Court OK’s reimbursing group for park upkeep | Local News Stories | argusobserver.com

2022-06-15 13:51:34 By : Mr. Mr. Zhou

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In years following the 2015 sale of the Brogan Quick Stop, pictured here, an annual fundraiser which utilized the kitchen there hit the brakes. While a nonprofit group seeks to revive the Brogan Nutty Brunch which helps pay for upkeep of the Brogan Community Park, they have sought temporary relief for upkeep costs from the landowners: Malheur County.

In years following the 2015 sale of the Brogan Quick Stop, pictured here, an annual fundraiser which utilized the kitchen there hit the brakes. While a nonprofit group seeks to revive the Brogan Nutty Brunch which helps pay for upkeep of the Brogan Community Park, they have sought temporary relief for upkeep costs from the landowners: Malheur County.

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VALE — The Malheur County Court during its first meeting of the year on Wednesday authorized using some of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act COVID-19 relief funds to help relieve a local nonprofit group that takes care of a park that is situated on county property.

Commissioner Don Hodge was not present, but Commissioner Ron Jacobs and Judge Dan Joyce voted to approve using about $1,800 to help out the Brogan Community Society for work that volunteer members have performed for upkeep on the Brogan Community Park in 2020 and 2021. The reason for the funding request is that because in recent years, members have been unable to hold the Brogan Nutty Brunch, the primary fundraiser for upkeep of the park area.

Initially, the group was asking the county for about $3,000. However, after working with county officials to identify what specifically they needed help paying, it was determined the county could only help out with items that included documentation in order to be able to pass an audit. Ross said the county can use ARPA funding to reimburse the group for those costs.

“It’s great that we can do that,” said County Court Executive Assistant Kim Ross in a phone interview following the meeting on Wednesday.

She further explained what the county would be paying for. This includes $252 for Idaho Power for watering trees; $608 to Vale Rural Fire for irrigation of the grass strip; $927 to replace a pressure tank; and $49 to replace an electronic sprinkler control.

While there are other parks that the county has oversight of, it doesn’t pay out of pocket for those. Ross said this includes Bully Creek Park at Bully Creek Reservoir, which belongs to the Bureau of Reclamation but is managed by the county. As such, the county gets funding from the Marine Board to maintain the boat ramp there and at another remote reservoir, where the outhouse is also maintained by the county.

Another park the county has oversight of but does not pay for is Cow Hollow Park in Nyssa. For that park, the county got the land from the federal government years ago. While the county didn’t initially want it, community members there did. As such, the Cow Park Association was formed to take care of the land, including holding fundraisers for upkeep.

The county nearly sold the area now used as the Brogan Community Park in the early 80s; however, as with the Cow Hollow space, a group of those invested in keeping it in their community worked out a deal with county officials to keep the space for public use. Since then, the group has been taking care of upkeep.

The park once included a portable restroom potty; but that is no longer there. Still, it offers a spot for travelers to stretch, as well as a place for the community to gather.

“The [Brogan] community really uses it for get-togethers and kids to play,” Ross said. “It is important to the community,”

It wasn’t the COVID pandemic that put a halt to the Brogan Nutty Brunch for the last few years. Rather, it was the loss of a commercial kitchen space to prepare food for the fundraiser.

The Brogan Community Society is aiming to bring back the fundraiser which included cow-pie tossing contests and has been working on grants to try to get a commercial kitchen for cooking food, which always includes calf fries (Rocky Mountain oysters). In previous years, the nonprofit group used the kitchen at a store in Brogan or the Willow Creek School; however, those facilities are no longer available.

When the county starts meeting about the budget in April, Ross says the group is aiming to ask for some kind of permanent funding, for upkeep expenses, including those for water, sewer and garbage. No further discussions by members of the court were had regarding that.

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