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County OKs participation in Secure Rural Schools

Linn County will again participate in the National Forest and O & C Land Secure Rural Schools program, Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker agreed Tuesday morning, Aug. 30.

In May, federal government officials announced Linn County will receive about $3.3 million in 2022.

The Secure Rural Schools programs began in 2000, after rural communities were affected by a steep reduction in timber harvesting, especially on U.S. Forest Service lands. Today, funds are distributed to more than 700 counties in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Linn County Treasurer Michelle Hawkins said Linn County received up to $7 million annually in the program’s early years.

Funds are divided into three categories: Title I, for roads and schools; Title II, for projects on federal lands; and Title III, for county projects.

Benton County will receive about $132,000.

Lane County is slated to receive the most funding at about $9.5 million, followed by Douglas County at $7.1 million.

Tucker will act as the point person for this program.

In other business, the commissioners:

♦ Were informed by Linn County Juvenile Director Torri Lynn that the summer program for 25 young people — most of whom have not been negatively involved with law enforcement — went well. They visited a company that makes the delivery robots used on the OSU Campus, worked with the Calapooia Watershed folks, learned about tidepools and more.

♦ Approved a new job classification, “Special Operations Group Foreman,” within the Road Department. The new position will provide support for the operations manager and maintenance supervisors and assist with organizing and managing the summer surface maintenance program.

♦ Approved closure of North River Drive and Quartzville Road for the annual Best in the West Triathlon, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11, at Foster Reservoir in Foster. North River Drive will be closed between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday. Quartzville Road will be closed between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. those days.

♦ Approved changing a position in the IT Department from “Microcomputer Support Specialist” to “Systems Administrator.”

— Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer