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Curry County commissioners voted to support House Bill 2654. This bipartisan bill will benefit extending broadband access to our county. This allows our trusted Coos Curry Electric Cooperative to use existing utility easements. Extending broadband use to all rural areas is an economic development necessity.

Another positive benefit for our county would be the return of a timber severance tax. Counties historically received tax revenue from cut timber. Since the mid ’90s, the county timber severance tax was continuously reduced and entirely eliminated by 2003. Since then, counties have received nothing when timber is harvested. I hope our commissioners also throw their support behind house bills attempting to renew this stream of county revenue.

BTW, the bill about lead weights is not about fish eating sinkers. Toxicity of lead is well established and discarded fishing weights in streams is a recognized problem for birds. That is why waterfowl hunters don’t use lead shot. I agree with Commissioner Boice’s objection to the level of punishment in the bill but there is a need to educate ourselves on the reasons behind bills before dismissing them.

Karol Simas

Gold Beach

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