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Linn County to support veterans transportation program even after grant runs out

Veterans Services Officer Dee Baley-Hyder (courtesy Linn County)
Veterans Services Officer Dee Baley-Hyder (courtesy Linn County)
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ALBANY, Ore. — Linn County will continue a highly successful medical transportation program for veterans even after a grant from the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs runs out next spring, Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker agreed Tuesday morning.

“After all, these veterans gave us all of the freedoms we had today,” Nyquist said.

Veterans Services Officer Dee Baley-Hyder told the commissioners the grant is for $11,000 and in the first two quarters of this year, her department has expended more than $5,300. She said there is about $6,331 left, which she hopes will last until June 2023.

But she admitted, it’s likely the funding will not stretch out that far, since the program is growing in popularity.

Nyquist moved that the county use up to $20,000 in contingency funds to backfill the program. Sprenger and Tucker concurred.

The program provides transportation anywhere in the state for local veterans who can no longer drive themselves to medical appointments.

Baley-Hyder said Veterans Services assists more than 9,000 of Linn County’s estimated 11,047 veterans. In the past year, Veterans Services has helped local veterans get more than $2.5 million in claims.

Claims include service connection compensation, non-service connected pension aid, survivor pension and more.

Baley-Hyder said she and her staff have been participating in area events such as the Lebanon Strawberry Festival parade and they will be at the Linn County Fair July 14-16.

Linn County Veterans Services can be contacted by calling 541-967-3882.

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In other business, the commissioners

  • Approved an intergovernmental agreement to provide Benton County with up to 10 beds at the Linn County Jail if they are available at a rate of $98.50 per day per bed.
  • Approved an intergovernmental agreement for the Assessor’s Office to participate in the ORMAP program. Its goal is to provide a satellite image of every tax lot in the state accessible to the general public.
  • Approved the purchase of a new 12 to 15 yard concave dump body from Pioneer Truckweld for $104,389.
  • Completed the sale of a piece of tax foreclosed property for $5,000 to Mohammad Mursalin Hakimi.
  • Approved a one-year contract for phone service with 10D Tech. The contract includes up to three additional contract extensions.
  • Approved First Time Youth Wage Grants with the Lebanon Aquatic District, Cascade Timber Consulting and The Point Restaurant.
  • After lengthy discussion, agreed to approve a certificate renewal for the Recycling Depot in Lebanon, but only if the owners William and Diana Banks provide the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles with a compliance plan and that plan is accepted by the state. The business has had paperwork issues — primarily not having titles to derelict vehicles — leading to a recommendation that their certificate not be renewed.
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