Task force named to find street funds

MONMOUTH — The Monmouth City Council named seven residents and Mayor John Oberst as council liaison to a street funding task force.

The idea is that the committee will be able to familiarize itself with current street maintenance programs, services and financials; explore options for providing additional street funding; and provide the city council with an analysis of potential additional funding options.

Named to the committee: Ernest Cheiky, Donna Conrad, Larry Dalton, George Jeffery, Tim Graham, James Borders and Bill Horner.

Oberst asked to sit with the task force, if not serve as the council’s liaison for the group. He said gas tax receipts are down because people are driving more fuel efficient vehicles, driving fewer miles, bicycling and walking more, and otherwise saving fuel.

With lower gas tax receipts, there is less money to spend on road infrastructure, Oberst said.

Still time to submit 2015 fair theme

RICKREALL — You still have time to submit ideas for the 2015 Polk County Fair theme, but the deadline is approaching fast.

Entries are due Monday and must be submitted on an official entry form.

The Polk County Fair Board will pick the winning theme at its Feb. 19 meeting.

Contest entrants need only supply a theme and slogan that can be used as a basis for decorations, exhibits, attractions, and will provide for a “fun and festive atmosphere” for the fair, scheduled Aug. 6-8. The winner will receive a “family fair package,” with two adult season passes, two junior season passes, and four burgers, four fries and four medium drinks.

Theme ideas can relate to any part of the fair — agriculture, commercial or carnival — and the slogan should be eight words or less.

Entry forms are available at the Polk County Fairgrounds & Event Center, 520 S. Pacific Highway (99W), Rickreall, or online at

Tourism kickoff event set Tuesday

DALLAS — Travel Oregon’s Rural Tourism Studio will hold its kickoff workshop at Pressed Coffee and Wine Bar, 788 Main St., Dallas, Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Participants who have finished previous workshops will receive certificates of completion and will share the new community tourism vision, action teams and priority projects with the community.

Travel Oregon has hosted a number of Rural Tourism Studio workshops in Polk County since September, working with businesses, nonprofits and community members to find ways to better market the county to tourists.

For more information or to register for the kickoff event:

Oak, prairie habitat project funded

POLK COUNTY — A project to restore and protect oak and prairie habitat in Polk and Yamhill counties was given a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The money is part of $22 million awarded to six projects throughout the state by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service under a new, competitive Farm Bill program, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

The North Willamette Valley Upland Oak Restoration Project, in Polk and Yamhill counties, will protect and restore habitat for many plant and animal species, including the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly.

The project also will incorporate long-term conservation tools, such as land acquisitions and conservation easements.

For more information: Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District, 503-472-1474.

Sheriff seeking reserve deputies

POLK COUNTY — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is currently accepting reserve deputy sheriff applications for the reserve academy that starts in November.

Applicants must be 21 years of age and will be required at a minimum to pass a written test, interviews, criminal background check, psychological evaluation, physical fitness test and drug screening.

Applications for the position are now available online at and select the volunteer application.

The application deadline is Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. Send the completed applications to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 850 Main St., Dallas.

For more information: Detective John Williams, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 503-623-9251.

Thurman elected to power council

MONMOUTH — Chuck Thurman of Monmouth Power and Light was elected as a board member to the Public Power Council for a two-year term.

The Public Power Council (PPC) represents the Pacific Northwest’s consumer-owned utilities on issues in the region and in Washington, D.C. The council’s focus is on the federal Columbia River Power System and on Bonneville Power Administration ratemaking, revenue requirements and policies.

Being a voting member of the board will help Monmouth keep on the forefront of utilities, Thurman said.

For example, what may be considered a large project for Monmouth Power and Light would be a small project for a large utility, Thurman said. Working with the Public Power Council, the definitions for large projects are now based on the size of the utility.

Log truck loses load on Hwy. 223

POLK COUNTY — A loaded log truck lost control on Highway 223 south of Dallas when the rear trailer tire left the paved portion of the road at 11:55 a.m. on Monday.

The driver, David Keutzer, 50, tried to regain control but the trailer drifted off the soft dirt shoulder about ½-mile south of Bridgeport Road, causing the trailer to break away from the tractor. The logs remained attached to the tractor portion of the truck as it went across the bridge and came to a stop.

The northbound lane of Highway 223 was blocked by the tractor and logs until they could be removed from the road. AA Towing and the Oregon Department of Transportation had to close both lanes of traffic while the logs were loaded onto another truck.

Keutzer of Lebanon was cited for failing to drive within a lane. No one was injured, and no property was damaged.

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