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The Grants Pass City Council voted unanimously Monday to withdraw from the regional transportation planning group known as RVACT, or The Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation. RVACT currently includes 13 cities and Jackson and Josephine Counties but that is set to change as Grants Pass and Josephine County feel they are ready to team with other cities in Jo Co and form their own Area Commission.
Several proponents of the move testified in support of breaking away from the broader regional approach, including a former RVACT representative from Josephine County. City and County officials have been weighing the merits of forming their own ACT for some ten years. GP Councilor Dan DeYoung is the City representative on the current Commission, he told the Council that fewer overall dollars may come into the new ACT for projects but that there would be more local control over where those dollars go.
ODOT Regional Manager Art Anderson addressed the Council on the subject of State approval for the new Commission. He warned that approval for the new arrangement would have to come from the Oregon Transportation Commission, which may not be warm to the idea of fracturing the current regional organization. Anderson felt the City vote to form a new commission with-in the existing arrangement would create, in his words, “a big dilemma” for the OTC. In the end the Council had to vote to support the motion to opt out in order to create the opportunity to present a proposal for the new Commission in conjunction with Josephine County to the State.
The DMC will keep you posted here as to when the new ACT proposal may be ready to go forward to the Oregon Transportation Commission.