Permit fee waived for homes lost in 2020 Santiam Canyon fires

Linn County has waived more than $71,000 in building permit fees for Santiam Canyon families who lost their homes in the 2020 Labor Day fires, Planning Department Manager Alyssa Boles told Commissioners Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Board Chairman Roger Nyquist was not present.

According to Boles, permits have been provided for 13 single-family dwellings and 10 manufactured homes as well as 33 permits for electrical services and 18 for temporary RVs. 

The county implemented the fee waivers to help families rebuild homes destroyed by the 402,000-plus-acre fires. 

Boles said income from contract cities was down in August, due to a reduction in the number of single-family dwelling permits within those cities. Overall revenue is down about 2%. 

He added that staff members have been meeting with city officials to discuss the new Accela online permitting program. Millersburg is the first contract city to sign up for the system.

In other business, the commissioners:

— Approved a contract amendment for $32,852 with Quality Coatings Inspections and Consulting Inc. for the Mill City First Ave-nue Bridge Project. Roadmaster Wayne Mink said the cost of the project increased to $149,900 due to unanticipated delays caused by the September 2020 fires.

— Were informed by Mink that he is talking with Oregon Department of Transportation officials about ways to make the intersection of Richardson Gap Road and Highway 226 safer. The area is the site of several accidents in recent years, including one earlier this week. Mink said, “Something is going to have to be resolved there.”

— Were told that Daineal Malone, a longtime Road Department employee has succeeded the retired Chuck Knoll as County Engineer.

— Approved the city of Millersburg’s petition to reassign the entire city to the Ambulance Service Area-I provided by the city of Albany. Previously, services were provided by Albany and Jefferson fire.

— Talked about new U.S. Postal gang boxes being installed in Cascadia. The community’s post office closed several years ago and residents have been working with local, state and federal officials to get some type of stand-alone postal facility in place. Commissioner Tucker has been an active participant in the project. 

— Talked about supporting a scaled-down Veterans Day event in Albany in November and helping plan a full-scale parade for 2022. Commissioner Sprenger said she attended a meeting of interested persons who are “committed to seeing this event go on.”

— Told a person listening to the meeting by phone that the board is considering some meetings at night and in outlying communities. Commissioner Tucker said this has been done previously. Attendance is usually minimal and the county has added labor costs because staff members fall into overtime compensation. 

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer