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The Latest PLSO News & Announcements

  • 16 Mar 2020 5:17 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    American Council of Engineering Comanies' advocacy team has assembled information below on recent federal actions in response to the coronavirus as they may impact firms.  Throughout the week ACEC will be posting new information through their various communication portals to provide you with the latest information. PLSO will do the best it can at sharing them.

    Small Business Assistance

    As part of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, cleared by Congress the first week of March, SBA can offer qualifying small businesses loans of up to $2 million to pay fixed debts, payroll, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. According to the agency, the interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.  Click here for more information.

    Family/Sick Leave and Assistance to Employers

    On March 14, 2020, the House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) by a vote of 363-40.  The House is working on technical corrections that it intends to pass by voice vote as they are not in session this week.  Once the House approves the technical fixes, the Senate will consider the legislation this week.  There are some concerns among Senators that H.R. 6021 requires employers to provide paid leave up front and then apply for tax credits, which could cause cash flow problems.  ACEC is coordinating with other business association stakeholders to look for solutions as lawmakers move forward with this latest legislative response to COVID-19.

    Employer-related provisions in the House-passed bill include:

    • Testing: Insurers would be required to cover testing for COVID-19 without cost-sharing or prior authorization requirements.
    • Emergency paid leave: Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and government entities would have to provide 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employees who have to quarantine, care for a family member in quarantine, or care for a child under 18 whose school or day care has closed.
      • The first 14 days of leave could be unpaid, although employees could use accrued PTO during this period.
      • Following the first 14 days, employees must be paid at least two-thirds of their normal pay.
      • DOL would be authorized to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave provisions.
    • Emergency sick leave: Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and government entities would have to provide paid sick leave to self-quarantine, get a diagnosis for COVID-19, or provide care for a family member in quarantine or a child whose school has closed.
      • 80 hours of paid sick leave for full-time employees.
      • Paid sick leave for part-time employees based on their work hours over a two-week period.
      • The emergency sick leave is on top of any other paid leave provided by the employer.
    • Employer tax credits: The bill would provide payroll tax credits to employers to cover wages paid while employees are using the emergency paid leave and sick leave established by the legislation.
      • Sick leave credit of as much as $511 per day if the employee is caring for themselves, and as much as $200 per day if the employee is caring for a family member.
      • Family leave credit of as much as $200 per day, or an aggregate of $10,000.
      • Employers could receive the tax credit even if the credit exceeds the amount the employer owes in payroll tax.
    More detailed information can be found here and here.  Also, please note that we expect additional congressional assistance packages in the coming days and weeks to respond to specific challenges, and we will keep you posted as these new initiatives develop.

    FHWA/State DOT Coordination

    ACEC staff participated in a call last week with U.S. DOT representatives and officials from the modal administrations, e.g. FHWA, FTA, FRA.  They made clear they are focused on unified federal government response actions to protect at-risk populations, in conjunction with CDC and HHS; state and local transportation agencies should follow guidance from local public health authorities on specific operational guidelines for mitigating the spread of the virus.  The modal administrations are tracking the economic impact of the disruptions and providing guidance to their grantees and partners on federal funding eligibility and flexibilities for emergency response costs, operating expenses, etc.  Of interest to some ACEC member firms, FHWA is reviewing NEPA regulations to determine whether virtual public meetings can satisfy the existing legal requirements for public engagement.


  • 25 Feb 2020 9:09 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The FEMA Elevation Certificate has been updated. You may find the updated form and instructions here


  • 07 Feb 2020 11:33 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    SALEM - The Oregon Department of Revenue will host a series of meetings across the state in March to provide information to business taxpayers and tax professionals about the administrative rules for Oregon's new Corporate Activity Tax.

    Department representatives used input collected from stakeholders during a 12-stop tour in fall 2019 in prioritizing and writing the rules. March's meetings will include a presentation and discussion of the initial temporary rules - the last of which will be filed with the Secretary of State on March 1. To see the tour schedule, click here.

    "Our CAT team will personally engage our taxpaying communities in March to provide important compliance information. We consistently strive to help taxpayers comply with the law. The CAT team will also solicit feedback on the temporary rules completed to date," said Nia Ray, director of the Oregon Department of Revenue.

    The 13-city tour kicks off in Bend on March 2 on the campus of Central Oregon Community College. Meetings on the east side of the state are set for March 3 in Ontario at Treasure Valley Community College and March 4 in La Grande at Zabel Hall on the campus of Eastern Oregon University. The La Grande meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Additional meetings are planned in The Dalles, Klamath Falls, Ashland, Eugene, Gresham, Coos Bay, Lincoln City, Seaside, Beaverton and Keizer.

    House Bill 3427 created Oregon's Corporate Activity Tax and granted DOR the responsibility of writing rules to implement it.

    All of the rules will be filed as temporary rules with the permanent rule process scheduled to begin April 1. The timing will allow business taxpayers and tax professionals to provide comment on the temporary rules during the upcoming meetings in March, as well as during the public comment period.

    The Corporate Activity Tax imposes a 0.57% tax on gross receipts greater than $1 million after subtractions plus $250, beginning Jan. 1. It is expected to generate $1 billion a year to boost funding for public schools.

    Those who are unable to attend but want to provide input may email questions or comments to cat.help.dor@oregon.gov. The department is planning a series of conference call meetings for out-of-state taxpayers and Oregon stakeholders who are unable to attend the in-state meetings. Those meetings will be scheduled once the in-state tour is complete.

  • 06 Feb 2020 11:14 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    New Survey: Consumers Concerned About Rush to Eliminate Professional Licensing

    • Clear Support for Rigorous Professional Licensing to Protect the Public Exists
    • Findings Come as State Legislatures Weigh Weakening or Eliminating Licensing

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing (ARPL) today announced the results of a national survey that indicated widespread public support for maintaining rigorous professional licensing standards for professions that have a clear impact on public health, safety and welfare. These findings were announced as many state legislatures are considering broad proposals to overhaul or eliminate state licensing requirements in the current legislative session. Legislation weakening state professional licensing requirements was introduced in the West Virginia legislature earlier this month. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in other states in the coming weeks and months.

    Eliminating licensing has become a top priority of groups such as the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, with model legislative proposals that include the complete elimination of all professional and occupational licensing.

    The survey was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group and yielded these key findings:

    ▪ 75% of voters believe that it is important to ensure qualifications for professionals in certain industries. A majority of voters believe that current professional licensing requirements protect the public and should not be reformed.

    ▪ More than 70% of voters believe that regulating professionals in accounting, engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, and related fields with high impact on public safety and welfare is important.

    ▪ 71% of voters believe professional licensing should be required unless it can be proven that eliminating licensing will not have a negative impact on public health and safety. The public is wary of the alternative approach: requiring licensing only when it is proven necessary for health and safety.

    ▪ 67% of voters believe that consumers are best protected by a system that regulates education, examination and experience standards—all of which are overseen by a professional licensing board. 

    “An overwhelming, bipartisan majority of the American people understand that professional licensing is rigorous for good reason and they want to keep it that way,” said Skip Braziel, a member of the ARPL, who also serves as Vice President for State Regulatory and Legislative Affairs at the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). “Consumers want to know that the professionals they hire are qualified and as this survey makes clear, voters want to see responsible licensing protected.”

    “The public recognizes the critical role that licensing and licensing boards play in protecting the public,” said Marta Zaniewski, an ARPL member who also serves as the Assistant Vice President of External Engagement for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). “This is why consumers are understandably wary of the anti-licensing proposals being floated in their state capitals. Licensing boards not only establish qualifications for a profession, but act on the public’s behalf to uphold the highest standards for our profession and take action against bad practitioners. This indispensable public protection role will be lost if licensing is eliminated.”

    You can read the survey summary here.

  • 04 Nov 2019 11:36 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    2020 Conference at Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel

    Save money when you register early for the 2020 PLSO Conference - Your Place for Continuing Education and Professional Networking! Held at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, January 22-24, 2020, you an opportunity to have opportunity to:

    Don't miss out! Register to at plso.org/conference.

                                         ----------

    Thank you to the following companies that have come on board to support the 2020 PLSO Conference so far!

  • 23 Oct 2019 12:10 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    STOLEN PROPERTY ALERT

    A Trimble S7, serial number 37310406, with case was stolen October 8th on Highway 197 just north of Dufur, Oregon. Please contact Ben Beseda with Tenneson Engineering at 541-296-9177 with any information.

  • 23 Oct 2019 10:10 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    2019 BLUE MOUNTAIN CHAPTER WORKSHOP

    NOVEMBER 16, 2019, 8:30 AM (Pacific)

    Blue Mtn. Community College, 2411 N.W. Carden Ave., Pendleton OR

    Cost: $50 7.0 +/- PDH’s, plus meal ($25 guest meal)

    Contact Remi Fritz to Attend

    Agenda | Speaker Presentations & Bios

    9:00 am – 10:00 am

    ODOT: Online resources

    Speaker: Bret Elithorp, PLS


    This session Bret will go over ODOT's online resources. How to access and find ODOT surveys and maps. What types of information is available online and what additional information that may be requested from ODOT's offices.

    10:30 am – 12:00 pm

    DLCD: Building in the Flood Plain

    Celinda Adair, CFM; Katherine Daniel, CFM, AICP

    This session will provide updates regarding the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as relevant to Oregon, including the status of the FEMA Elevation Certificate (EC) update, and how a new way of rating flood insurance policies may impact the demand for ECs. Information will also be provided regarding best practices for completing ECs and Letters of Map Amendments (LOMAs). Finally, this presentation will cover state specialty code requirements for Elevation Certificates when structures are being built or substantially improved.

    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

    Catered Lunch Break and discussion time

    1:00 pm -2:30 pm

    BLM: Case Studies in the Public Land Survey System

    Mary J.M. Hartel

    This session will provide a Case Study into the Public Land system and the history behind it.

    3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

    NGS 2022, an Overview - “Grid to Ground” Modifications Explained

    Bob Green, PLS

    This session will discuss the last NGS adjustment schedule for 2022 and Grid to Ground modifications.

    4:30 pm – 5:00 pm

    Blue Mountain Chapter meeting to discuss presentations and vote on earned PDH’s


  • 11 Oct 2019 7:29 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    2020 Scholarship Fund Raffle

    Help build the future of our professional land surveying community when you purchase a chance to win a one-day trip up the Rogue River for (4) people with Jerry's Rogue Jets out of Gold Beach, plus a $500 Visa Gift Card! All proceeds go to support the PLSO Scholarship Fund, which gives out $18,000 in scholarships each year. Click here to find out more information on scholarships.

    Click here to Purchase Tickets

    104-Mile Wilderness Whitewater Jet Boat Tour With A $500 Visa Gift Card

    Raffle prize winner will enjoy a one day 104-Mile Wilderness Whitewater jet boat tour, travelling into the ‘Wild’ section, an area only accessible by jet boating, rafting and hiking. Jerry's Rogue Jets is the only commercial jet boat trip allowed to operate in this remote twelve mile section. The base of Blossom Bar Rapid marks the end of upstream travel and is not navigable by jet boat.

    Skilled pilots will entertain you with tall tales, rich history and help you relax as they navigate the swift currents, still waters, rugged canyons and spectacular whitewater. Keep your camera handy. Black bear, black tail deer, river otter, mink, bald eagle, osprey, and beaver all call the Rogue River canyon home.

    The value of this prize is $880.00. Winner will be announced on January 23, 2020 at the Annual Education & Outreach Auction (held during the PLSO Conference). Attendance is not necessary to win. Winner must be 18 or older.



  • 18 Aug 2019 7:50 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    Glenn Eastmann's wife is selling his equipment with the help of her son Dave. She posted the various items on the Bend, Oregon Craig's List. Not knowing the going prices for these items she has them listed as "make an offer". She will have some of us local surveyors vet the offers so nobody tries to take advantage of her. 

    The items and links (w/photos) are as follows:

    1 Prisms: https://bend.craigslist.org/tls/d/bend-survey-equipment-prisms/6958372235.html

    2. Tripods and prism poles: https://bend.craigslist.org/tls/d/bend-survey-equipment-tri-pods/6958369367.html

    3. Subsurface Magnetic Locator Model ML-1 : https://bend.craigslist.org/tls/d/bend-survey-equipment-subsurface/6958367640.html 

    4. Ashtech GPS unit: https://bend.craigslist.org/tls/d/bend-survey-equipment-gps-survey-system/6958366132.html

    5. Schonstedt XT GA-92: https://bend.craigslist.org/tls/d/bend-survey-equipment-schonstedt-xt-ga/6958362496.html

    6. Nicon Pulse Laser Station NPL-350: https://bend.craigslist.org/tls/d/bend-survey-equipment-nikon-pulse-laser/6958359922.html

    7. Zeiss Elta S20 & Rec Link Robotic Total Station: https://bend.craigslist.org/tls/d/bend-survey-equipment-zeiss-elta-s20/6958357580.html

    8. Lufkin 300' survey tape: https://bend.craigslist.org/tls/d/redmond-survey-tape-300/6957380919.html 

    If you are in the area I can facilitate meeting with the seller to test out the equipment.

    Mike Berry

    Bend, Oregon


  • 03 Aug 2019 11:40 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)
    Oregon Surveyor Wins NSPS Award Again!

    Congratulations to Greg Crites for winning Best Editorial from NSPS for the second year in a row! This year's entry was from Volume 41, No. 5. Click here to check it out!

    As a reminder, Greg would like to find an Assistant Editor for the magazine so that when he is ready to step down in the next year or two, the transition is seamless.

    Below is the current job description for the EDITOR position.

    Editor Job Description

    • Review/revise submissions for publication including checking of spelling, grammar and punctuation
    • Review Executive Secretary and Chair’s letter, similar to above
    • Submit Editor's letter
    • Correspondence with Executive Secretary/Chair regarding content
    • Determine article suitability in consultation with editorial committee (when necessary)
    • Consult with authors regarding clarifications/edits 
    • Fact/reference checking for content accuracy, as needed
    • Submission of articles to publisher
    • Review/edit proofs produced by publisher for layout, content and style
    • Correspond w/editor-publisher regarding revisions
    • Approve final proof prior to publication in consult w/Executive Secretary/Chair
    • Suggest article topic ideas to appropriate writers if needed

    Greg has noted that his involvement as Editor requires no more than four hours per issue.  It would also be helpful if the person who expresses interest in shadowing his position has Adobe Acrobat Professional or Bluebeam review software (or suitable equivalent).  As he's now retired, he no longer has access to this, or any other .pdf file editor. 

    Please email Aimee McAuliffe at execdirector@plso.org for more information.


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