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News Releases
Lane County to hold online information session on American Rescue Plan Community Grant opportunity on Monday, May 23 - 05/20/22

An online information session about Lane County’s American Rescue Plan Community Grant opportunity will be held next Monday, May 23, at 12:00 p.m. Visit www.LaneCounty.org/ARPA for the Microsoft Teams link to join the meeting. 

 

The information session is for those interested in applying for a grant. Participants can ask questions and receive answers during the session. Afterward, all questions and answers will be posted on the website as a “Frequently Asked Questions” document.

 

Lane County will award $3 million in grants to assist nonprofits and public agencies that did not receive direct American Rescue Plan allocations as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards will range from a minimum award of $10,000 and maximum award of $500,000 (limit one award per organization). Final awards will be determined by the Board of County Commissioners.

 

To apply, submit the required information contained in the Request for Applications packet found at www.LaneCounty.org/ARPA. Applications are due no later than 5:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday July 6, 2022. 

 

Areas that will be prioritized for funding arose from community input, including the 1,800+ responses from a community survey. Areas of focus include affordable housing, mental health services (especially for youth), projects that serve rural Lane County, and projects that demonstrate innovation. 

 

Lane County is prioritizing communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 public health emergency for ARPA-funded investments. Applications eligible for ARPA funding will be evaluated using various criteria, one of which is equity.

 

To date, Lane County has allocated over $110 million in ARPA funding:

  • Housing - $22 million
  • Homelessness - $13.8 million
  • Aid to Nonprofits - $9.1 million
  • Public Health - $8.3 million
  • Public Safety - $17.5 million
  • COVID Response and Government Services - $19.7 million
  • Infrastructure - $19.7 million

 

For more information, visit www.LaneCounty.org/ARPA.

 

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Lane County releases American Rescue Plan community grant opportunity - 05/16/22

Lane County will award $3 million in grants to assist nonprofits and public agencies that did not receive direct American Rescue Plan (ARPA) allocations as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. To apply, submit the required information contained in the Request for Applications packet found at www.LaneCounty.org/ARPA

 

Lane County released a Request for Applications (RFA) that outlines how nonprofits and public agencies can apply. Awards will range from a minimum award of $10,000 and maximum award of $500,000 (limit one award per organization). Final awards will be determined by the Board of County Commissioners.

 

Since the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was discovered in the United States, the pandemic has caused severe, intertwined public health and economic crises. The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law in March 2021. Lane County’s direct allocation of the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund was $74 million. In March 2022, the Lane County Board of Commissioners designated $3 million for community grants to support recovery from the pandemic. 

 

To date, Lane County has allocated over $110 million in ARPA funding:

  • Housing - $22 million
  • Homelessness - $13.8 million
  • Aid to Nonprofits - $9.1 million
  • Public Health - $8.3 million
  • Public Safety - $17.5 million
  • COVID Response and Government Services - $19.7 million
  • Infrastructure - $19.7 million

 

Areas that will be prioritized for funding arose from community input, including the more than 1,800 responses from a community survey. Areas of focus include affordable housing, mental health services (especially for youth), projects that serve rural Lane County residents who live outside Eugene-Springfield, and projects that demonstrate innovation. 

 

Lane County is prioritizing communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 public health emergency for ARPA-funded investments. Applications eligible for ARPA funding will be evaluated using different criteria, one of which is equity.

 

An information session for interested parties will be held virtually on Monday, May 23, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. (visit www.LaneCounty.org/ARPA for more information).

 

Applications for American Rescue Plan Community grants will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. 

 

For more information, visit www.LaneCounty.org/ARPA.

 

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Lane County Parks hosting regional community meetings to discuss future of parks - 05/12/22

Lane County Parks is hosting four regional meetings this month to gather input from community members about parks in their region. 

 

During the gatherings, community members will be asked to think about:

  • What enhancements would improve accessibility and access at Lane County’s parks?
  • Which recreational features are most desirable?
  • What educational elements would enhance the visitor experience?

 

“We are at a pivotal point in our parks system,” said Lane County Parks Manager Brett Henry. “We have worked extensively with community-led advisory groups over the past few years to map out a sustainable future for Lane County’s parks and we continue to need feedback from the people who visit our parks.”

 

Meeting Schedule

 

Tuesday, May 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the Lane County Public Works Goodson Room (3040 N. Delta Highway, Eugene)

  • Eugene/Springfield-area parks (Armitage Park, Howard Buford Recreation Area, Orchard Point Marina, Perkins Peninsula, Richardson and Zumwalt)

     

Thursday, May 19, at 5:30 p.m. at Siuslaw Valley Fire & Rescue (2625 Highway 101, Florence)

  • Florence-area parks (Harbor Vista Campground, Camp Lane, North Jetty)

     

Monday, May 23, at 5:30 p.m. at the Leaburg Fire Station (42870 McKenzie Highway, Leaburg)

  • McKenzie River-area parks (Armitage Park, Hendricks Bridge, Forest Glen, Helfrich Landing, Leaburg Landing and other regional boat ramps)

     

Wednesday, May 25, at 5:30 p.m. at the Cottage Grove Armory Company Room (628 E. Washington Avenue, Cottage Grove)

  • Baker Bay Campground

     

 

Lane County Parks receives no property tax funding and instead relies primarily on user fees and a portion of the taxes collected when hotel rooms are rented or recreational vehicles purchased in Lane County. 

 

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Have you returned your ballot? - 05/11/22

You’ve done the hard work of voting. Now, make sure your vote is counted by returning your ballot on time. There are two great ways to return your ballot to Lane County Elections:

 

Official Lane County Elections drop boxes

 

There are 21 official Lane County Elections drop boxes located across Lane County. A list of available drop sites is available online and enclosed with the voting material.

 

“We are excited to add a third Springfield drop box this year,” said County Clerk Cheryl Betschart. “As our communities continue to grow, we pay close attention to where more drop boxes are needed to provide easy access to as many voters as possible.” 

 

If you return your ballot to a drop box, it must be in an official drop box by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

 

Mail via USPS

 

Voters can use the postage-paid return envelope if they choose to mail their ballots back to the Lane County Elections Office. Ballots returned via mail must be postmarked no later than May 17, 2022. 

 

“Even though postmarks do count starting with this election, we still encourage voters to return their ballots early,” said Betschart. “Returning your ballot early does two things: it gives you the peace of mind that your ballot has been received and it helps Elections staff get a head start on processing ballots so we can be more efficient on Election Day.”

 

Before returning a ballot, voters should confirm they signed the ballot return identification envelope that lists the voter’s printed name and address.

 

As a reminder, voters in Lane County no longer receive a secrecy sleeve with their ballot. Your vote is still private. The return envelope is separated from the ballot before processing so that your name cannot be associated with how you voted. Eliminating the secrecy sleeve helps reduce paper waste and makes it faster to process ballots.

 

Assistance is available over the phone at 541-682-4234 (weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) and via email at elections@lanecountyor.gov. 

 

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Lane County voters: return your ballots early - 05/09/22

Voters are urged to return their ballots as early as possible to ensure their vote is counted. 

 

In order to be counted, ballots must returned to Lane County Elections by:

  • Mail – Voters must mail their ballots with enough time for processing and postmarking by the post office. Ballots must be postmarked no later than May 17, 2022.
  • Official Drop Boxes – There are 21 official drop boxes located throughout Lane County – including a new location in North Springfield – that will be available to voters until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day (May 17).

 

“Returning your ballot in an official Lane County Elections drop box remains the quickest and most secure way to turn your ballot in,” said Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart. “If you choose to mail your ballot, please get it to the post office well before the May 17 deadline to make sure it’s postmarked in time. Voters who wait until the last minute on Election Day to find a USPS mail box might not have their ballot postmarked by the deadline.”

 

There are other benefits to returning ballots early:

  • The Elections Office has time to work with voters who forgot to sign the return envelope or whose signatures do not match their voter registration record.
  • Ballots can be prepared for processing and counting on Election Day so that early results can be shared more quickly after 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and those results can be as complete as possible. (The election will be officially certified on June 6.)
  • Voters don’t have to worry about whether their ballot will be postmarked in time and can rest easier knowing their vote will be counted.

 

As a reminder, voters in Lane County no longer receive a secrecy sleeve with their ballot. Your vote is still private. The return envelope is separated from the ballot before processing so that your name cannot be associated with how you voted. Eliminating the secrecy sleeve helps reduce paper waste and makes it faster to process ballots.

 

Assistance is available over the phone at 541-682-4234 (weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) and via email at elections@lanecountyor.gov.

 

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Haven't received your ballot yet? - 05/05/22

Lane County ballots were mailed on Thursday, April 28, 2022 and registered voters should have received their ballots by now. 

 

Voters who did not receive their ballots in the mail should do one or more of the following:

 

 

  • If they have moved to any new address, even the apartment next door, they will need to update their registration. Voters can update online at www.oregonvotes.gov if they have a valid DMV license, identification card or permit number. The same website can be used to update or remove a mailing address. They can also complete a registration card and mail or deliver it to Lane County Elections.

 

Ballots may not be forwarded by law. If voters are not going to be at a regular residence or mailing address, they need to submit a request for an absentee ballot at the temporary location. If voters are unsure what to do, they should call Lane County Elections at 541-682-4234 to determine what action they must take in order to receive a ballot. 

 

Assistance is available over the phone at 541-682-4234 (weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) and via email at elections@lanecountyor.gov.

 

 

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Lane County's Budget Committee kicks off with a public hearing next Tuesday, May 3 - 04/28/22

Lane County is working to develop its 2022-2023 budget. The first Lane County Budget Committee meeting is Tuesday, May 3, at 5:30 p.m. with the public hearing set to begin at 7:00 p.m.

 

“Over the past two years, Lane County has faced a steady barrage of emergencies. From a pandemic to a historic wildfire, our communities in Lane County have demonstrated consummate resilience,” said Lane County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky. “Now, more than ever before, local government is called on to do big things, solve big problems and deliver wherever needed.”

 

The proposed budget focuses on public safety by continuing recent enhancements to rural patrol services with new investments in the District Attorney’s Office and Emergency Management. It continues providing investment in creating a Behavioral Health Crisis & Stabilization Center, support for the operation of a public shelter and navigation center, support for programs to help increase the county’s waste recovery rate, and more.

 

The proposed budget, including all 32 funds, is balanced without layoffs or cuts in services. While use of reserves is required to balance some funds, including the General Fund, Land Management Fund, Parole and Probation Fund, and Parks Fund, all 32 funds continue to maintain reserve levels that exceed the County’s financial policies.

 

Learn more about Lane County’s budget process at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/budget or view the 2022–2023 proposed budget document online. 

 

To sign up to speak at the public hearing during the May 3, 2022 meeting, please register online in advance. Written public comment may also be submitted to LCGABUPL@lanecountyor.gov 

 

The Budget Committee will meet multiple times during the next three weeks to receive information from each County department. The Budget Committee will have the opportunity to approve the proposed budget and any recommended changes on May 19. The approved budget will then appear before the Board of County Commissioners for potential adoption in June.

 

All meetings are telecast on Metro TV, Comcast Cable channel 21. Meetings can also be viewed via webcast at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/webcasts.

 

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Drop-in session Saturday, May 7, for Holiday Farm Fire survivors with rebuilding questions - 04/28/22

Lane County Land Management is hosting a drop-in session on Saturday, May 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the McKenzie Community School New Gym (51187 Blue River Drive) for Holiday Farm Fire survivors who are working through the rebuilding process. 

 

“We know from talking with survivors that many are still deciding whether to rebuild or how to rebuild,” said Lane County Permit Navigator Marianne Nolte. “It can be a complicated process and our planners and building officials want to sit down with people to help them understand what they need for their specific properties.”

 

People will be able to get help with:

  • understanding what forms are required
  • locating what records already exist for a property
  • checking permit status
  • understanding sanitation requirements
  • determining required setbacks
  • understanding building permits and inspections

 

Representatives from McKenzie Locals Helping Locals, McKenzie Valley Long Term Recovery Group, and disaster case managers will also be on-hand to help connect fire survivors to resources and help.

 

For survivors unable to attend Saturday’s drop-in session, Nolte continues to be available on Tuesdays at the McKenzie School New Gym from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and at the Leaburg Annex (42870 McKenzie Highway - milepost 20) on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

 

In addition to creating the permit navigator position that Nolte holds, Lane County has taken other steps to help reduce the barriers to rebuilding for fire survivors, including:

  • Adding 7 FTE (full-time equivalent employees) to Land Management to help handle the influx of applications
  • Waiving many land use application fees for dwellings and businesses
  • Advocating for changes to state land use laws that make it easier for people to rebuild after a wildfire
  • Working with state agencies to provide grants for people who rebuild with fire-resistant materials

 

More information about rebuilding is available at www.mckenzierebuilds.org

 

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Ballots mailed today, Thursday, April 28 - 04/28/22

Lane County Elections mailed ballots today for the May 17, 2022 Primary Election. Most voters should receive their ballots by Wednesday, May 4.

 

Voters who do not receive a ballot for the May 17, 2022 Primary Election can check on the status of their registration and ballot at www.oregonvotes.gov. They may also contact Lane County Elections at 541-682-4234 to determine if they need to update their voter registration in order to receive a ballot.

 

As a reminder, Oregon conducts closed primary elections. A closed primary means that only voters registered as Democrats will receive ballots with Democratic candidates for partisan offices. Only voters registered as Republicans will receive ballots with Republican candidates for partisan offices. Voters not affiliated with a political party will not receive ballots that include that party’s candidates for partisan offices. In November, voters will be able to vote on all candidates regardless of political affiliation. 

 

“Voters will also notice that there is no longer a secrecy sleeve included with their ballot,” said Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart. “This will help reduce paper waste and allow Elections employees to process ballots more quickly. Your vote is still private and no one will be able to connect your name to how you voted on any issue or candidate.”

 

Voters may drop off their ballots at one of many official drop box locations listed in the insert included with their ballot. Drop boxes are now open and will remain open until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. A map of drop box locations is also available online. 

 

Voters may also return their ballots via mail by using the pre-stamped return envelope. Ballots must be postmarked no later than May 17, 2022; however, voters are encouraged to return them to the post office before May 17 to ensure their ballots are postmarked by the deadline.

 

Assistance is available over the phone at 541-682-4234 (weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) and via email at elections@lanecountyor.gov.

 

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Draft Bicycle Master Plan available for review - 04/27/22

Lane County’s first-ever draft Bicycle Master Plan is available for review and comment. The draft plan’s goal is to make bicycling a viable regional transportation option in rural Lane County* linking communities to destinations and services, and connecting where we live, work, and play. 

 

The draft plan can be reviewed at www.lanecountybmp.com/resources

 

The plan reflects community needs and priorities for improving bicycling conditions, particularly as a transportation option outside of the Eugene and Springfield urban core. Rural roads are not generally the most comfortable routes for people bicycling; however, they are the most direct routes between communities and can serve as an important transportation option for people who lack access to a vehicle. 

 

The predominant recommendation of the plan is shoulder widening to create a separate travel space for people bicycling on rural roads identified as part of a bicycle network. In total, the plan recommends creating or improving:

  • 8 miles of buffered bike lanes
  • 2 miles of bike lanes
  • 37 miles of shared-use paths
  • 302 miles of 6-foot shoulder bikeways
  • 674 miles of 4-foot shoulder bikeways
  • 9 miles of shared roadway
  • 124 miles of unpaved gravel roads

 

“This plan is ambitious,” said Lane County Senior Transportation Planner Becky Taylor. “But it is important for us to think big, determine what we really need as a community, and start working toward our goal project by project. The final plan will help us prioritize those projects and seek out grant funding or other opportunities to make it happen.”

 

The public involvement process included stakeholder interviews with community-based organizations, two online public open houses, and survey responses from over 2,500 people over two years. The draft plan also used data about community demographics, bicycle crashes and travel demand to identify areas of vulnerability and need. 

 

Please send comments to Becky Taylor, Lane County senior transportation planner at becky.taylor@lanecountyor.gov. Comments submitted by May 3, 2022 will be evaluated prior to submitting the BMP as an amendment to Lane County’s Transportation System Plan.

 

* The plan does not include the Eugene-Springfield area because those cities have their own plans for bicycling.

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County mowers are gearing up and need roadsides clear of obstructions - 04/27/22

Drivers on rural County-maintained roads will see mowers clearing the road rights-of-way of grass and brush beginning this month. In the rural areas, the road right-of-way is typically from the pavement to the fence or private property line (anywhere the maintenance vehicles would drive). In the unincorporated parts of Eugene or Springfield, the right-of-way is the planting area between the sidewalk and curb.

 

Property owners can help prepare by ensuring they have not placed anything in the mower’s path in the road right-of-way.

 

  • Political and other signs. No political signs, business signs or other types of signs belong in the road right-of-way. Signs may be removed and stored for 30 days at Lane County Public Works before being destroyed. Signs placed near a rural road must be on private property and behind any utility facilities (poles, closures, etc.) or sidewalks.
  • Rocks. Rocks over 3 inches in diameter and other fixed objects must be removed from the right-of-way.
  • Fencing. Derelict fencing can be both a hazard and a high-cost obstacle for mowers. Fencing that has fallen into the road right-of-way can become entangled in the equipment, or can make it impossible to clear the affected area of grass and brush.
  • Ornamental vegetation or other plantings. Plants in the right-of-way, especially those that grow large and aggressively, will be removed. Plants in the right-of-way will be mown to the lowest level practical in order to provide the longest-lasting effect.

 

“Mowing helps us reduce fire danger and make sure that drivers have clear lines of sight on County roads,” said Chad McBride, Lane County vegetation supervisor. “It’s really helpful when people keep things like fences and signs out of the right-of-way. They slow us down, can damage our equipment, and don’t belong there in the first place.”

 

By keeping items out of the right-of-way, residents can avoid unnecessary expense and hassle, save taxpayer money by saving Public Works personnel from having to remove signs and other items, and help protect your neighbors and visitors from accidents.

 

Drivers are allowed to pass the mowers on the left when it is safe to do so, but must remember that oncoming traffic takes precedence. 

 

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