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

Linn County Commissioners OK Lyons area quarry request

Linn County Commissioners OK Lyons area quarry request

By Alex Paul

Linn County Communications Officer

A rock quarry near Lyons known as the Fox Valley Pit will be allowed to expand its aggregate work area by 40 acres, Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist and Will Tucker agreed Tuesday morning.

Commissioner Sherrie Sprenger was on vacation.

Northrock Quarry of Stayton has worked 19-acres for several years and wants to expand to another portion of the 98-acre property.

The commissioners held a public hearing based on a remand from the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals on Dec. 28 at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. The commissioners decided to allow more written comments, plus response from the applicants for 20 days.

Opponents said they were concerned about water quality issues, but the applicants noted they have not had issues over the many years they have operated the quarry and the new aggregate area is farther away from the North Santiam River.

The company also noted that employees attend “weekly, monthly and annual company safety and trainings that consist of erosion control measures, storm water management, riparian protection, spill prevention and cleanup, equipment operation and maintenance, as well as numerous other topics related to mining and construction.”

Commissioner Tucker said he appreciated information provided by the City of Salem, which gets its drinking water from the North Santiam River. Lacey Goeres-Priest, the city’s water quality supervisor, noted in a letter that information provided by a consulting firm hired by Northrock, provided additional information that “satisfactorily addresses much of the City’s initial concerns surrounding the enlargement of the mining area within the site.”

In other business, the commissioners:

Were told by Dr. William Muth, County Health Officer, there have been 18,298 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 217 deaths in Linn County. Statewide, there have been 5,883 deaths. Muth said the Omicron variant is dominant. He said there were 54 births and 159 deaths in December.

Accounting Officer Bill Palmer said county elected officials and department heads are managing funds conservatively. The fiscal year is half-way over and expenditures are at 40 percent for the General Fund, 23 percent for the Road Fund, 39 percent for the Law Enforcement Levy and 38 percent for the Health Department.

Approved a subaward grant between Linn County and Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. Samaritan will pay Linn County a maximum of $60,426 to oversee the LifeSkills Training Program, substance use disorder screenings, counseling, treatment and intervention services for youth in rural Linn County.

Approved a agreement between Linn County and Benton County to provide Mobile Crisis Services for $20,188 per month, not to exceed $242,262 from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022.

Accepted a grant of up to $1,743,505 from the Criminal Justice Commission’s Justice Reinvestment Grant Program.

Approved an agreement between Linn County and the Oregon Health Authority to provide financing of community mental health, addiction treatment, recovery, prevention and problem gambling services from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022.

Approved an agreement between Linn County and the Oregon Health Authority to provide CHOICE Model Services not to exceed $326,707.

Approved a contract between InterCommunity Health Network and Linn County to provide Public Health Services to Linn County such as lactation consultants, registered dieticians and newborn screenings by Registered Nurses in family homes.

Approved establishing a no parking zone between milepost 0.08 and 0.13 on the east side of McFarland Road in Tangent. Roadmaster Wayne Mink said parking in the area is creating a visibility hazard for people who live in the Ashwood Estates housing development. 

Received three bids for the Thomas Creek-Richardson Gap Shimanek Covered Bridge Project. Bidders were: Legacy Contracting, Stayton, $2,869,908; Marcum and Sons, Redmond, $2,993,068; and Stellar J Corporation, Woodland, Washington, $3,098,999. Road Department staff will review the bids and provide the commissioners with a proposed winner at next week’s board meeting.

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