CORVALLIS, Ore. – Voters will decide Tuesday night if they want to pass Measure 02-86, a levy proposition that would close the Osborn Aquatic Center and the Chintimini Senior Center.
Larry Pegg, 71 of Corvallis, says he has been going to the Senior Center for 20 years.
“Time flies when you’re having fun,” he said. “It’s a comfortable place to come. They always act like they’re happy to see you. That’s neat. That’s very nice.”
Other people say the Center is a nice gathering place for members of the community.
“A lot of seniors come here on a regular basis,” said Linda Ramirez, who also goes to the center. “Just to meet friends. Also, it’s not a nice thing to be alone at home. So this is a home away from home.”
Pegg and Ramirez go to the Center weekly for activities, lunches, and for information about health insurance.
“And I think without that, a lot of seniors would have no place to go,” Ramirez said. “We’re happy that this center is here, and we hope that it will still continue operating.”
They are hoping Measure 02-86 passes. If it fails, the Senior Center and Osborn would both close.
But not everyone agrees that the measure should pass.
“I oppose Levy 02-86,” said Tom Jensen of Corvallis. “I feel that it’s coercive. And that we’re piggybacking popular and potentially unneeded items with popular amenities.”
Jensen says he doesn’t necessarily think the Senior Center should close. Instead, he disagrees with what else comes with the levy.
The approximate $17 million levy would reopen the Corvallis Benton County Library on Sundays. In addition, it would fund the hiring of three police officers for livability as well as a police school resource officer. Other funds would go towards maintaining social service grants, long range city planning, code enforcement, fire prevention, and the revenue that the City may owe Hewlett Packard because of mis-assessed taxes. Property owners would see an increase of about 82 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for five years.
Jensen says he would rather see two levies: one that would provide city services such as Osborn and the Senior Center, and the other providing more city employees.
“While the city says they don’t want to play the amenities against each other, they wouldn’t be if they had two different levies available,” Jensen said. “That way I could vote for both the personnel and the amenities, either, or neither.”