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Local News

Deschutes County Commissioner on Lars Larson's Show Today


Lars Larson hosted his program from the KBND booth at the Deschutes County Fair today, and invited Deschutes County Commissioner Alan Unger to join him.

 

Topics of conversation included Lars questioning Unger if private enterprise could do much of the county's work more efficiently and cheaper.

 

Unger says the county includes private businesses often in their decision-making.  "We just went through a process of having a road committee. We invited contractors in and other agencies to come sit down and say 'You know with the rural schools money going away, how are we going to be able to fund out roads, because that's where we use our money. And we sat down and we figured out how we could put more money on the road, reduce our overhead expenses with our shop and that sort of thing and use our contractors and our private business just a little bit more."

 

Unger says the County has been efficiently budgeting the areas they are responsible for and always listens to the public's input on projects.

 

Lars also questions if the County should regulate private citizens and how they choose to use their land; citing the "Pumpkin Patch" controversy last fall, where the land owner was subject to a fine because he was operating outside of state regulations.

 

Unger:  "Generally, at the County, we just ignore those things, but when people bring them up to us, to our attention, we have to discuss them.” Lars: “Should that law be changed?” Unger: “We did do some change in law two sessions ago to allow for agri-tourism. So I think it allows what he's doing. And we try the best we can in the County to accommodate what they're doing to allow them to adjust so they can fit within the rules."

 

Unger says he feels they had a satisfactory outcome with the “Pumpkin Patch” issue; and they are continuing to work on the "Farm Wedding" aspect of state rules and regulations.

 

"What we need to do is come up with a balance between neighbor's rights and the property rights. And if you have a neighbor who's doing wedding every weekend, all summer long and they're having parties into the night, you can get tired of it. So, is that right to let your neighbor do that, or should there be a balance between the two and that's what we're trying to achieve."

 

Unger says the County has taken state law and allows people to do six events each year, as long as they fall within state requirements.


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