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

Commissioners approve digitizing contract

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker approved spending $228,774 to digitize thousands of records housed in the Assessment and Taxation Office at their board meeting Feb. 6.

Deputy Assessor Matt Pitcher told the commissioners Scan-It, based in Beaverton, will scan and digitize about 250,000 pages of deed books, 1,500 mylar maps and more than 90,000 microfilm images.

There are microfilm reading machines in the Assessor’s Office and Clerk’s Office in the Courthouse.

Pitcher said the microfilm documents are primarily tax rolls from the 1940s to the 1970s. There are also 50,000 old appraiser’s jackets that include hand-drawn diagrams. Some of old deeds have handwritten notes on them, he added.

The contract with Scan-It will run from Feb. 1, 2024 to Jan. 31, 2025.

The commissioners were concerned about the possibility of destroying important historical documents.

Pitcher and Assessor Andy Stevens assured the commissioners they would retain the original paperwork for considerable lengths of time per government regulations. Stevens added that there has been some digitization work ongoing since 1993.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Approved a contract for $320 per year between the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and Lexisnexis, which provides criminal justice research materials used by inmates on computer tablets at the Linn County Jail.

• Approved a lease between the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and Consumers Power which will allow the Sheriff’s Office to house a VHF Fire Radio communications antenna on Consumers Power property on Peterson’s Butte near Lebanon.

• Approved accepting a $138,050 grant from Federal 5311 funds passed through to the Senior Citizens of Sweet Home (Linn Shuttle).

• Approved returning $122,179.34 in FY 21-23 Justice Re-investment Grant funds, since the county did not create a fulltime position for drug addiction recovery assistance through the Yellow Line Program and peer support assistance through CHANCE. Health Director Todd Noble said Ballot Measure 110 has led to fewer drug addicted people being required to seek assistance as part of their sentencing.

• Approved adding $292,200 for additional engineering services for the Cedar Creek Pedestrian Trail Bridge Project for the City of Mill City. The completion date has been extended to Dec. 31, 2024.

• Reappointed Rachel Maynard, Ken Bronson and Mellissa Barnard to the Parks & Recreation Commission; reappointed Michael Huber, Damon Martin and Kris Latimer to the Fair Board.

• Announced there would be a joint work session with the Albany City Council at 4 p.m. Feb. 12, at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center.

The 4-H and Extension Service Board convened after the regular board meeting and reappointed Audrey Raschein and Kris Latimer to its Budget Committee.

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