Need work? County Parks Dept. still needs help

Business has been booming this summer at Linn County Parks, director Brian Carroll told the Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning, Aug 2.

However, he added, staffing remains well below adequate levels.

“Our staff is doing a great job and they are putting in a lot of overtime,” he said. “I would compare this summer to two summers ago, which was very busy.”

The summer of 2021 was an anomaly in terms of parks usage as the public was emerging from COVID-19 closures and looking for outdoor recreational opportunities. Carroll said Clear Lake Resort has been busy all summer, although the restaurant’s open only four days a week because he couldn’t find a second cook.

Commissioner Sherrie Sprenger said that although hot-food items weren’t available during her recent mid-week visit, guests had abundant options in packaged-food items and such desserts as pie. She also noted the large number of paddle boarders and kayakers braving the lake’s frigid waters — from 37 to 41 degrees — even during the hottest months of summer.

“In general, our sites are full from Thursday through the weekends,” Carroll said. “Our day use areas, like Lewis Creek, are really busy and that means our staff has to do a lot of cleaning and hauling trash, stuff that comes with having lots of people around.”

The Parks Department has openings for a full-time park ranger, a seasonal ranger and summer help to fill in when college students return to school. Anyone interested in full-time or part-time work with Linn County Parks & Recreation is encouraged to call (541) 967-3917.

“We appreciate you and your staff, as do the citizens of Linn County,” Board Chairman Roger Nyquist said. “We also appreciate that you are working through the workforce challenges.”

The commissioners also approved accepting a $65,000 per year Maintenance Assistance Grant from the Oregon State Marine Board for two years. The money will be used for marine/boat ramp related expenses.

They also approved a contract with Udell Engineering of Lebanon to design and engineer an RV wastewater disposal facility in Sweet Home.

In other business the commissioners:

♦ Approved language for a ballot measure that will allow Linn County voters to decide in November if they want to ban the manufacture and sale of psilocybin mushrooms in unincorporated areas of the county.

♦ Approved an intergovernmental agreement between the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon Department of Transportation. ODOT will give the Sheriff’s Office a heavy-duty metal building that will be refurbished to house radio equipment on Buck Mountain. This is part of the Fire Radio Improvement Project.

♦ Completed the sale of two pieces of tax foreclosed properties, one for $200,100 at 45497 East Dogwood St., Lyons, and the other for $98,000 at 41795 Stayton Scio Road.

♦ Approved 8% inflation adjustments for profit margins of Republic Services, Pacific Sanitation and Sweet Home Sanitation. That will translate into rate increases to customers of 3.4% for Pacific Sanitation, 4.2% for Republic Services, 6.9% for Sweet Home Sanitation.

♦ Approved First-Time Youth Wage Grant agreements with Cook Family Farms, David C. Malpass Warehouse and Malpass Farms.

♦ Announced an elected officials meeting scheduled for noon Wednesday, Aug. 3, at the Linn County Expo Center.

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer