Gaston Community Profile

PO Box 129, Gaston, OR 97119
Phone 503-985-3340 • Fax 503-985-1014

City Location

County(ies): Washington    Incorporated in 1914
Location: Northwest Willamette Valley in rural Washington County
Nearest Major Highway and Distance: Hwy 26 | local
Nearest Major City and Distance:
Forest Grove | 7 miles, Estimated Drive Time: 10 minutes
Distance to Portland: 30 miles

Source: Oregon Department of Transportation, State of Oregon Map; Oregon Blue Book

Recreational Amenities

The city has a city park with five acres. The Tillamook State Forest is within 50 miles. The following recreational areas are within 100 miles of the city: Oregon Coast, Columbia River, Nestucca River and the Wilson River. Annual Wapato Showdown - Car show held in Aug.

Planning a vacation or a tour through an area of Oregon? Visit the Oregon Tourism Commission's web site at for more information.

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce, local convention and visitor bureau


Elevation: 300'      Measurement Location: Forest Grove

Monthly Ave. Low: 32°F           Monthly Ave. High: 83°F
Hottest Month: August                  Coldest Month: January
Driest Month: July                    Wettest Month: December
Average annual precipitation: 44.200"

Humidity (Hour 10, local time):
Average July afternoon humidity: 62%
Average January afternoon humidity: 82%

Source: Oregon Climate Service

Information in the Community Profiles was derived from many sources, including local, state and federal sources. The Oregon Business Development Department cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Questions and comments may be directed to the department by telephone 503-986-0123, by fax 503-581-5115 or by email

Profile Topics

Community Age Groups
Industries and Products
Demographic Data
5 Largest Employers
Economic Development Orgs
Financial Institutions
Business Taxes
Public Safety
Community Communications
Water Supply
Wastewater Treatment System
Natural Gas & Electrical

Profiles Home Page



City of Gaston563 600 630 630
Washington County 311,554 445,342 489,785 500,585
Sources: 1990, 2000 US Census; 2205, 2006 Center for Population Research and Census, Portland State University. 0 indicates data is unavailable.

Washington County 727 sq miles   689 persons/sq mile Sources: figures based on 2006 PSU population estimates;
Oregon Bluebook county square mileage

Community Age Groups

Under 5 years0 0 69 49

5-19 years0 0 175 203

20-44 years0 0 252 215

45-64 years0 0 95 109

65+ years0 0 15 24

Median Age0 0 26 28.5

Source: US Census, 0 or N/A indicates data is not available. Median value is the middle value, not an average.


Total Housing Units1970198019902000Median Value of
Housing, 2000
City of Gaston124 147 183 207 $142,500
Washington County 46,085 89,348 124,716 178,913 $184,800

City of Gaston 2000 Housing Breakout:Also visit Housing and
Community Services Web Site:
Vacancy Rate:4.83%
Median Owner Cost
Owner Occupied:119

Renter Occupied:77
Median Gross Rent:$494

Source: US Census. Median value is the middle value, not an average.

Economic Development and Employment

Principal Industries of the County(ies):
Washington County—Agriculture, business services, manufacturing (rubber & plastic; industrial machine & equipment, instruments, electronics)

Source: Oregon Employment Department, Covered Employment and Payroll Reports, 1998

Agricultural Products of the Area (Top 3 largest gross farm sales):
Washington County—Specialty products, grass and legume seeds, small fruits and berries

Source: Oregon State University, Extension Economic Information Office

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the County:
Washington County 838

Source: Oregon Employment Department, Covered Employment and Payroll Reports, 1998

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the City: 2
Source: City Administration

Economic Indicators

Washington CountyOregon


Labor Force270,572272,3111,802,9381,793,7731,840,133
Total Employment1,715,4531,679,9141,701,390
Unemployment Rate5.1%6.7%4.9%6.3%7.5%
Non-Farm Payroll Employment01,606,8001,596,1001,572,500
Total Covered Employment228,509221,5431,607,9441,596,9431,573,083
Total Covered Payroll
($ thousands county/
$ millions state)
Ave. Annual Payroll Per Employee$42,211$41,965$32,776$33,202$33,684
Number of Business Units13,30213,522108,432111,353113,097
Total Personal Income ($ millions)$149,419$149,761$94,999$98,500$101,358
Annual Per Capita Personal Income$$31,578$27,649$28,40028,792
Assessed Value of Property ($ millions)$0$45,004$198,911$210,435$219,878
Residential Construction
  Building Permits
  Value ($ thousands)





Travel Expenditures ($ millions)$0$341,300$6,133$6,128$6,208
Travel-Related Employment04,53089,80091,10090,200

 Preliminary Data
Sources: Oregon Employment Department; Center for Population Research & Census, PSU; U.S. Census Bureau; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Oregon Tourism Commission; Oregon Department of Revenue; Oregon Economic and Community Development Department.

5 Largest Employers, Public and Private as of June, 2002

Employer—Product/ServiceNumber of
Gaston School District—Education 59

Gaston Market—Gas and Market

Accu-Fab—Custom Remanufacturing, Fabrication, Moldings 10

Phlogiston Products—Aircraft Parts 9

Consol Screw & Maching—Turned Parts 5

Source: City Administration

Oregon Employment Labor Market Information

This link takes you to the Oregon Employment Department, Labor Market Analysis database. County information can be obtained here.—Click on Regional Information.

Local and Regional Economic Development Organizations

City of Gaston 503-985-3340

Columbia-Pacific Economic Development District— 503-397-2888

Economic & Community Development Department Regional Development Officer— 503-229-5115

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department


Public and Private Schools K–12

Public School District:
Gaston School District 511J
300 Park St
PO Box 68
Gaston, OR 97119-0068
Phone: 503-985-0210
Fax: 503-985-3366

Staff and Enrollments:
District Certified Staff: reported October 2000—38
Total District Enrollment: reported October 2001—573

Other Schools in the School District (Private, Parochial)
To see if there are private and/or parochial schools in this district please visit

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Oregon Community Colleges and Public Universities

Oregon map with higher ed institutions identified

legend for map

For a list of public and private educational institutions in Oregon visit


Oregon Economic and Community Development Department Workforce Advocate 503–986–0207, or visit Locate local workforce assistance at

Financial Information

Financial Institutions

Commercial Banks: 0   Savings and Loans: 0   Credit Unions: 0

Source: City Administration


Sales Tax Oregon has no general sales tax.

Property Tax
Property—Who pays? Owners of real and business personal property, according to the assessed value of taxable residential, commercial, farm, industrial, utility and timber property.

County assessors use permanent rates set for all taxing districts in fiscal year 1997–98, when taxes were significantly reduced with a statewide average 17 percent cut in tax levies. Certain types of levies are outside this reduction. The tax rates cannot exceed $15 per $1,000 of real market value. For 1997–98, all property was valued by county assessors at 90 percent of the July 1, 1995, levels. For subsequent years, assessed values are limited to a 3 percent annual growth rate. Construction since July 1, 1995, is valued at the average rate of similar properties in the area. Business personal property requires annual filing. One–third payment is due by November 15. If fully paid by November 15, a 3 percent discount is allowed. Special exemptions, tax relief programs and deferrals are available. For more information contact the Washington County assessor’s office at 503–648–8741.

Tax rates are representative of the largest tax code in the city. The rates are expressed as tax liability per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Washington County
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1997-98$14.29
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1998-99$14.31
Average 1999 Housing Value$134,605
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1997-98$1,851.87
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1998-99$1,926.20
Average School rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . $7.65

Average Non-School Rate 1998-99. . . . $10.36

Average City Rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . . $6.61

Business Taxes
Property—see above

Income—Corporations doing or authorized to do business in Oregon pay excise tax. Corporations not doing or authorized to do business, but having income from an Oregon source, pay income tax. For more information contact the Oregon Department of Revenue, 955 Center St., NE, Salem, OR 97301, 503–378–4988,

Unemployment Insurance—Employers pay this. For 2002, new employers are assigned a fixed rate of 3 percent of taxable wage base. Tax rates for existing employers are based on employers' experience and range from 1 percent to 5.4 percent of taxable wage base. Taxes are paid quarterly and are due by the end of the month following the quarter. In 2002, the tax is paid on the first $25,000 of wages paid to each employee. The rate schedule in effect depends on the balance in the Trust Fund as of August 31 each year and the amount of revenue needed to maintain the balance at a level adequate to pay benefits. For more information contact the Oregon Employment Department, 875 Union St., NE, Salem, OR 97301, 503–947–1488, web

Utilities, Railroad, Weight-mile—Who pays? All railroads and investor-owned utilities operating with the state pay an annual fee. For-hire and private motor carriers operating into, within and through the state pay weight-mile taxes. Rates—limit of .25 percent of gross operating revenues of investor-owned utilities; .25 percent charged on 2002 revenues. Limit of .35 percent on gross operating revenues of railroads; .267 percent charged in 2002 revenues. Applications, plate fees and per-mile rates dependent on declared combined weight of vehicle. For more information contact the Oregon Public Utility Commission, 550 Capitol St., NE, Suite 215, Salem, OR 97301–2551, 503–378–6611, web; Oregon Department of Transportation, Rail Section, 555 13th St., NE, Salem, OR 97310–1333, 503–986–4125, web; Oregon Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Transport Branch, 550 Capitol St., NE, Salem, OR 97301–3871, 503–378–6699, web

Oregon's Business Incentives.

Motor Vehicle Licensing, Driver Licensing, Fuels—Who pays? Owners and operators of motor vehicles. Oil companies importing fuels. Truckers using Oregon highways. Fees—Registration fees, driver license fees and renewals (contact the Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services division 503–945–5000, web

Hunting and Fishing Licenses—contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, PO Box 59, Portland, OR 97207, general information 503–872–5268, licenses/tags/permits 503–872–5275, web

Amusement Device Tax—An excise tax is imposed upon every person who operates an amusement device in Oregon. An amusement device is a video lottery game terminal. More information from the Oregon Lottery Commission, 500 Airport Rd SE, Salem, 97301, web

Emergency Communications (9–1–1) Tax—Telephone companies providing local exchange access services in Oregon Collect this tax from their customers. The tax, which is $0.75 per line per month, is reported and paid quarterly. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Hazardous Substance Fee—Paid by possessors of nonpetroleum hazardous substance. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Petroleum Load Fee—Paid by petroleum suppliers and importers to Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Timber Severance Tax—Paid by timber owners on harvested timber’s value. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Forest Products Harvest Tax—Paid on timber cut from any land in Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Dry Cleaning Tax—Paid by operators of dry cleaning facilities. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Alcoholic Beverages—Manufacturers and/or import wholesalers of malt beverages and wines pay a privilege tax. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of distilled spirits, malt beverages and wines pay license fees. Employees who serve alcoholic beverages pay for service permits. For more information contact the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, PO Box 22297, Portland, OR 97222, 503–872–5000 or 1–800–452–6522 (in Oregon), web

Tobacco Products—Cigarette and tobacco products distributors are required to purchase tax stamps for cigarettes or pay a percentage of the wholesale price on other tobacco products. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Transit Payroll Tax–paid by employers in the Tri-Met (Portland area) and Lane Transit District (Eugene) for mass transit systems. Administered by the Department of Revenue, web

Many local governments in Oregon collect other taxes, such as hotel-motel taxes. Contact the city or county in which you are interested for more complete information about taxes in that area.

Source: Oregon Department of Revenue, “A Summary of Taxes,” January 2002; County information–County Assessor’s Office

Community Services and Resources

Public Safety/Emergency Services

Fire Station(s) serving community: Gaston Rural Fire Department
Number of paid and volunteer firefighters: 23
Rating by Insurance Services Organization (ISO): 6-8-9*
City Administration

Police Department: Gaston Police Department, Washington County Sheriff
Number of paid and reserve officers: 5

Nearest Hospital and distance: Tuality Forest Grove Hospital, 7 miles in Forest Grove
Regional Hospital and distance: Tuality Forest Grove Hospital, 7 miles in Forest Grove
Emergency services to community: Ambulance Service
General Clinic(s): 0

Source: City Administration

Communications Resources

Local Newspapers: None

Regional Newspapers: The Oregonian (Portland, Forest Grove News-Times

Radio Stations: City receives 14 AM, 11 FM stations

TV Stations: City receives 6 stations

Available Cable Television: TCI Cable

Telephone Service Provider(s): Verizon

Local Internet Service Provider(s): Yes
Number of Internet Service Providers: Data unavailable at this time.
Source: City Administration

Library System
1 public library–Gaston Community Library a non-profit organization

Source: City Administration

Planning Service/Regulatory

Regulatory SystemYear AcknowledgedYear Last
Year of Periodic ReviewComments
Comprehensive Plan1973 2002
Finished and adopted
Zoning Ordinance

Building Permit System

Handled by Washington County
Subdivision Ordinance
Strategic Plan

Territory Covered by Zoning
Municipality Yes     County Yes
Source: City Administration

Industrial Lands
Does the Community seek industrial development? Yes
Access Statewide industrial lands database—
Source: Economic and Community Development Department

Special Districts and Associations (ports, water, sewer, etc.)
Name of Special District and the Oregon Revised Statute it was created under:
Community Action Organization; Tualatin Valley Irrigation District; Tualatin Valley Water District; Clean Water Services; Wapato Improvement District; Washington County Drainage District #7; Washington County Communications; Washington County Enhanced Sheriff; Washington County Fire District 2; Washington County S.W.C.D.; Washington County Vector Control District; West Slope Water District; Wolsborn Farm Water District

Special Districts Association of Oregon—727 Center St., NE Salem, OR 97301, 503–371–8667 or 800–285–5461
Source: City Administration


Water Supply

Operator: City of Gaston
Source: City of Hillsboro
Supply: Treated; Capacity (MGD)– ; Pressure (PSI)–20-25

Current Water Utilization on Meter Size (MGD): MGD
Water Costs per thousand gallons: Base rate per/thousand = In-town, single meter= $11.68/1000 gallons + $5.14/1,000 over 1,000
Water Costs for Total Consumption of Residential: Based on 7,000 gallons = $40.47

Age of Water System:

Water System Comment(s): Water purchased from the City of Hillsboro

Compliance Issues: None

Water debt repayment included as part of tax assessment? No

Date of Current Master Plan: 2002

Plans for Upgrading or Expanding: Yes
Source: City Administration

Wastewater Treatment System

Operator: Clean Water Services          Age of Wastewater Collection System:
District: Clean Water Services

System Design Capacity (MGD): The Forest Grove Facility covers Gaston, Banks, part of Forest Grove, and part of Cornelius: 2.6 MGD (average dry flow)     System Utilization (MGD): MGD
Collection System Fees: 0    Hook-up or Connection Fee: 0
Access Fee or System Development Fee: $2,400

Comment(s) on Wastewater System: Treatment is provided regionally. System Development Fee covers Hook-up/Connection Fee. Monthly fee as of July 1, 2003 - $25.83 (system-wide average). For more information, please call Clean Water Services, 503-846-8621.

Compliance Issues:

Date of Last Facility Plan: 2000 (Clean Water Services)

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Storm Drain: Yes    Storm Water Discharge Fee:
Fees or issues related to storm drains: $500/ 2,640 square feet – start up fee; $4/ 2,640 square feet – monthly fee.
Source: City Administration


Is there access to broadband

If yes, check all that apply:

Is there route diversity? Yes
AccessMonthly FeeOther Fee
T1 Yes varies varies
Cable Yes

For Oregon Telecommunications information and resources, visit

Natural Gas—Provider: Northwest Natural Gas
Lines and Feed: A range of sizes exists. Please contact Northwest Natural Gas at (503) 226–4211 for more information.

Rate Structure: Residential rate is $.87016 per therm. Industrial and commercial rates vary. Please contact Northwest Natural Gas at (503) 226–4211 for more information. Source: NW Natural, 2003.

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Electrical—Provider: Portland General Electric (PGE)
Lines and Feed: Power is transmitted to the area through 230kV transmission lines, where the voltage is stepped down to 115kV (and in some cases 57kV) for power transmission to distribution substations throughout the region. At each distribution substation, the voltage is further stepped down to 13kV for distribution through neighborhoods to homes and businesses. Customers can elect to choose the voltage at which they receive electric power service. Most homes and smaller businesses choose 120V/480V. Larger businesses can receive power at either 13kV or 115kV, and use their own transformers and other equipment to step down the voltage to meet their specific requirements. For businesses with power-sensitive and high-reliability needs, special site-specific arrangements may be made, such as alternative service and backup generators.

Rate Structure Residential rate (PGE Schedule 7): $10 Basic Charge for single phase service and $16 for three phase service, plus 5.918 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the first 250 kWh and 7.029 cents for all additional kWh above 250 kWh, plus 3 percent public purpose charge and 38 cents per bill for low-income bill payment assistance.

Small nonresidential rate (PGE Schedule 32 or less than 30 kW): $10 Basic Charge for single phase service and $16 for three phase service, plus 7.547 cents per kWh for the first 5,000 kWh and 5.461 cents per kWh for all additional kWh above 5,000 kWh. This includes 0.038 cents per kWh for the low-income bill payment assistance program, which is not subject to the 3 percent public purpose charge.

Large nonresidential and industrial rate: These customers can choose their energy supplier. They are able to choose from a range of energy supply plans from their utility (daily, monthly, quarterly or annual pricing), or secure a negotiated arrangement with an Energy Service Supplier (ESS). In all instances, power distribution to the customer site remains a regulated utility activity.

For additional information, visit or call PGE Customer Service 1-800-542-8818.
Source: PGE, 2003.

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Solid Waste Management: USA Waste of Oregon

Permit Status: Current

Utility Expansion Plans:

Utilities Source: City Administration; PGE information supplied by PGE. Note: We update utility rates periodically. Actual rates may change more often than that. For the most current rate for any carrier please consult the Public Utilities Commission web site at Click on the Statistics 200x label (x being the most recent year).


Highways Hwy 47 N/S route, local access   Transportation Access Fee: $0

Community Air Service No
If no local service, list closest Air Facility
Air Passenger Service: No
Airport Freight Service: No
Portland International Airport, 24.5 miles
Air Service Comments:

Rail Service: No 
Freight Service: No    Passenger Service: No
If no local service, list closest Rail Service:

Marine No

Transportation issues which might confront development, such as non-attainment air shed, etc.:

Public Transportation Comment:

Bus Service Available in the Community: No 
Scheduled Bus Service Available: No    Buses Per Day:
Local Charter Services: No U-Shuttle - a local service will take people to the nearest bus stop or max line.
Distance to Nearest Bus Service: 6 miles

Trucking Service
Scheduled Freight Carrier Services: No  
Overnight Express Parcel Service Available: Yes UPS and FedEX
Overnight Express Mail Service Available: Yes
Transportation Comments:

For more information relating to transportation topics please visit the Department of Transportation web site. Airports (maps and general information); Bicycle and Pedestrian Route information; Public Transportation, bus and rail

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce (proprietary information)