County Court OKs aid to Brogan for community center, park needs

A sign welcomes visitors to the Brogan Community Center, formerly the school. (The Enterprise/LES ZAITZ)

BROGAN – Step by step, the Brogan Community Society is getting help to keep up the local community park and make plans to add a commercial kitchen to its center.

The Malheur County Court last month agreed to dip into its $2.5 million on hand from the American Rescue Plan to cover nearly $2,000 in expenses. The money will reimburse costs for power to water trees at the Brogan Community Center – the former school – and to irrigate Brogan Park. The county also agreed to cover the emergency replacement of a pressure tank and to replace an electronic sprinkler controller.

But the county commissioners said no to paying for weed spray, gasoline for park mowing or service of the portable outhouse at Brogan Park.

Instead, commissioners invited the society to return during the county’s budget process this spring to make another ask.

Rick Simmons, community society treasurer, said the group is planning to do just that.

The portable toilet, enclosed in an outhouse design, is closed since there is no money to service it.

Simmons said the society is working with the county on a plan to replace it with a vault toilet.

“We’re working very slowly because of the pandemic right now,” Simmons said.

He said the society also is working to get bids for a new kitchen in the community center that would allow for more public functions. Simmons said his group is having a tough time getting pricing because contractors are so busy.

He said the society is preparing a presentation for the county’s budget committee, acknowledging that the county commissioners wanted more details on expenses.

“They’re making us work for it. That’s OK,” Simmons said. “I think they are acknowledging that we provide a service and have been for the last 40 years.”

Organizers want to install a commercial kitchen in the Brogan Community Center, seen here through the playground equipment that remains on the school grounds. (The Enterprise/LES ZAITZ)

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