County court approves aid to Brogan for community center and park needs

Malheur County gave Brogan community organizers $2,000 to help with park maintenance and facility upgrades. Rick Simmons said he will also prepare details on other needs for the county budget committee.

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

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

Last month, the Malheur County court agreed to tap into its $2.5 million from the US bailout to cover nearly $2,000 in expenses. The money will be used to pay for electricity costs to water the trees at the Brogan Community Center – the old school – and to irrigate Brogan Park. The county also agreed to cover the emergency replacement of a pressure tank and replacement of an electronic sprinkler controller.

But county commissioners said no to paying for weed killer, gasoline for mowing the park or maintaining Brogan Park’s portable outhouse.

Instead, commissioners invited the company back during the county’s budget process this spring to make another application.

Community society treasurer Rick Simmons said the group plans to do just that.

The portable toilet, enclosed in an outbuilding design, is closed because there is no money to maintain it.

Simmons said the company 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 company was also working to get bids for a new kitchen in the community center that would allow for more public functions. Simmons said his group was struggling to secure awards because contractors were very busy.

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

“They make us work for it. It’s OK,” Simmons said. “I think they recognize that we’ve been providing a service and have been for 40 years.”

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

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Jill E. Washington