On August 10, 2016, the Linn County Board of Supervisors approved a request by the Linn County Conservation Board to put on the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot a $40 million, 20-year general obligation bond referendum to fund water quality and land protection, park improvements and trails, known as the Linn County Water and Land Legacy.
These priorities were identified through public engagement and input over the last two years as the Linn County Conservation Board gathered public input and developed long-term master plans for Linn County parks and natural areas. All expenditures would be publicly disclosed and projects would be guided by the master plans and managed by the Linn County Conservation Board.
A feasibility study conducted by The Trust for Public Lands found the cost to the average homeowner would be about $27 per year, or $2.25 per month if voters approve the bond referendum.
The Linn County Conservation Board would use more than half of the $40 million for water quality and land protection. This includes protecting and enhancing watersheds and greenway floodplains to protect drinking water sources, buffer communities from flooding, provide floodwater storage to reduce future flooding, improve water quality, and protect fish and wildlife habitat for future generations.
Park improvement funding would add or improve existing park facilities to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities. Trail funding would involve completing regional trail connections between communities and trail projects associated with existing trails and parks. Both park improvement and trail projects would be designed with emphasis on water quality, protecting drinking water sources, and ways to help reduce flooding.
“I am committed to helping Linn County grow - and part of that is making sure we protect our natural resources for future generations of residents,” said Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson. “Clean drinking water, flood prevention and investment in outdoor recreation are important to recruiting and retaining a highly-skilled workforce and we want our outdoor resources to be there for our kids and grandkids.”
The bond measure requires a 60 percent approval by voters to pass.