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

Commissioners OK summer Youth Wage Grant program

Linn County Communications Officer

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker unanimously approved the annual Youth Wage Grant program for its 17th year at Tuesday morning’s board meeting.

Linn County uses economic development funds generated by the Video Lottery to subsidize $2 per hour of wages for first-time teen employees. The program has been highly successful, with dozens of teenagers employed each summer. Last year, 73 youth were employed in jobs that included everything from local restaurants to farming. 

To qualify, businesses must hire eligible employees between May 1 and Sept. 29. The employee must be legal to work in the United States and a resident of Linn County.

Qualifying businesses must employ 35 or fewer employees and the young people must be first-time employees, who have not previously worked for the individual business.

Maximum reimbursement is $3,000 per employer and businesses can hire up to three qualifying young people at a time. Maximum subsidy per young person is $1,000.

For additional information, call the Linn County Board of Commissioners office at 541-967-3825 or visit

In other business, the commissioners:

Were informed by Linn County Health Officer Dr. William Muth there were 66 births – 30 girls and 36 boys – and 112 deaths in March. Of those deaths, tobacco could be considered a contributing factor in 22 percent; diabetes, almost 19 percent; alcohol, 4.5 percent; and drug use, 4.5 percent. There were 226 COVID-19 cases, 908 year-to-date compared to 10,265 cases year-to-date last year.

Were told by Environmental Health Manager Shane Sanderson that as staffing continues to improve, the number of inspections at food service facilities has also grown. He said there were 50 inspections in March and 426 year-to-date, compared to 241 year-to-date a year ago.

Approved several requests by the Linn County Public Health Department including: a Personal Services Contract between Linn County and the Albany Partnership and Community Development to provide increased housing support for 20 to 25 clients, not to exceed $110,000; and IGA with Portland State University to conduct a coalition assessment for Linn County Alcohol and Drug from Jan. 1, 23022 to Sept. 29, 2025, not to exceed $27,000; accepting a $10,000 grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials to purchase two evacuation karts and medical treatment supplies for the Linn County Sheriff’s Office; approved an IGA with Oregon State University and Linn County to provide internships for students in the Masters of Counseling program; approved a Student Affiliation Agreement with Linn-Benton Community College to provide internships for students in the nursing program; approved a proposal by the Alcohol and Drug Department to update its by-laws.

Approved contracting with Dr. Adam Brady of Samaritan Health Services to act as the Linn County Health Officer, three hours per week at $180 per hour. He will succeed Dr. William Muth, who has held that position for a number of years and has moved from the area.

Appointed Kacey Wimmer to Position 2 on the Linn County Health Advisory Committee. She replaces Miao Zhao.

Approved several actions by the Linn County Road Department for work on the Goldfish Farm Road project including an easement for $12,423 with Everette Lowrie and Hattie Lowrie; easements for $1,637 and $96 with Albany Auto Wrecking; approved closure of a portion of Main Street in Scio for the annual Linn County Lamb and Wool Fair parade on May 19 and 20.

Announced that the 2023-24 Budget Hearings will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 1, and continue through Thursday, May 4, at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. The meetings are open to the public.

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