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County commissioners hear first reading of mushroom ordinance

The first reading of an ordinance that would allow Linn County residents to vote Nov. 8 to ban the growing and sales of psilocybin mushrooms in Linn County, was held Tuesday morning, July 12, before the Board of Commissioners.

Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker had previously approved the process of placing the proposal on the November ballot.

Although Ballot Measure 109, which legalizes the cultivation, sale and distribution of mushrooms to be used medically, was passed statewide in November 2020, it did not pass in Linn County.

The ballot measure included language that allows counties to opt out of the process.

County Attorney Gene Karandy brought the proposed ordinance before the board. It would not have an effect within incorporated cities in Linn County.

The ordinance would prohibit the development of both psilocybin product manufacturing and service centers.

The next reading of the proposed ordinance will be at the Tuesday, July 26 board meeting.

In other business, the commissioners:

♦ Approved a contract for $65,725 with David Evans and Associates for planning of the Cox Creek Bridge on Gold Fish Farm Road. The state is reimbursing the county $2.92 million toward the project.

♦ Approved a contract for the Linn County Road Department to provide project management, engineering services and contract administration with Mill City for the Cedar Creek Pedestrian Trail Bridge that was damaged in the September 2020 wildfires. The city will reimburse the county up to $235,000.

♦ Approved the publication and distribution of Request for Proposals for the Linn County District Attorney’s Office to purchase a new Case Management System.

♦ Approved an annual contract between the Linn County Assessor’s Office and Helion Software for $143,323.

♦ Completed the following agreements recommended by the Linn County Transportation Advisory Committee, allocating Special Transportation Funding: Sunshine Industries, $29,760; VolunteerCaregivers, $53,261; Oregon Mennonite Residential Services, $6,500; Albany Dial-A-Bus, $25,000; Lebanon Dial-A-Bus, $45,000; Sweet Home Dial-A-Bus, $25,000; Linn Shuttle, $98,000; and COG Senior/Disability Services, $18,000.

♦ Agreed to sign a letter of support for Catholic Charities, which is seeking a grant to assist families affected by the September 2020 wildfires in the Santiam Canyon.

♦ Approved a contract with ServicePLUS++ As and When Service to support the county’s Accela Automation Service within the Planning & Building Department.

♦ Accepted six bids ranging from $758,386 to $1.3 million for the Mill Creek – Folsom Road Bridge replacement project.

Road Department staff will review the bids and bring a recommendation back to the commissioners.

♦ Welcomed Sodaville Council President Adina Olivares and City Recorder Alex McHaddad, who updated the commissioners on events in their community and talked about the ongoing issues surrounding the lack of potable water from the community’s four wells.

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer