Help sought to clean Millersburg cemetery

Linn County commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker have been asked to help volunteers clean the historic Miller Cemetery in Millersburg, as well as other old cemeteries in the county.

Harrisburg resident Tim Walter told the board Tuesday morning, April 25, that his father and other family members are buried at the cemetery, which was founded in 1850 and has not been maintained. As a result, it requires brush removal and mowing.

Sprenger said that this was not uncommon, as the board members who serve many of the state’s small historical cemeteries were senior citizens and incapable of performing the labor necessary for maintenance.

Nyquist had suggested to Walter in pre-meeting texts that the Linn County Sheriff’s Office work crew might provide assistance, adding that he would speak with Sheriff Michelle Duncan during the May 1-4 budget hearings. However, as both Walter and Duncan were present at the April 25 meeting, the topic was discussed.

According to Duncan, the number of work-crew inmates has dropped to less than half of pre-COVID-19 numbers. If a plan to increase those numbers was successful, she added, projects at the historical cemeteries were possible.

Nyquist believed there were eight or 10 cemeteries in question. Assessor Andy Stevens, who was asked to identify them, said he would look into the matter.

Walter thanked the commissioners and offered the name of someone at the state level who worked with historic cemeteries.

In other business, the commissioners:

♦ Approved changes in the maximum capacity order for the Linn County Jail and accepted a State Preparedness and Incident Response Equipment grant to purchase a new communications and mobile command trailer.

♦ Learned from Juvenile Director Torri Lynn of 28 Linn County youth held in March, with five and four from Benton County and Lincoln counties, respectively. There were 61 referrals and 190 youth in the probation unit. The intervention specialist was working with 80 youth.

♦ Were told by Linn County Expo Center Manager Kris Barnes that business was brisk, with three new events this month: the Weimaraner National Dog Show, May 8-12; Family Farm Days, May 12-13; and the Oregon Sisterhood State Convention, May 25-27. He said tickets would be made available May 1 for main stage entertainment at the July 13-15 Linn County Fair (www.linncountyfair.com), whose headliners include Clint Black (July 13), Smash Mouth (July 14) and Granger Smith (July 15).

♦ Approved a $17,680 easement with Dennis Burton for the Goldfish Farm Road project and approved a contract with Wiser Rail Engineering company for work on the Millersburg Drive Rail Crossing Quiet Zone Project. The contract is not to exceed $56,777.

♦ Approved participation in the County Assessment Function Funding Assessment Program. The total amount for consideration is about $4,480,794.

♦ Reappointed Judge Jessica Meyer to the Linn County Law Library Committee.

♦ Re-established the Noxious Weed Control Advisory Committee and appointed the following members: Paul Brown, Justin McClaughry, Tom Nichols, Debra Paul, Roger Ruckert and Orval Silbernagel.

♦ Announced that the 2023-24 Linn County budget hearings would begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, May 1, at the Linn County Expo Center. The hearings were to be audiocast via Zoom. Remaining session times are at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, and 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 4. Access the sessions at https://bit.ly/44ddYUD. Online participants should deactivate their computers’ video function and mute their microphones.

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer