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

Commissioners commend staff, residents for COVID-19 efforts

Linn County Communications Officer

By Alex Paul 
Linn County Communications Officer

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker celebrated the approaching end of the state’s COVID-19 mask mandate on Saturday (March 12) and commended county staff and elected officials who continued to keep their offices open and provide services for the past two years at their meeting March 8.

“I also want to express my gratitude to the citizens of Linn County who made it work,” Nyquist said.

Nyquist said the county staff reacted to the pandemic like the 130,000 residents of Linn County.

“We persevered, lived life and did what we could do for each other,” Nyquist said.

Nyquist said that the commissioners held every meeting as scheduled and “all departments were open to the public.” 

Nyquist praised health care workers, law enforcement, the business community “especially small businesses,” and schools, teachers and parents.

Sprenger said she didn’t know of a group of people who worked harder than those in the Health Department.

“They worked nights, weekends,” Sprenger said. “I don’t think anyone worked more intimately, or was impacted more by COVID-19.”

Tucker thanked the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and Juvenile Department. “We have not had a kid who has contracted COVID while in our care.” 

In other business:

The commissioners encouraged people concerned about proposed large-scale chicken farms in the Scio area to review a summary of the state’s land use laws on the county website at While the commissioners can approve or deny building permits, the siting of farm operations on land zoned Exclusive Farm Use is controlled entirely by the state. The commissioners said they can be advocates for local families, but individuals should contact the appropriate state agencies to address their concerns.

Approved a Road Department construction contract for $2,993,068 with Marcum and Sons for the Thomas Creek, Richardson Gap Road Covered Bridge Project. It is funded by the State Funded Local Project Program and will be reimbursed at 89.73 percent by ODOT.

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