Lane Co. Government
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News Releases
Firewise applications due by Thursday, June 27 - 06/17/24

Lane County’s Firewise Grant Incentive Program is accepting applications from residents in unincorporated Lane County through 4:00 p.m. on June 27, 2024.

 

Firewise grants provide rural property owners with funding to help complete projects that reduce the risk of wildfire, such as clearing vegetation, replacing wood shake roofing, fire-resistant landscaping materials, noncombustible exterior siding, chimney spark arrestors, and more. Up to $15,500 in grant funding is available for each qualifying property. 

 

Apply online at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/firewise. Paper applications are also available at the Lane County Public Works Customer Service Center (3050 North Delta Highway, Eugene). 

 

Firewise grants are funded through Title III of the Federal Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Program - Section 601 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. 

 

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Lane County ranks No. 1 on list of Oregon's healthiest employers for fourth year in a row - 06/17/24

Lane County has been recognized as the #1 healthiest employer in Oregon (1500-4999 employees) by the Portland Business Journal. 

 

The County’s dedication to wellness: 1) supports the reduction in health care related costs, allowing Lane County to invest more of its limited resources into direct services for the community, and 2) increases employee productivity, engagement, recruitment and retention. 

 

The Live Well Center, Lane County’s employee health and wellness center, continues to help employees maintain and improve their overall wellbeing at a reduced cost to the County. The County is continuously looking for low-cost, creative and effective ways of engaging employees in their personal wellbeing. Also, highlighted in the award is Lane County’s proactive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion by examining internal structures, policies, and experiences through the lens of equity. 

 

“If, as an organization, we are going to be able to show up and provide critical services to our community, we need to also take care of our employees who provide those services,” said Lane County Chief Human Resources Officer Alana Holmes. “Lane County has consistently been investing in the health and wellbeing of our employees. From our employee wellness clinic, to physical activity challenges, to behavioral health supports, to improved childcare access, we have created a culture of wellness and belonging that seeks to meet every human need.”

 

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, Lane County was ranked third healthiest large employer in Oregon, and in 2018 was listed within the top 100 healthiest employers nationally. In 2020, Lane County was ranked second healthiest larger employer. In 2021, 2022 and 2023, Lane County was ranked the #1 healthiest larger employer and in 2022 was listed sixth on the healthiest 100 workplaces in America. 

 

Employers are ranked on six categories which include: culture and leadership commitment, foundational components, strategic planning, communication and marketing, programming and interventions, and reporting and analytics. There are five employer size categories: small (2-99 employees), medium (100-499), large (500-1499), larger (1500-4999), and largest (5000+). 

 

For the full list: https://bizj.us/1qlfmp

 

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Lane County to auction six properties - 06/13/24

Lane County is conducting a sealed-bid auction of real property now through 11:00 a.m. PST on Monday, July 22, 2024. Bids will be opened at 11:00 a.m. on July 23, and winners will be notified by telephone and email. The opening of bids will be livestreamed on Lane County’s YouTube channel

 

Included in the auction are lots located in Springfield, Florence, Triangle Lake, Fall Creek and Pleasant Hill. The Springfield property includes a single-family home, one Florence property includes a manufactured home, and the remainder are vacant lots. The properties up for auction range from a $3,500 minimum bid to a $150,000 minimum bid.

 

The properties have minimum bid amounts and will not be sold for less than the minimum bid. The properties will be sold on an as-is basis using a quitclaim deed, which passes any title, claim or interest in the property to the buyer without making any representations regarding other claims or liens. 

 

Payment must be made with cash, cashier’s checks or certified back checks payable to Lane County. No personal or business checks, debit and credit cards or financing will be accepted. A 20 percent deposit of the minimum bid amount is due within 24 hours of the bid opening. The remaining balance, plus a $100 recording fee, is due no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2024. 

 

For more information including a complete list of auction terms, property descriptions and registration information, visit www.LaneCountyOR.gov/PropertyManagement under the “Available Properties” section. 

 

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ROAD CLOSURE -- Old Mill Road (Office Covered Bridge) - 06/11/24

Road name: Old Mill Road

 

Location: Office Covered Bridge (Westfir)

 

Closure Location: The bridge and road through the bridge are closed. 

 

Dates and times: Thursday, June 20, 2024 – Sunday, June 23, 2024     

                                           

Alternate routes: None.

 

Reason for closure: Mountain Bike Oregon is hosting its Annual Mountain Bike Camp from June 20 at 1:00 p.m. until June 23 at 4:00 p.m.

 

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David's Chair coming to Howard Buford Recreation Area (Mt. Pisgah) to make trails more accessible -- media preview on Wednesday, June 12, during tour with McKenzie River Trust - 06/10/24

McKenzie River Trust, Wednesday Wheelers, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, City of Eugene’s Adaptive Recreation Program, Lane County Parks, and David’s Chair Outdoor Mobility Systems (David’s Chair) are hosting an event to feature electric all-terrain track chairs during a tour of the Willamette Confluence on Wednesday, June 12. 

 

David’s Chair provides FREE access to electric all-terrain track chairs that can help people with mobility challenges who otherwise would not be able to enjoy the park trails get out and explore. Wednesday’s tour will have five track chairs available for participants to test.

 

Later this summer, Lane County Parks will partner with Mount Pisgah Arboretum, McKenzie River Trust, David’s Chair and Travel Lane County to permanently place two track chairs at Howard Buford Recreation Area (HBRA). 

 

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy and explore nature, and Mount Pisgah Arboretum is working with community partners to improve accessibility for the whole community,” said Arboretum Executive Director Brad van Appel. “We are thrilled that we can host the first David’s Chair in our area.” 

 

The Arboretum is currently taking donations to match a generous gift that will bring a second David’s Chair to the park. 

 

Media are invited to see the track chairs in action on Wednesday, June 12, at 10:30 a.m. (Please note: reservations are full for the public event at 11:00. We are not looking for assistance promoting the event in advance.) The location of the event is marked on this Google map; it’s at the Willamette Confluence off Seavey Loop Road. 

 

“We are excited to bring adaptive outdoor mobility to the Willamette Valley and look forward to a strong partnership focusing on making the outdoors more inclusive and accessible,” said David’s Chair founder and CEO Steve Furst. “We feel like we have struck gold with this partnership, and I am thankful for how dedicated everyone involved has been to make this a reality.”

 

Last year, Lane County partnered with David’s Chair to bring a track chair to Heceta Beach in Florence, which has been extraordinarily popular with beachgoers. David’s Chair currently has seven fixed site locations on the Oregon Coast and three tow-and-go locations. 

 

The partnership for track chairs at HBRA was made possible, in large part, because of voter support of the Lane County Parks levy. The $12,500 provided by Lane County Parks will help provide maintenance funding for the chairs to ensure people can enjoy them for years to come. Mount Pisgah Arboretum, McKenzie River Trust, and Travel Lane County will also provide financial support. 

 

About David’s Chair 

David’s Chair was created in 2017 by friends David Hatrick and Steve Furst. Its mission is to give the gift of independence to people with ALS and other mobility challenges by providing them with access to track chairs and other adaptive recreation equipment capable of taking on the outdoors, including beaches. Learn more about David and the organization at www.davidschair.org.

 

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Lane County Human Services Publishes Results from 2024 Homeless Point In Time Count - 06/06/24

Every year on the last Wednesday of January, the Lane County Human Services Division, in partnership with numerous agencies and groups, conducts the annual one-night Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. The PIT Count is a three part survey which includes a count of the unsheltered and sheltered population of people experiencing homelessness, as well as a Housing Inventory Count (HIC). The 2024 PIT Count was conducted for the night of January 31, 2024.

The Point-In-Time Count provides a useful tool for understanding homelessness and year-over-year trends in our community. One-night counts are required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Oregon Housing and Community Services (State of Oregon) which provides funding for housing and services related to homelessness. The Point-in-Time Summary is used year-round by planning boards, nonprofits, community organizations, and policy makers on local, state, and federal levels to inform their work on this issue.

Lane County has an additional data system, the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which features a list of individuals by name who have accessed services for homelessness. This information is dynamic, and allows for tracking of movement in and out of the condition of homelessness, and use of shelter and other services. The data from this list is used in conjunction with PIT data to paint a more detailed picture of individuals experiencing homelessness in our community, which helps drives local programming decisions and analysis.

Information about the Count:

This year’s unsheltered count was primarily conducted by generating a report from Lane County’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). A modified version of the Homelessness By-Name List was used, which includes homeless individuals in any HMIS-participating program. Programs include street outreach, day access centers, food pantries, and other services for people experiencing homelessness. This is the fourth year Lane County has been approved by HUD to use this method.

To supplement this count, trained outreach workers collected surveys in areas where it was most likely that people who are unsheltered were not engaged in other services so would not be counted through HMIS.

Consistent with prior years and HUD recommendations, the sheltered count was conducted using HMIS data. A small number of providers who do not participate in HMIS, like domestic violence service providers, sent their own sheltered counts to be included in the county-wide Point-in-Time Count.

Highlights of the Count:

· The night of January 31, 2024, more people were sheltered and slightly fewer were unsheltered than during the 2023 count. This change is indicative of the strong and focused work happening across the community to prevent households from becoming homeless, developing additional low-barrier emergency shelter beds and creating more long-term housing options with supports for people who are unhoused. There is considerable work to do to sustain and increase these impacts, including increasing homelessness prevention and housing opportunities. And this year’s investments in supports, shelter and housing programs were well worthwhile and assisted in moving the needle. These investments need to continue to be scaled for greater impact.

Of the 3,085 people counted during one night:

· 920 individuals were staying in Emergency Shelter.

o The number of Emergency Shelter beds increased by almost one-third from 2023, adding 265 for a total of 1,088 year-round beds. Utilization of those beds on the night of the PIT also increased, from 78% in 2023 to 85% in 2024.

o The increase in Emergency Shelter spaces is primarily due to the Governor’s Executive Order ALL IN funding, which improved and created over 300 new emergency shelter beds in the region.

· 69 individuals were living in Transitional Housing, which is a program that offers temporary housing (up to 24 months) with supportive services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness with the goal of interim stability and support to successfully move to and maintain permanent housing.

· 2,096 individuals were without shelter

o 223 of these individuals were staying in alternative shelter programs like Rest Stops, Microsites, and sanctioned vehicle camping. While these provide much-needed safe places to sleep, they do not meet the HUD definition of emergency shelter.

Characteristics:

· 425 homeless individuals (14%) were in households with children (138 households); 130 of those were sheltered (44 households) and 295 individuals were unsheltered (94 households)

· 25 homeless children were unaccompanied by adults; an additional 198 homeless youth age 18-24 were unaccompanied

· 151 of homeless individuals (5%) were veterans; 56 were sheltered and 95 were unsheltered

· 1,500 individuals (49% of all individuals counted) were chronically homeless (chronically homeless refers to individuals who have experienced homelessness for at least a year, or repeatedly, while struggling with a disabling condition such as a serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or physical disability)

· 1,268 adults (45%) self-reported a mental health condition; 808 adults (29%) self-reported substance use disorder

· 563 homeless individuals (18%) were age 55-64 (239 sheltered and 324 unsheltered); 301 individuals (10%) were age 65 and older (130 sheltered and 171 unsheltered)

Trends:

· The percentage of homeless individuals who had experienced domestic violence increased this year, from 21% of adults counted in 2023 to 24% of adults counted in 2024

· The percentage of chronically homeless individuals who were sheltered increased significantly from 2020 to 2024, from 25% to 36%

· The percentage of homeless individuals who were veterans decreased, from 7% of all homeless individuals in 2023 to 5% in 2024.

· Of the individuals counted through HMIS for this year’s count, 35% were also in last year’s HMIS count.

· Nearly half (1,486) of the individuals included in this year’s PIT count are presumed newly homeless and have not appeared in any of the previous 5 counts (2019-2023).

The Homelessness By-Name List

Each month, Lane County uses HMIS data to publish an estimate of the number of people experiencing homelessness in the county at some point during the month. This is published on the Homelessness in Lane County, OR Tableau page. The criteria for this report is more expansive than what is used for the HUD PIT Count, because it looks at all services and data collected during the month rather than on one night. This year, 4,295 people were on the By-Name list during the month of January. This is significantly higher than the 3,085 individuals included in the count for the night of January 31, 2024.

Housing Inventory Count

Lane County also submitted the number of shelter and permanent housing beds used on the night of January 31, 2024. 939 of 1088 Emergency Shelter beds were utilized (86%), 70 of 117 Transitional Housing beds (60%), and an additional 1,677 individuals were not homeless the night of the PIT Count because they were residing in permanent housing. The 196 available beds in Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing is much smaller than the 2,096 individuals who were unsheltered the night of the count. Additionally, some of these unoccupied beds have eligibility requirements that unsheltered individuals may have been unable to meet.

Oregon Governor’s State of Emergency Due to Homelessness (All In)

Due to the increase of unsheltered homelessness in the Point in Time Count from 2017 to 2022, Lane County was included in the governor’s state of emergency due to homelessness. As a result, more than $15 million of state funding have been allocated to local agencies targeting homelessness. There is more information about All In on the county’s All In page at http://www.lanecountyor.gov/allin, and more information about the Human Services Division’s work at http://www.lanecountyor.gov/HSD.

Road Closure: Old Mill Road (Office Covered Bridge) - 06/05/24

Road name:               Old Mill Road (Westfir)

Location:                   Office Covered Bridge 

Closure details:         The road through the bridge is closed to all traffic. 

Dates and times:       Friday, June 15, 2024 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Alternate routes:       None.

Reason for closure:   The Alpine Epic MTB Race.

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Dog being removed from property
Dog being removed from property
Lane County Animal Services removes neglected animals from South Lane County property (Updated with photos) (Photo) - 06/03/24

**Photos added.**

 

Lane County Animal Services removed several animals from a property in the 75000 block of Wicks Road near Dorena this morning. Tiffany Morris, who resides on the property, was found guilty of 14 Class B Animal Neglect violations by the Lane County Justice Court. 

 

Morris is required to surrender all animals on the property to Lane County Animal Services. She is also prohibited from possessing any animals for five years. Morris has a history of animal neglect complaints and of refusing to cooperate with authorities to improve the health of her animals. 

 

“This has been a really challenging case, but we are relieved to be able to take action and get these animals to safer, better homes,” said Lane County Animal Welfare Officer Isabel Merritt. “Because of the egregious nature of the neglect, we asked the Justice Court to give the most serious consequences available under current county code.”

 

Animals removed include poultry, parrots, peahens, a horse, miniature horses, goats, a sheep, dogs, cattle, and several other species of birds. Morris was not cooperative with authorities during the removal. 

 

Lane County Animal Services would like to thank the Lane County Sheriff’s Office for ensuring the safety of staff and volunteers during the removal of animals from the property. Greenhill Humane Society, H&H Veterinary Care, and Willamette Horse Outreach Alliance are assisting with the care of the animals. None of the animals are currently available for adoption. 

 

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Pet owners beware: another scam targeting people with lost pets in Lane County - 06/03/24

Pet owners in Lane County are being targeting once again by scammers representing themselves as Lane County Animal Services.

 

The scammers are contacting pet owners who have shared information about a lost pet online or via neighborhood posters. The scammers contact the pet owners and represent themselves as “Dave” from Lane County Animal Services. “Dave” then tells the pet owner that their pet has been found but is injured and requires emergency veterinary care. Pet owners are told they must either provide bank account and routing numbers or make a payment via CashApp or other app before their pet can be treated.

 

This is a scam. Lane County Animal Services would never: 1) demand banking information from residents, 2) demand payment via CashApp or other payment app or via gift cards and money orders, 3) withhold emergency medical care for an animal in its care pending payment from a pet owner, or 4) contact residents via text message without prior arrangement.

 

“This is such a cruel way to scam people,” said Lane County Animal Services Manager Michael Johns. “The scammers take advantage of how much we all love our pets and create a crisis situation that puts pet owners in panic mode and makes them less likely to spot the red flags. When in doubt, hang up and call us directly at 541-682-3645.”

 

Similar scams have been reported in other states.

 

More details about the scam:

  • The name being used is “Dave” from Lane County Animal Services. No such person exists.
  • The number being used by the scammer is 310-596-2186.

 

Other common warning signs of a scam:

  • Pressure to make a quick decision.
  • Use of high-pressure tactics and “limited time” offers.
  • Requests to confirm your identity and personal information. 
  • Use of threats if you don’t comply. 
  • Discourages you from contacting others or ending the call before you make a payment or share personal information. 

 

How to make a report:

 

If contacted, people are encouraged to make a report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at www.ic3.gov. The FBI maintains the Internet Crime Complaint Center and is the central hub for reporting cyber crime. 

 

If a local report is needed, people can contact their local law enforcement agency using a non-emergency phone number. 

 

 

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Free Household Hazardous Waste Roundup in Florence on Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8 - 06/03/24

The free Household Hazardous Waste Roundup will collect up to 35 gallons of household hazardous waste per customer on Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, in Florence. Hazardous waste from businesses, schools, churches, government agencies or non-profits may be subject to disposal fees and those organizations must pre-register for the event.

 

When:  Friday, June 7, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 8, 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Where: Florence Transfer Site (2820 N. Rhododendron Drive)

Who: All community members are welcome to participate in the roundup. 

 

What to bring:

Up to 35 gallons of paint, household cleaners, lawn and garden chemicals, car care products, arts and crafts products, pool chemicals, fluorescent lamps and other household hazardous waste. Check labels for words like flammable, corrosive, poison, caution, and danger.

 

Please don't bring: 

Empty containers, drums, radioactive or infectious waste, asbestos, pressurized cylinders, or explosives. Any empty containers can be safely thrown in the trash. For information about disposal of radioactive waste, asbestos or explosives call 541-682-3828.

 

What about hazardous waste from businesses?

Businesses that generate small amounts of hazardous waste may pre-register to bring that waste to this event. Businesses must pay for disposal of the waste, but most can save money by using this program rather than hiring a contractor. 

 

Electronics Recycling

The Cottage Grove, Creswell, Florence, Marcola, Oakridge, Rattlesnake, Veneta and Vida transfer stations accept the following items for free during normal operating hours: televisions, computer monitors, CPUs, printers, phones and laptops.  Maximum seven items per day. No commercial or floor-standing copiers, parts or dismantled units. 

 

Please call 541 682-4120 for more information about hazardous waste disposal for households or businesses.

 

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Representative Val Hoyle to Hold Joint Press Availability on Community Project Funding - 05/24/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                  

May 24, 2024

PRESS PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY (NOT FOR PUBLICATION or BROADCAST):

U.S. Representative Val Hoyle will have the following press availabilities in Eugene on Tuesday, May, 28:

WHAT: U.S. Rep. Val Hoyle will join a press conference with Lane County Commissioner Heather Buch, Lane County Chief Deputy Sheriff Carl Wilkerson, and South Lane Fire & Rescue Chief John Wooten to highlight the $1M in FY 2024 Community Project Funding for a radio tower and communications equipment

 

Where: Harris Hall, 125 E 8th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401

WHEN: 11:00 AM, May 28, 2024

Volunteer orientation for livestock rescue and animal preparedness on Saturday, June 8 - 05/23/24

Lane County Animal Services is partnering with Greenhill Humane Society to host a training for people interested in learning more about preparing animals large and small for an evacuation or volunteering to support livestock transportation, feeding, and sheltering operations during emergencies.

 

“With wildfire season starting soon, this is a good time to help our residents refresh their understanding of evacuating with pets or livestock,” said Lane County Animal Welfare Officer Isabel Merritt. “We’re also hoping to build our volunteer list ahead of the next emergency. We rely on volunteers to help care for horses, goats, chickens and other livestock during emergency evacuations and this training will help increase the number of people ready to help.”

 

The training is Saturday, June 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Lane County Public Works’ Goodson Room (3040 North Delta Highway, Eugene). Map here. If you plan to attend, please send an email to Lane County Animal Services at LCAS@LaneCountyOR.gov so staff can plan accordingly. 

 

Topics covered will include:

  • preparing animals for evacuation
  • overview of services provided by Lane County Animal Services and Greenhill Humane Society during emergencies
  • how to help during emergencies
  • livestock shelter, transport and shelter-in-place practices
  • volunteer orientation for those wishing to assist during emergencies

 

Volunteers help transport animals out of evacuation zones; support animals sheltering in place in evacuation zones with food, water and welfare checks; and feed, groom and clean up after animals being sheltered with Lane County Animal Services. They may also assist with organizing donations of food, tack or other items. 

 

Volunteers do not need previous large animal experience, but they should be comfortable learning and being around large animals. People between the ages of 15 and 18 will need to have a guardian’s signed release before they can volunteer during an active emergency; they do not need a release to attend the training. Children under 15 cannot volunteer at this time. 

 

Learn more about large animal evacuation at https://bit.ly/LCLargeAnimalEvacuation

 

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DAYTIME ROAD CLOSURE: Earnest Covered Bridge - 05/23/24

Road Name:Paschelke Road
Location:Earnest Covered Bridge 
Begin Closure:Milepost 0.04
End Closure:Milepost 0.04
Dates and times:June 3–June 28; Monday–Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Alternate routes:

 

Wendling Road

Reason for closure:

 

 

Scaffolding and external painting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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