Lincoln County Commissioners this week dropped some big news onto local armed services veterans who too often have to travel to the valley to get the medical treatment they need.
County Commission Bill Hall said that it won’t be long before many coast veterans won’t have to leave the coast to get more in-depth medical exams and treatment for service connected illnesses. The new Veterans Services Office is at 1238 SE Bay Blvd and will be opening very soon much to the delight of our local vets who don’t like driving the better part of 100 miles to see their doctor. Medical staff will be situated in a building with a nice serene view of the Yaquina River in restful surroundings. Hall said if Newport and Lincoln County can pull it off, so should most every community in the country – ensuring comprehensive and compassionate medical services for our veterans who have earned every second they get with a doctor who helps them enjoy a long and healthy life.
And by the way, the new facility out SE Bay Road will have a chair lift making access all the more easy.
And Commissioner Bill Hall gave a quick report that the “Stepping Up” program, which seeks to get troubled citizens out of jail and into mental health treatment, is growing across Oregon. Hall says “Stepping Up” is now being seriously reviewed by a number of other counties around Oregon, including Lincoln County. The whole point of the effort is to keep our jail populations down so we don’t have to expand or build new ones. Those inmates with mental health issues don’t get anything out of jail except wasted time, in most instances – and at great expense to local taxpayers. Stepping up creates treatment programs that work and helps people get their lives turned around without having to waste time in jail and cause overcrowding while they do it.
This May’s election has a measure on it that asks Lincoln County for a bump-up in property taxes to ensure that programs like this one can get funded and, just as critical, to prevent the necessity of building a multi-million dollar new jail or jail add-on to continue to handle not only those who belong in jail but those who don’t. The election is May 15th. So get your ballots in to the courthouse early.