Jackson Co. plans to rebuild destroyed communities

JACKSON CO., Ore.– “There’s just a tremendous amount to be done. It’s unprecedented,” says Bob Strosser, Jackson County Commissioner.

In two weeks, the Almeda Fire has displaced thousands of people in the Rogue Valley.

Strosser says the county is looking for new ways to help shelter them.

“This isn’t a traditional time… So we are all trying to consider ideas that are non traditional, and see if they are considerable.”

He says a plan to provide emergency housing is being spearheaded by three local business owners.

Ken Trautman of People’s Bank of Commerce, Robb Mayers, CEO of Outlier Construction, and Laz Ayala of KDA Homes.

“The different municipalities we’re going to have to work with and how quickly; none of us have ever done that before,” says Trautman.

Trautman says this project is unlike anything he’s ever seen.

“I’ve been here 64 years, there’s never been a disaster like this. We don’t know what their [Jackson Co.] in handling things like this.”

He says a long term plan to clean up the greenway and install durable living structures is his team’s most important goal.

Trautman continues, “We can’t afford to have this happen every year. The greenway could be a wonderful asset to our community, and it’s not that right now.”

Jackson County says it will soon be discussing the project with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

It says a long term housing plans could take up to 10 years, and hundreds of millions of dollars to complete.

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