CORVALLIS, Ore. — Otter Beach, a popular summer spot for many kids within the community, could close if the upcoming local option levy fails – a topic of discussion for the Corvallis City Club on Monday afternoon.
The Osborn Aquatic staffs approximately 140 lifeguards and swim instructors seasonally, and it says all employees would lose their jobs if Measure 02-86 passes Nov. 5.
“We’re scheduled to close on July first,” said Recreation Coordinator Mike Fischer at Osborn. “Our funding will expire at that point.”
If Measure 02-86 passes, the Aquatic Center would continue to operate, as would the Chintimini Senior Center, and the public library would reopen on Sundays. The Police Department would also be able to hire three more patrol officers.
“People have to decide if they have enough protection,” said City Councilor and OSU Economist Bruce Sorte. “Are they worried that police services to help in the neighborhoods because we’re being pretty strongly affected by growth in OSU right now.”
Sorte, an economist, did not share his opinion about the measure, but he did address the Corvallis City Club with questions.
“The first job of a person is to decide whether it’s appropriate for the government to provide the service that they’re trying to fund with the levy.”
He’s asking voters to consider the levy on a community and on an individual basis. Councilman Biff Traber also spoke, and argued that Corvallis would benefit from the services the levy would provide.
The levy would renew a current levy that expires next year. However, the levy cost increases from 45 cents to 82 cents per $1,000 of assessed value that folks would see on their property taxes.
Anyone who has not registered to vote yet has until Tuesday, Oct. 15 to do so. Voters who have moved within Oregon have until election day, Nov. 5, to update their information. Voters can call the Benton County Elections Office for more information at: (541) 766-6756.