County Podcast Talks Wetland Preservation: Benton County released the second episode of its public podcast on May 16. Episode 2 features the Jackson-Frazier Wetland and work happening to maintain and preserve the wetland with Natural Resources Coordinator Adam Stebbins, and Natural Areas Parks & Events Deputy Director Jesse Ott.
“We hope that ‘Benton County Connects’ will be a valuable resource for our community, helping to foster stronger connections and a greater sense of engagement with local government,” said Public Information Officer Cory Grogan.
In March, Episode 1 of the podcast launched and discussed the history of the Coffin Butte landfill, and what the County is doing to manage solid waste now following the release of the final report from the Benton County Solid Waste Workgroup.
The next episode will feature Host and Producer, KORC’s Dan Crall, who will discuss the homeless response in Benton County and the Corvallis Daytime Drop-in Center.
For more information about the podcast and to access the latest episodes, you can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Council Finalizes Local Levy Renewal Proposal: The Corvallis City Council has adopted Resolution 2023-17 approving the local option tax levy explanatory statement for the November 7, 2023 election.
The statement reads, “the Measure would allow the City of Corvallis to levy $1.07 per $1,000 of assessed value for five years for the purpose of supporting operations of the Corvallis Public Library (51.9%) and the Parks and Recreation Department (48.1%), and to provide grant funding to local social service agencies ($480,000).”
“These are core city services that have strong community support, and the levy renewal will provide funding to continue those services for another five years. It was last approved in 2019. No change to the tax rate from the previous levy,” said Patrick Rollens, Public Information Officer.
The levy tax rate is estimated to cost the medium income homeowner approximately $25 per month in the first year of the levy, based on the average (mean) residential property, and would collect approximately $6.5 million in the first year, with an estimated average of $6.9 million collected each year for the five-year period.
The current 2019 City Livability Levy will expire on June 30, 2024, according to a release from the city.
In Case You Haven’t Already Heard: The County’s proposed Community Safety bond levy, Measure 2-140, failed to garner the support needed from voters. On May 16, Benton County voters rejected the $110 million dollar Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP) bond measure.
Earlier this year, Benton County Board of Commissioners referred the bond measure to voters in hopes of funding the construction of facilities aimed at providing community safety, mental health, and homelessness services.
“While the news of the measure is disheartening for those involved with the JSIP project, The Benton County Commissioners would like to emphasize that they are still committed to important goals and projects that were associated with this bond measure,” said Cory Grogan, Public Information Officer. “Despite the unsuccessful outcome, we are fortunate to have funds in place to proceed with the construction of our new courthouse and District Attorney’s offices. These new facilities will not only ensure the safety of our staff in the face of seismic events but also provide much-needed additional space.”
This marks the fourth time over a thirty-year period that a bond measure for new facilities has not passed.
“This setback will not deter us from continuing to advocate for essential projects that benefit our community as a whole,” said Grogan. “While the bond measure’s defeat presents challenges, we firmly believe that it also represents an opportunity for us to regroup, reassess, and strategize new approaches. We will continue to engage with community stakeholders, political leaders, and other partners to rally support for crucial endeavors.”
By Jennifer Warner