Gorge Commission Readies Funding Requests

The Columbia River Gorge Commission is preparing to make a pitch to Oregon and Washington lawmakers for funding to add staff to cut down on the back log of tasks it is facing after years of budget cuts.  Gorge Commission Executive Director Darren Nichols says a preliminary set of findings from an administrative assessment by Portland State University and the University of Washington showed a minimum of 25 full-time employees would be needed to do the job outlined in the National Scenic Area compact.  Nichols says he has been in contact with the governor’s offices in both states to try to develop a budget request for the next biennium that can get through both legislatures.  The Gorge Commission’s current level of staffing will go up to six next week, and was at a high of ten in 2007.

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