The scenery at the intersection of Phipps Ave NE and Glendale Ave NE looks
different today as a result of a partnership between community members and
Marion County. This project started when a group of concerned community members
came to the Sheriff's Office and the Board of Commissioners asking for help as
this pathway had become a magnet for criminal activity and frequent law
enforcement calls for service. For years this area had an unofficial pathway
which led between Phipps Ave NE and the back parking lot of Courthouse Club
Fitness on Devonshire Ct NE in East Salem. The pathway, a county owned easement,
was never intended to be used as a way for people to come and go from the
After listening to the community's concerns, Marion County got to work.
Representatives from the Sheriff’s Office, Public Works, and the Board of
Commissioners Office came together with community stakeholders to look at ways
to bring relief to the neighborhood. As possible solutions were being explored,
Sheriff Jason Myers coordinated with Salem-Keizer School District Superintendent
Christy Perry to have buses rerouted so children in the neighborhood would not
need to use the walkway to get to and from school. Public Works Director Brian
Nicholas and his team led efforts to explore vacating the county easement that
was ultimately approved by the commissioners,
Following a public hearing in March, the Board of Commissioners decided to
vacate the easement, granting ownership to the two adjoining property owners.
Additionally, the Board of Commissioners authorized the use of Good Neighbor
Funds to put up new fencing to help close off the area. The Good Neighbor Fund
was established to provide funding for small projects affecting safety and
livability in neighborhoods.
As this project was wrapping up over the last few weeks, neighbors in the
area saw Sheriff's Office work crews clearing overgrown vegetation and putting
in new fences. The work crews, staffed with inmates from the Sheriff's Office
Transition Center, provide a valuable opportunity for offenders to perform
community service while learning skills which may help them be more successful
when seeking out employment after incarceration.
Marion County would like to thank our community members for coming forward
with their concerns and collaborating with us to help make a difference in their
neighborhood. This project would not have been possible without the partnership
between Marion County and our community stakeholders.