County needs lawn service

By on Monday, June 6th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – The worker shortage is not just impacting businesses. It’s also affecting government services. Umatilla County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Shafer said he was returning from lunch to the courthouse in Pendleton recently when he saw the supervisor of the maintenance department mowing the lawn.

“I talked to him and he said, ‘Yeah, we can’t find anybody, so we’re doing it,’” Shafer said.

The mowing gets more expensive when employees in Pendleton have to load up equipment and drive to the Hermiston area to take care of county property there. Shafer said in addition to the expense, that takes a chunk of time out of their workday.

“Commissioner (Dan) Dorran said, ‘What if we just had somebody like a service just cover the Hermiston area so that we won’t have the travel time back and forth,’” Shafer said. “We thought we’d try to eliminate that travel time, because those are some high-paid people out there mowing the lawns.”

County staff has been instructed to find a service that can take care of the grounds at the Stafford Hansell Governance Center and the Sam Cook Building in Hermiston.