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Many have written in support of Measure 2-123, the City Livability Services local option levy to pay for parks, library and other services, and they have all listed good reasons. But there is more to the story.

The citizens of Corvallis have a significant investment in our natural areas, parks, Osborn Aquatic Center, the Senior Center and the Majestic Theater. We have a responsibility to sustain that investment.

If the levy doesn’t pass we will still incur costs to maintain the facilities. For example, we can’t just drain the pools at Osborn and walk away. Water in the soil will “float” the empty pools, causing them to break apart. When we decide to open the pool again it will cost a fortune to repair the damage. We will still have to heat the building in winter and clean the pools.

Natural areas must be managed to control weeds, otherwise they will spread seeds to neighboring farm land. We also have requirements under the county’s Habitat Conservation Plan to protect federally listed threatened and endangered species on these lands.

The Parks Department laid off several workers during the recession, including the natural areas specialist. Without these people our natural areas and trails have deteriorated. Measure 2-123 will increase parks staffing with a natural areas specialist and workers to maintain natural areas and improve trails.

We have a responsibility to maintain these facilities and pass them on in good condition to future generations. Please join me and vote for Measure 2-123.

Phillip Hays

Corvallis (April 30)

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