, the remaining fee amount shall be due and payable unless the District can prove that service provided by the City are no longer available.

16. The City agrees to designate the Joseph Fire Chief as liaison, who shall be responsible for coordination of activities under this Contract and facilitating communication between the City and the District. The District’s Fire Chief, and the Joseph’s Fire Chief may mutually agree to meet to further enhance the relationship between both entities. The District’s Fire Chief may attend monthly Joseph City Council Meetings to obtain information that is made available to the Joseph City Council by the Joseph Fire Chief. The District Fire Chief may also request copies of the monthly minutes that contain the Joseph Fire Chief’s comments. The City agrees to provide the opportunity for representatives of the District to address the City Council at regularly scheduled City Council meetings, if a request is received by the City a reasonable time prior to the meeting.  The District agrees to provide the opportunity for representatives of the City to address the District Board of Directors at regularly scheduled Board if a request is received by the District a reasonable time prior to the meeting.

17.  Nothing in this contract shall obligate either the City or the District in the expenditure of funds, or by future payments of money, in excess of those authorized by law and as stated in this Contract or written modification to this Contract signed by both Parties.

18. This contract may be modified upon mutual agreement and a written instrument executed by both Parties.  The Parties will cooperate and exchange information relating to fire equipment, minimum road standards, mutual aid and all other fire protection and fire fighting issues of mutual concern. 

19. No person or entity is intended to be or will be a third Party beneficiary of this Contract, nor will any one except the District, directly or indirectly, be entitled to assert any claim or otherwise seek any recourse against the City based on the City’s fulfillment or failure to fulfill its obligations under this Contract.

20. If any claim is ever asserted against the City arising out of or related to this Contract, under no circumstances will the liability of the City ever exceed the coverage or limits of the City’s liability insurance policies.

21. This Contract was prepared, negotiated and delivered in the State of Oregon.  In the event of any dispute concerning or arising out of this Contract, Oregon law will govern and control the construction and enforcement of this Contract.

 22. Pursuant to ORS 478.300 or any successor statute of similar import, the City would ordinarily have sole and exclusive authority over open burning and the issuance of fire permits with the District, and the authority to make reasonable rules and regulations related to open burning and fire permits.  Because the District is under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Department of Forestry, the City will not issue any fire permits within the District and shall be entitled to defer to and rely entirely on the rules, regulations and oversight of the Oregon Department of Forestry over open burning and fire permits within the District.

23. Except for notice of any fire, any notice, demand, request, approval, consent or other communication (collectively “Notice”) concerning this Contract or any matter arising in connection with this Contract shall be in writing and addressed to the applicable Party at the applicable address set forth in the first paragraph of this Contract.  Any Notice must be given either (i) personal delivery or delivery by nationally recognized courier in which event it shall be deemed given on the date of delivery, or (ii) fax or other telecommunication, including but not limited to e-mail, provided written or electronic confirmation of transmission is obtained, in which event it will be deemed given on the date of transmission, or (iii) by deposit in the U.S. mail, in which event it shall be deemed given three days after the date deposited in the mail.  Any Party may change any address for the delivery of Notice to such Party, by giving Notice in accordance with the provisions of this Section 22.

24. In the event that any Party engages an attorney in connection with any action or proceed (including arbitration) to enforce or construe this Contract, the prevailing Party in such action or proceeding will be entitled to recover its reasonable attorneys’ fees and disbursement.  In the event different Parties are the prevailing Parties on different issues, the attorneys’ fees and disbursements will be apportioned in proportion to the value of the issues decided for and against the Parties.

25. This Contract is signed by the Parties as a final expression of all of the terms, covenants and conditions of their agreement on the subject matter covered by this Contract, as a complete and exclusive statement of its terms, covenants and conditions and is intended to supersede all prior agreements and understandings concerning the subject matter of this Contract.

26. If any provision of this Contract violates Oregon or federal law in its entirety, the provision will be deemed deleted and of no effect.  If any provision in this Contract violates Oregon or federal law in part, or under certain circumstances, the provision will be enforced to the fullest extent the provision does not violate Oregon and federal law.

 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the City and the District have executed the foregoing instrument effect the 1st day of July 2013.