News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Linn County building permit activity points to uptick

Linn County Communications Officer

By Alex Paul

Linn County Communications Officer

The number of permits issued within contract cities by the Linn County Planning and Building Department in the first half of FY 2021-22 is more than the entire FY 2020-2021, Alyssa Boles told the Linn County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning.

Boles said the number of city-based permits more than doubled from 32 in November to 74 in December.

Boles said there were seven single family dwelling permits issued in December, the same as in November and planning permits county-wide increased from 40 in November to 54 in December.

Linn County has waived $95,500 in permitting fees related to wildfire recovery in the Santiam Canyon. One new dwelling permit was issued in December. The tally so far: single-family dwellings, 14; manufactured homes, 11; multi-family dwellings, 1; electrical services, 40; temporary RV permits, 19.

Carol Gordon, the county’s new Code Enforcement officer, said response to her work has been mostly positive. She has been attending Neighborhood Watch  programs in communities like Crabtree and getting to know community members.

“It is an excellent venue for people to express their concerns,” Gordon said. “It’s a wonderful way for me to be visible and to get to know people.”

Commissioner Sherrie Sprenger said Gordon has “been doing an amazing job letting people know how things need to be.” She said that in many cases Gordon has been able to handle a situation before it turned into a major neighborhood issue.

In other business, the commissioners:

Approved accepting a grant of $251,756 from the State Homeland Security Grant Program. The money will be used for Phase II of a channel capacity upgrade of the Linn-Benton Regional Radio System, according to Undersheriff Micah Smith.

Approved accepting an Emergency Management Performance Grant that will pay for about 50 percent of staff costs for emergency management personnel at the Sheriff’s Office.

Approved an intergovernmental sheltering agreement between Linn County and the Santiam Canyon School District. In the event of a major disaster, Linn County will be able to use the school district’s buildings and grounds as a temporary sheltering site. Linn County Emergency Manager Ric Lentz said he is developing similar agreements with other school districts as well.

Appointed attorneys John E. (Tre’) Kennedy of Lebanon and Robert Snyder of Sweet Home as Justices of the Peace Pro Tempore for District 4.

Approved a contract amendment for field coating certified inspections of the Mill City Railroad Pedestrian Bridge Project to $73,000 due to scheduling difficulties and a delay in delivery of materials. The original contract was for $39,990 and it was later amended to $49,990. Commissioner Will Tucker praised Roadmaster Wayne Mink’s team’s efforts to keep work flowing even when dealing with the aftermath of the Labor Day 2020 fires in the Santiam Canyon.

Approved a transfer of $372,000 within the Health Fund from Materials and Services to Capital Outlay.

Was asked by North Albany resident Tom Cordier if Linn County planned to distribute COVID-19 care based on racial “equity” as some states are planning. The commissioners said vaccinations are being provided at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, free of charge, no reservations required, walk-ins welcome. They advised Cordier to contact his personal physician with concerns about COVID-19 treatments.

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