John Ross Ferrara / Wednesday, March 24 @ 3 p.m. / Local Government
Curry County Board of Commissioners Approves New Litter Patrol Contract That Will Save Taxpayers More Than $10,000
Today's Baord of Commisioners meeting.
The Curry County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a new litter patrol contract between the state and the county Juvenile Department today that will save taxpayers money, while still paying local youths to clean up garbage along Highway 101.
Curry County Juvenile Department Director Wendy Lang told the Outpost that the program will save local taxpayers $10,800 thanks to a grant provided by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The program, which used to be run by ODOT, was abruptly taken over by the Juvenile Department last year after the state was unable to provide necessary resources like van rides for youth workers due to COVID-19 restrictions. The County, meanwhile, was able to provide the required resources, and will now look to take over the local program permanently.
“We really appreciate the job you’re doing there and the heart you have for kids is off the chart,” Commissioner Court Boice told Lang during her brief presentation at today’s meeting.
Under the agreed upon contract, ODOT will pay the Juvenile Department $40,000 for eight weeks of cleanup work this summer. The funds will allow the county to hire a crew of five youth workers — four workers at $14 an hour and one youth leader at $16 per hour. Lang said that at-risk youths will receive priority in the hiring process, but added that all local teens are welcome to apply.
“We want to teach them work ethic and get them into the workforce so they can continue on and have jobs and be productive members of our community,” Lang said.
In addition to saving the county money and providing jobs to at-risk youths, Lang said that Highway 101 is also in desperate need of trash removal.
“All over the state of Oregon, it’s horrible,” she said. “[Litter] is everywhere. Part of it, I think, is that a lot of rest areas are shut down, [due to COVID-19], where people used to stop and eat. Some of those places aren't open and unfortunately people are [littering.]”
Commissioner Chris Paasch was absent for today’s meeting.