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

State adds dental services for veterans through OHP

Linn County Communications Officer

Linn County Communications:

Linn County veterans will now have access to dental care thanks to a new program from the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Services Manager Dee Baley-Hyder told the Linn County Board of Commissioners at their Jan. 10 meeting.

Baley-Hyder said veterans will receive the same types of dental services provided through the Medicaid program administered through the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), locally InterCommunity Health Care.

She emphasized veterans must apply through the Oregon Health Plan – either online ( or by telephone, 1-800-832-4580 for Linn County or 800-273-0557 through Medicaid.

Eligibility includes:

Live in Oregon

Are not eligible for the OHP/Medicaid

Are a veteran as described in the ORS 408.225

Have income at or below 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level

Once a person is determined to be eligible, veterans will need to provide discharge documentation.

Baley-Hyder also reported that Veterans Services helped local veterans receive $333,779 in benefits from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022. From July 1 to Dec. 31, more than $1.25 million was recovered for local veterans.

She said the medical transportation program continues to be popular as well.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Approved the Special Transportation Improvement Fund grant applications for 2023-25: Albany Paratransit/Call-a-Ride, $50,000; Lebanon Linx, $138,821; Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments, $36,000; Oregon Mennonite Residential Services, $15,000; Sunshine Industries Unlimited, $65,000; Senior Citizens of Sweet Home— Dial-a-Bus, $50,000; Senior Citizens of Sweet Home — Linn Shuttle, $196,000; Volunteer Caregivers, $120,000. Total: $670,821.

• Approved a request by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office to contract with the Northwest Clinical Registry to provide temporary Registered Nursing staffing at the jail. 

• Were informed by Planning & Building Director Steve Willis there were 49 land use permits and 279 total permits issued in December. He said five permits were issued for single family dwellings and one for a manufactured dwelling. He said the county has waived almost $114,000 in building permits for homes in the Santiam Canyon rebuilding after the September 2020 fires.

• Gave Linn County Law Librarian Amber Boedigheimer permission to apply for a $45,000 grant from the Library Services Technology Act, to implement a “warm line” with the local Legal Aid Services program. The “warm line” would be a telephone number that tenants and landlords can use to get answers to questions about rent hikes, unpaid rent, habitability issues, property damages etc. Pro-bono attorneys from Legal Aid would operate the phone line and forward calls to the Linn County Law Library as needed.

• Approved the following money transfers: LBRIG Radio Project, $55,208; Veterans transportation, $24,021; Millersburg Intermodal, interest on loan from the Road Fund, $4,021; De-icing material for Road Department, $45,000; General Services, electric vehicle charging stations, $53,000 grant; Linn County Sheriff’s Office, COVID-19 testing reimbursement from Oregon Health Authority, $215,000.

• Were informed by Accounting Officer Bill Palmer that the county is half-way through the current fiscal year and department budgets look good. The General Fund is only about 45 percent expended; the Road Fund is at 25.5 percent; the Law Enforcement Levy is at 38 percent and Health Department at 32.5 percent.  

• Re-appointed Kerry Johnson and Ed Perlenfein to the Linn County Fair Board.

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