In 2007, Chief Smith announced his retirement. After 21 years as Chief and 27 total years of service, Chief Smith retired and Chief Randal Wood was hired to the position. Promoting from the support position after Assistant Chief Mikkelsen's retirement, Chris Anderson, who started in 1997 as the firefighter support position, was promoted to the Districts training officer.
Working as the District's new firefighter/support person, Chris Staniak is still maintaining a commitment to excellence.
In 2011 the District made application to the Oregon Military Department for a $570,000 grant for seismic upgrade of station one. The District was awarded the grant and a major upgrade to station one was completed in the fall of 2013. The construction was meant to strengthen the structure during seismic activity. The benefit was a new station for the District.
Currently the Santa Clara Fire District looks a checker board with property protected by the District sporadically; while, the Eugene Fire Department protects the rest. This has created a situation in which neighbors, even next door to each other, may get either of two fire agencies to respond to their emergencies. Currently back yard burning for our fire district is permissible; while properties within the City limits of Eugene cannot; one example of many.
How this came to be is described below:
As far back as the mid to late sixties, the urban growth boundary was initiated and set into motion by both Lane County and the City of Eugene. Following ORS statute for procedure, both agencies conducted studies and decided that the northern border for the Urban Growth Boundary would run from the river, west on Beacon Drive and continue to Highway 99. This route then drops south back to the City creating the west side boundary and uses the river as the east boundary.
During the mid-80’s, the Department of Environmental Quality was investigating a developing problem in Santa Clara. Noting that ground water in the Santa Clara area was becoming polluted by the many septic tanks used by area residents; a moratorium on new housing and septic tanks was placed into action in Santa Clara.
Sometime in the early 90’s, the City of Eugene, being the owner of the Sewage Treatment Plant, applied to the federal government for funding to expand the current water treatment system into Santa Clara in an effort to prevent further contamination of the ground water. A grant was awarded to the city and construction began in the mid-nineties. All homes in the Santa Clara area were required to connect to the system; which cost each home owner roughly $10,000. At the time of construction it was decided that houses which had existing septic tanks were not required to annex into the city and pay city taxes; whereas, all new construction connecting to the system would annex to the city, thereby paying city taxes.
Today (2017) the same rules apply and all new construction connection to the system is annexed into the city.
Although the District has changed in size, configuration and population, just as Jack and Skip were, we are still committed to the community and look forward to continued service well into the future.