Creston Valley schools and community halls could house fruit pickers

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To the Editor:

(Re: “Creston Valley must develop solution for visiting fruit pickers”)

I am a resident of Canyon and see daily the frustrations of both pickers and local landowners regarding the shortage of places for these workers to stay. Here’s an idea: Since the schools sit empty over the summer, would it be possible to set up army camp cots in the gyms and give access to the lockers, showers and kitchens (for a fee, of course)? Community halls could also be used as they also have large open spaces, kitchens and bathrooms.

Perhaps the money that goes into paying for the cleanup and damage done would be better spent on hiring supervisors to collect fees and monitor the sites. Also, it would be easier for the police to visit a few regulated places rather than driving around rooting illegal campers out of spare lots, the overcrowded Canyon Park and from along the Canyon Bridge cliffs.

In the July 21 article, Canyon Community Association president Deb Nelius said, “These workers are willing to pay for accommodation but there is none.” Buildings with the basic commodities pickers need are here. Is there any way they can be used?

Sheila Watson

Canyon