Linn Commissioners hear about veteran services

Linn County Veterans Services has helped local veterans and their survivors collect more than $1 million since July 2023, Department Director Dee Baley-Hyder told the Linn County Board of Commissioners during their Jan. 3 meeting.

The board’s weekly meeting was held on Wednesday instead of the usual Tuesday due to the New Year’s holiday.

Baley-Hyder added that Veterans Services recovered $404,883 in the most recent quarter (Oct. 1-Dec. 26) and that is up more than $40,000 from the same time period in 2022 ($364,981).

Veterans Services was also awarded a $43,370 grant from the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs to be used to provide transportation to medical appointments for local veterans, especially those who live in rural areas. Veterans Services qualified for an $11,000 grant in 2020.

The department has until June 2025 to utilize those funds.

Baley-Hyder said Veterans Services worked with the Health Department to sponsor a QPR (Questions, Persuade and Refer) suicide prevention training program in November. The program included a guest speaker from the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs. Staff also participated in the annual Veterans Day Parade.

In other business, the commissioners:

  • Elected Commissioner Roger Nyquist as chairman and Commissioner Will Tucker as vice-chairman for 2024.
  • Designated Mid-Valley Media (Democrat-Herald/Gazette Times) plus The New Era newspaper in Sweet Home as newspapers of record for public notices.
  • Appointed attorneys John “Tre’” Kennedy of Lebanon and Robert Snyder of Sweet Home as Justices of the Peace Pro Tempore.
  • Appointed County Assessor Andy Stevens as Linn County Tax Collector.
  • Approved an amendment to the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund Grant Agreement that was signed in 2021. It is for $1,540,000. The amendment extends the due date from June 30, 2024 to Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Was told by Ryan Vogt, executive director of the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments, that a new Community and Economic Development Director has been hired after more than a year’s search. Jacklyn Disney will come to the mid-valley from Shasta County, Calif. In a written report, Vogt added that the Cascades West Ride Line provided more than 24,000 trips to 1,881 members from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1.
  • Approved participating with 17 other counties in a lawsuit, Lynch et al v. Multnomah County et al and Gabbert et al v. Josephine County et al., that will challenge Oregon’s property tax foreclosure statute as a “takings” issue under the Oregon Constitution. Each of the counties will contribute $10,000 each to start.
  • Announced that planning for the 2024-25 budget hearings has begun, with public hearings tentatively planned for the week of April 29-May 3.
  • Announced that Linn County signed onto a letter to Gov. Tina Kotek from Rep. Jami Cate, R-District 11, concerning the management of the Corps of Engineers reservoirs in Linn County and will send a letter to Oregon legislators asking for the repeal of Ballot Measure 110, which decriminalized the possession of hard drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines. Local officials said the result has been disastrous statewide.
  • Approved amending the pay classification for the Property Management position from Pay Range 12 to Pay Range 16, management exempt.
  • Announced there would be a meeting of the county’s management staff at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the courthouse basement meeting room.
  • In a separate meeting, convened as the governing body of the 4-H and Extension Service District, and elected Commissioner Tucker as chairman and Commissioner Nyquist as vice-chairman.

Media contact: Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer, 541-967-3825 or email [email protected].