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  • Marion County Sheriff Candidates Invited to Apply

    Marion County Sheriff Candidates Invited to Apply

    Date: 5/10/2019 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​After 28 years with the Marion County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Jason Myers has announced his retirement effective June 30. When a vacancy occurs in a county elected office, the Marion County Board of Commissioners appoints a replacement who will hold office until a new sheriff is chosen in the next general election.

    Applications for the office of sheriff will be accepted beginning May 13. Commissioner Kevin Cameron, board chair, said, "Public safety is a priority for Marion County. We have appreciated the creative and collaborative public safety initiatives championed by Sheriff Jason Myers. Marion County is recognized throughout the state for its innovative programs and our goal is to continue this work. The recruitment process is open and designed to find the most qualified leader to ensure a seamless transition for the Sheriff's Office."

    Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume, and letter from the Department of Public Safety Standards & Training (DPSST) certifying the applicant fulfills the statutory office requirements and minimum law enforcement standards. Application material must be received at the Board of Commissioners Office, C/O Jan Fritz, at Courthouse Square located at 555 Court St. NE, Suite 5232, Salem, OR; mailed to PO Box 14500, Salem, OR 97309; or emailed to commissioners@co.marion.or.us.  

    All application material must be received by 5:00 p.m. on May 31, 2019.

    The commissioners plan to interview eligible applicants and select a replacement on Thursday, June 13, 2019. The new sheriff will be sworn in on Monday, July 1, 2019.  

    Minimum qualifications, pursuant to ORS 204.016 and 206.015, include: being a citizen of the United States; an elector of Oregon and resident of Marion County; at least 21 years old; having a minimum of four years of experience as a full-time law enforcement officer OR at least two years of experience as a full-time law enforcement officer and at least two years of formal, post-high school education; no felony convictions, or convictions for any other crimes that would prevent certification as a law enforcement officer in the State of Oregon. Applicants must be certified by DPSST or must achieve certification no later than one year after the appointment.

    Written comments will be accepted May 13 – May 31. Comments may be e-mailed to commissioners@co.marion.or.us or mailed to the Board of Commissioners Office at PO Box 14500, Salem, OR 97309. To be included in the record, comments must include the commenter's full name and address.

    For more information about the appointment process, please contact the Marion County Board of Commissioners Office at (503) 588-5212 or e-mail commissioners@co.marion.or.us

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  • Salem-Keizer students awarded top honors in art contest

    Salem-Keizer students awarded top honors in art contest

    Date: 5/22/2019 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Health and Human Services

    ​Hundreds of artists from 11 Oregon counties participated in the Oregon Health Authority's statewide art contest for middle school students. Designs from three Marion County youth were chosen among the top 12 to be featured in the 2020 Problem Gambling Awareness calendar. The calendar contest is held annually during March – Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

    Walea Tombleson, a 7th grade student from Claggett Creek Middle School in Keizer, was awarded the top state prize and will see her work featured on the cover of the calendar. Artwork from 7th grade students Kelsey Schauer from Whiteaker Middle School in Keizer and McKenna Morales from Waldo Middle School in Salem will be featured in the calendar as well.

    The state estimates that about 1-in-37 youth ages 10 to 18 and 1-in-13 adults may have a potential gambling problem. As with alcohol or drug use, problem gambling can turn into an addiction. A person with a gambling disorder is at higher risk of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Additionally, relationships with loved ones can suffer. Although most youth do not participate in gambling activities and most adults do not have a gambling problem, it is important for everyone to know it is an activity that carries risk. Free help and treatment is available by calling 1-877-MYLIMIT.

    Eighty-five middle school students from Keizer, Salem, Mt. Angel, Jefferson, and Sublimity used these concepts to create their artwork. Marion County awarded prizes for the top five entries that moved on to the state contest and included their artwork on awareness posters. These included the three state award winners as well as Jarrod Kohler, Marion County's top prize winner, from Whiteaker Middle School and Emmanuel Sandoval from Mt. Angel Middle School.

    Printing and distribution of the 2020 calendar is scheduled for fall 2019. For more information about problem gambling prevention or to request a free calendar or awareness poster, please contact Michael Keuler, Marion County Health & Human Services, at (503) 576-2867 or visit our website.  

    Read More
  • Volunteers recognized for outstanding service to Marion County

    Volunteers recognized for outstanding service to Marion County

    Date: 4/23/2019 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Business Services

    ​More than 129,000 hours with a value of $3.1 million – these are the 2018 contributions of Marion County's 1,742 volunteers. The Board of Commissioners celebrated the dedicated efforts of county volunteers on April 10 in honor of National Volunteer Week.

     Please join us in congratulating our 2019 volunteer award recipients: 

    Youth Volunteer – Payton Schlag

    The Youth Volunteer Award was developed to recognize volunteer accomplishments of young people 24 years and under in county programs and departments. 

    Eleven-year-old Payton Schlag is already a seasoned volunteer with the Marion County Fair. She first volunteered at only 8 years old. For the last two years she has volunteered at the information booth greeting fairgoers with courtesy and professionalism. In preparing for her duties at the information booth, she walked the areas around the booth making sure she knew where main attractions, restrooms, and other common areas were located so she could easily answer questions. Payton also serves as a peer tutor at her middle school and she is already signed up to volunteer at the 2019 fair.

    Advisory Board Volunteer – Bob Anderson

    The Advisory Board Volunteer of the Year award is to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to a Marion County advisory board. 

    Bob Anderson was recognized for his contributions on the Solid Waste Management Advisory Council. Bob has led the council as chair many times during his 18 years of service. He has provided guidance for county waste reduction and recycling programs, including some of the first commingled recycling collection programs in Oregon.  Bob and SWMAC were instrumental in starting one of the only programs in the nation that offers curbside collection of paint and household batteries among other items. Bob's business, AJ's Automotive Repair, was also recognized in 2013 for its green practices at the Mid-Valley Green Awards.

    Program Award – Monica Melhorn

    The program award is intended for those volunteers who display dedication and exemplary accomplishments within the division or program in which they volunteer.

    Monica Melhorn began as a dog walker at the Marion County Dog Shelter in 2018. She quickly transitioned to the foster program. Monica often fosters difficult to adopt dogs – high energy, herding breeds, young, and smart dogs. She offers insight to shelter staff on the dog's behaviors and needs, as well as helps potential adopters who want to know as much as possible about a dog before adopting. Monica regularly brings foster dogs to outreach events to help them find potential forever homes.

    Mary Pearmine Outstanding Volunteer Group – Lowell Spring and the Salem Audubon Society

    This award is in honor of the late Mary Pearmine who served as commissioner for Marion County from 1991-1998. In addition to being the first woman commissioner, Mary was a champion of volunteers and volunteer groups.

    Lowell Spring has been cleaning the roadside on Buena Vista Rd S and Ankeny Hill Rd S since 1995. Lowell often does most of this work on his own, representing the Salem Audubon Society. The Salem Audubon Society Adopt-A-Road group has been cleaning this roadside for 23 years, not only saving the county time and money, but also encouraging others to clean up and properly dispose of trash to keep the roadside clean. Marion County appreciates the Salem Audubon Society's long term dedication to preserving the beauty of Buena Vista and South Ankeny Hill Roads.  

    Judge Rex Hartley Volunteer of the Year – Ulrich Reich  

    The late Rex Hartley served as a county judge and commissioner for Marion County from 1951-1966. Judge Hartley was dedicated to involving citizens in the development of the county.

    Ulrich Reich, also known as Uli, championed establishing a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Woodburn in 2014. Uli's leadership and continued dedication to recruiting, training, and managing this CERT team has resulted in a strong and successful response team that is well integrated into the community and capable of assisting local partners in a variety of tasks. Uli helped develop the Woodburn CERT Firefighter Rehab team. This team responds to local emergencies to provide rehabilitation services to fire and police service personnel. Under Uli's leadership, Woodburn CERT also assists with open houses at the fire department, community preparedness events, and regularly host CPR/AED and CERT classes.

    These are just a few of Marion County's volunteers and volunteer opportunities. In addition to these special awards, we appreciate the time and talents each of our volunteers contribute to enhance our programs and services. Volunteer positions are varied; there is something for everyone!

    For a list of current volunteer opportunities or to learn more about Marion County's volunteer program, contact Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Miller at (503) 588-7990, email volunteer@co.marion.or.us or visit www.co.marion.or.us/BS/VOL.  

    Read More
  • Marion County and Save Our Bridge Committee holds Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest

    Marion County and Save Our Bridge Committee holds Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest

    Date: 3/28/2019 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works

    ​In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Historic Railroad Bridge in Mill City, amateur and professional photographers are invited to enter their best images of the bridge in the "Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest" hosted by Marion County Public Works and the Save Our Bridge Committee in Mill City. The contest allows photographers of all skill levels to capture photographs of the bridge through their own unique lens.

    Send in your best photos for a chance to win! One grand prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize and the four category winners will each receive $125 cash prizes, thanks to the generosity of the contest's sponsor Santiam Hospital of Stayton.

    Winning contestants will receive their awards at Mill City's Historic Railroad Bridge Centennial Celebration on Saturday, September 14, 2019, in Mill City where their winning photos will be framed and displayed. Following the celebration, the framed photographs will also be displayed at the City of Mill City and Marion County Public Works offices, and the digital images on the city's and county's websites.

    Contestants may submit up to two photos for each of the following categories: Natural Setting, Architectural Features, Community Life, and Seasonal. Only digital photos will be accepted and although they will remain the property of the contestant, by entering the contest photographers grant Marion County and the City of Mill City the rights to publicly display and reproduce the photo in future publications, websites, and programs. For a full list of contest rules and to enter photos in the contest, visit the Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest web page at www.millcitybridge.com.

    Entries must be submitted by 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Contest entries will be judged on overall quality, creativity and how well the photograph portrays the Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge in the four listed categories.  

    Mill City's Historic Railroad Bridge was built in 1888 and moved to Mill City by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1919. The railroad suspended service to Mill City in 1967 and the last train crossed it in 1971. It now serves the community as a well-used bike and pedestrian bridge and is the last remaining Phoenix Column Bridge still in service in Oregon.

    To submit photo entries and learn more about the contest, go to www.millcitybridge.com.

    Read More
  • Marion County parks offer a wealth of recreational opportunities

    Marion County parks offer a wealth of recreational opportunities

    Date: 4/22/2019 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works

    ​By Dick Hughes, special to Marion County 

    From picnicking to geocaching to hiking, Marion County parks offer a wealth of recreational opportunities for residents and travelers.

    "We have 18 parks that are scattered throughout the county. There are some that are absolutely gorgeous," Parks Coordinator Russ Dilley said.

    "We have all kinds of different recreation. A majority of the parks are on water, so there are a lot of water activities. Some have shelters for group picnics. We have smaller parks that are in the neighborhoods for kids to go play on the playgrounds."

    Most of the parks now stay open year-round. And with the May 1 opening of the remainder, visitors will find improvements throughout the park system.

    Those improvements include a repaved parking lot, new picnic shelters and a larger restroom at Scotts Mills Park; additional picnic tables at North Fork, Bear Creek and Salmon Falls parks; a stairway down to the North Santiam River at Minto Park; and expanded garbage collection and lots of fix-up throughout the 18 parks.

    For years, the county's parks staff consisted of Dilley and a summer employee. Marion County has now invested in a second fulltime employee and eight seasonal staff.

    "For so long, we were playing catchup," Dilley said. "To go from two people in the summertime to 10 people is amazing."

    The results show.

    At Scotts Mills, "on an average hot day, we had a 20-person line waiting" for the single restroom, Dilley said. Visitors using the 13-acre park for swimming, playing ball and other activities will appreciate now having a two-restroom facility.

    During the winter, weather closes the county parks along the Little North Fork of the Santiam River. Come late spring and summer, North Fork, Bear Creek and Salmon Falls parks are so heavily used – for water play, fishing, hiking, picnicking and, at Bear Creek, camping – that the county instituted a parking fee from May 15 through September. The price is $5 per vehicle per day, or $30 annually.

    "The area up there was being loved to death. We're not trying to restrict anyone with the parking pass, instead limit the numbers because of the environmental factors," Dilley said.

    "This has been something that we're working on with the BLM and the Forest Service, trying to just make people aware: Tread lightly."

    North Fork Park drew an estimated 11,800 visitors from last May through September.

    Just north of Salem and Keizer is Spong's Landing Park, where a significant beautification and renovation project has been under way. Rock trails and additional picnic tables have been added, although April's flooding along the Willamette River impeded that work. The 61.6-acre park includes picnic tables and shelters, barbecues, play equipment, horseshoe courts and a ballfield.

    Reservations are not needed for picnic shelters at the county parks.

    The oldest park, dedicated in 1955, is Niagara County Park off Highway 22. "It's an absolutely beautiful park with a great interpretative trail and a beautiful view of the North Santiam River which runs through the park," Dilley said.

    As travelers and local residents enjoy the county parks, Dilley reminds them to use the trash cans or pack out their garbage.

    He adds: "Be safe. Tread lightly. Be respectful. Enjoy."

    Read More
 

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  • May
    22

    Salem-Keizer students awarded top honors in art contest

    Posted by: Health and Human Services

    ​Hundreds of artists from 11 Oregon counties participated in the Oregon Health Authority's statewide art contest for middle school students. Designs from three Marion County youth were chosen among the top 12 to be featured in the 2020 Problem Gambling Awareness calendar. The calendar contest is held annually during March – Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

    Walea Tombleson, a 7th grade student from Claggett Creek Middle School in Keizer, was awarded the top state prize and will see her work featured on the cover of the calendar. Artwork from 7th grade students Kelsey Schauer from Whiteaker Middle School in Keizer and McKenna Morales from Waldo Middle School in Salem will be featured in the calendar as well.

    The state estimates that about 1-in-37 youth ages 10 to 18 and 1-in-13 adults may have a potential gambling problem. As with alcohol or drug use, problem gambling can turn into an addiction. A person with a gambling disorder is at higher risk of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Additionally, relationships with loved ones can suffer. Although most youth do not participate in gambling activities and most adults do not have a gambling problem, it is important for everyone to know it is an activity that carries risk. Free help and treatment is available by calling 1-877-MYLIMIT.

    Eighty-five middle school students from Keizer, Salem, Mt. Angel, Jefferson, and Sublimity used these concepts to create their artwork. Marion County awarded prizes for the top five entries that moved on to the state contest and included their artwork on awareness posters. These included the three state award winners as well as Jarrod Kohler, Marion County's top prize winner, from Whiteaker Middle School and Emmanuel Sandoval from Mt. Angel Middle School.

    Printing and distribution of the 2020 calendar is scheduled for fall 2019. For more information about problem gambling prevention or to request a free calendar or awareness poster, please contact Michael Keuler, Marion County Health & Human Services, at (503) 576-2867 or visit our website.  

    Read More
    Salem-Keizer students awarded top honors in art contest
  • May
    10

    Marion County Sheriff Candidates Invited to Apply

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​After 28 years with the Marion County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Jason Myers has announced his retirement effective June 30. When a vacancy occurs in a county elected office, the Marion County Board of Commissioners appoints a replacement who will hold office until a new sheriff is chosen in the next general election.

    Applications for the office of sheriff will be accepted beginning May 13. Commissioner Kevin Cameron, board chair, said, "Public safety is a priority for Marion County. We have appreciated the creative and collaborative public safety initiatives championed by Sheriff Jason Myers. Marion County is recognized throughout the state for its innovative programs and our goal is to continue this work. The recruitment process is open and designed to find the most qualified leader to ensure a seamless transition for the Sheriff's Office."

    Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume, and letter from the Department of Public Safety Standards & Training (DPSST) certifying the applicant fulfills the statutory office requirements and minimum law enforcement standards. Application material must be received at the Board of Commissioners Office, C/O Jan Fritz, at Courthouse Square located at 555 Court St. NE, Suite 5232, Salem, OR; mailed to PO Box 14500, Salem, OR 97309; or emailed to commissioners@co.marion.or.us.  

    All application material must be received by 5:00 p.m. on May 31, 2019.

    The commissioners plan to interview eligible applicants and select a replacement on Thursday, June 13, 2019. The new sheriff will be sworn in on Monday, July 1, 2019.  

    Minimum qualifications, pursuant to ORS 204.016 and 206.015, include: being a citizen of the United States; an elector of Oregon and resident of Marion County; at least 21 years old; having a minimum of four years of experience as a full-time law enforcement officer OR at least two years of experience as a full-time law enforcement officer and at least two years of formal, post-high school education; no felony convictions, or convictions for any other crimes that would prevent certification as a law enforcement officer in the State of Oregon. Applicants must be certified by DPSST or must achieve certification no later than one year after the appointment.

    Written comments will be accepted May 13 – May 31. Comments may be e-mailed to commissioners@co.marion.or.us or mailed to the Board of Commissioners Office at PO Box 14500, Salem, OR 97309. To be included in the record, comments must include the commenter's full name and address.

    For more information about the appointment process, please contact the Marion County Board of Commissioners Office at (503) 588-5212 or e-mail commissioners@co.marion.or.us

    Read More
    Marion County Sheriff Candidates Invited to Apply
  • Apr
    24

    Marion County Announces Seasonal Park Openings

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    Marion County announces that its seasonal parks, which include Bear Creek Park and Campground, will open on May 1 for the 2019 summer recreational season.

    Parks Coordinator Russ Dilley said, "We're looking forward to another busy summer at Marion County's parks. We've added seasonal staff to keep parks ready for visitors, and we're reminding visitors to be mindful of county park rules including bans on alcohol, smoking and glass containers, as well as the parking fees along the North Fork corridor."  

    North Fork corridor parks
    Bear Creek Park and Campground will open on May 1. The park is a 15-acre campground located between the Bureau of Land Management's Canyon Creek and Elkhorn Valley parks on North Fork Road. Bear Creek Park also provides day use access to the Little North Fork Santiam River. The park has 15 first-come, first-served camp sites and costs $14 per night with a 14-night maximum stay. Each of the camping sites has picnic tables and fire pits and accommodates one vehicle. A $5 fee applies to each additional vehicle. Campsite check-in is 4 p.m. and check out is 1 p.m. on the day of departure. The day use portion of the park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    North Fork and Salmon Falls parks also open on May 1. Both parks provide access to the Little North Fork Santiam River, include restrooms and picnic facilities, and are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    Two emergency phones are now operational in areas where cell phone coverage is either unavailable or unreliable. One phone is located at the entrance to Salmon Falls Park and one phone is located at the Elkhorn Valley Fire Station. Both phones connect directly to 9-1-1.

    In 2017, Marion County instituted a $5 daily parking fee for all vehicles that park on the side of North Fork Road and in county parks accessed from North Fork Road, including North Fork Park, Salmon Falls Park, Bear Creek Park day use parking and Lomker's Bridge day use area. Parking fee stations along North Fork Road and in each park will be available for use in May. Fees can be paid using cash or check. A $30 annual parking pass is also available, which will allow unlimited daily parking for one vehicle along North Fork Road and in Marion County North Fork corridor parks. Annual passes can be purchased at any of the parking fee stations or at Marion County Public Works, Building 1, 5155 Silverton Road NE in Salem.

    Other Parks
    Spong's Landing Park will also open to the public on May 1 but will be closed on Saturday, May 4 for maintenance. This park is located along the Willamette River north of Keizer and is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

    Scotts Mills Park will also open to vehicle traffic on May 1.

    The following Marion County parks are open and available for public use year-round:

    • Aumsville Ponds on Bates Road SE near Aumsville;

    • Bonesteele Park on Aumsville Hwy SE;

    • Salem area - Auburn, Denny, Eola Bend, Joryville, Labish Village, and Parkdale;

    • Near Silverton - Rogers Wayside; and

    • Along the North Santiam River – Minto, Niagara and Packsaddle

    St. Louis Fish Ponds, west of Gervais, opened for the season on March 1.

    Marion County has a first-come, first-served policy for all county parks and park amenities. Reservations are not accepted. Parking permits are only required at the county's North Fork corridor parks and for parking along North Fork Road. Parking at all other county parks is free.

    Safety
    Marion County reminds park visitors that the following safety rules apply:

    • Alcohol, glass containers and smoking are prohibited in all county parks.

    • Outdoor cooking fires must be in a fireplace, barbecue pit or camp stove, and used safely in designated picnic or cooking areas. During fire season, only portable gas barbecues and camp stoves may be used.

    • Fires must be attended at all times in county parks. Completely extinguish all fires until cold to the touch and comply with all seasonal fire restrictions.

    • Discharge of firearms, ammunition, fireworks and other types of explosives are also prohibited in county parks.

    For more information about county parks, including descriptions, locations and available amenities, visit the Marion County Parks website at www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks or call (503) 588-5036.

    Read More
    Marion County Announces Seasonal Park Openings
  • Apr
    23

    Volunteers recognized for outstanding service to Marion County

    Posted by: Business Services

    ​More than 129,000 hours with a value of $3.1 million – these are the 2018 contributions of Marion County's 1,742 volunteers. The Board of Commissioners celebrated the dedicated efforts of county volunteers on April 10 in honor of National Volunteer Week.

     Please join us in congratulating our 2019 volunteer award recipients: 

    Youth Volunteer – Payton Schlag

    The Youth Volunteer Award was developed to recognize volunteer accomplishments of young people 24 years and under in county programs and departments. 

    Eleven-year-old Payton Schlag is already a seasoned volunteer with the Marion County Fair. She first volunteered at only 8 years old. For the last two years she has volunteered at the information booth greeting fairgoers with courtesy and professionalism. In preparing for her duties at the information booth, she walked the areas around the booth making sure she knew where main attractions, restrooms, and other common areas were located so she could easily answer questions. Payton also serves as a peer tutor at her middle school and she is already signed up to volunteer at the 2019 fair.

    Advisory Board Volunteer – Bob Anderson

    The Advisory Board Volunteer of the Year award is to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to a Marion County advisory board. 

    Bob Anderson was recognized for his contributions on the Solid Waste Management Advisory Council. Bob has led the council as chair many times during his 18 years of service. He has provided guidance for county waste reduction and recycling programs, including some of the first commingled recycling collection programs in Oregon.  Bob and SWMAC were instrumental in starting one of the only programs in the nation that offers curbside collection of paint and household batteries among other items. Bob's business, AJ's Automotive Repair, was also recognized in 2013 for its green practices at the Mid-Valley Green Awards.

    Program Award – Monica Melhorn

    The program award is intended for those volunteers who display dedication and exemplary accomplishments within the division or program in which they volunteer.

    Monica Melhorn began as a dog walker at the Marion County Dog Shelter in 2018. She quickly transitioned to the foster program. Monica often fosters difficult to adopt dogs – high energy, herding breeds, young, and smart dogs. She offers insight to shelter staff on the dog's behaviors and needs, as well as helps potential adopters who want to know as much as possible about a dog before adopting. Monica regularly brings foster dogs to outreach events to help them find potential forever homes.

    Mary Pearmine Outstanding Volunteer Group – Lowell Spring and the Salem Audubon Society

    This award is in honor of the late Mary Pearmine who served as commissioner for Marion County from 1991-1998. In addition to being the first woman commissioner, Mary was a champion of volunteers and volunteer groups.

    Lowell Spring has been cleaning the roadside on Buena Vista Rd S and Ankeny Hill Rd S since 1995. Lowell often does most of this work on his own, representing the Salem Audubon Society. The Salem Audubon Society Adopt-A-Road group has been cleaning this roadside for 23 years, not only saving the county time and money, but also encouraging others to clean up and properly dispose of trash to keep the roadside clean. Marion County appreciates the Salem Audubon Society's long term dedication to preserving the beauty of Buena Vista and South Ankeny Hill Roads.  

    Judge Rex Hartley Volunteer of the Year – Ulrich Reich  

    The late Rex Hartley served as a county judge and commissioner for Marion County from 1951-1966. Judge Hartley was dedicated to involving citizens in the development of the county.

    Ulrich Reich, also known as Uli, championed establishing a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Woodburn in 2014. Uli's leadership and continued dedication to recruiting, training, and managing this CERT team has resulted in a strong and successful response team that is well integrated into the community and capable of assisting local partners in a variety of tasks. Uli helped develop the Woodburn CERT Firefighter Rehab team. This team responds to local emergencies to provide rehabilitation services to fire and police service personnel. Under Uli's leadership, Woodburn CERT also assists with open houses at the fire department, community preparedness events, and regularly host CPR/AED and CERT classes.

    These are just a few of Marion County's volunteers and volunteer opportunities. In addition to these special awards, we appreciate the time and talents each of our volunteers contribute to enhance our programs and services. Volunteer positions are varied; there is something for everyone!

    For a list of current volunteer opportunities or to learn more about Marion County's volunteer program, contact Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Miller at (503) 588-7990, email volunteer@co.marion.or.us or visit www.co.marion.or.us/BS/VOL.  

    Read More
    Volunteers recognized for outstanding service to Marion County
  • Apr
    22

    Marion County parks offer a wealth of recreational opportunities

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​By Dick Hughes, special to Marion County 

    From picnicking to geocaching to hiking, Marion County parks offer a wealth of recreational opportunities for residents and travelers.

    "We have 18 parks that are scattered throughout the county. There are some that are absolutely gorgeous," Parks Coordinator Russ Dilley said.

    "We have all kinds of different recreation. A majority of the parks are on water, so there are a lot of water activities. Some have shelters for group picnics. We have smaller parks that are in the neighborhoods for kids to go play on the playgrounds."

    Most of the parks now stay open year-round. And with the May 1 opening of the remainder, visitors will find improvements throughout the park system.

    Those improvements include a repaved parking lot, new picnic shelters and a larger restroom at Scotts Mills Park; additional picnic tables at North Fork, Bear Creek and Salmon Falls parks; a stairway down to the North Santiam River at Minto Park; and expanded garbage collection and lots of fix-up throughout the 18 parks.

    For years, the county's parks staff consisted of Dilley and a summer employee. Marion County has now invested in a second fulltime employee and eight seasonal staff.

    "For so long, we were playing catchup," Dilley said. "To go from two people in the summertime to 10 people is amazing."

    The results show.

    At Scotts Mills, "on an average hot day, we had a 20-person line waiting" for the single restroom, Dilley said. Visitors using the 13-acre park for swimming, playing ball and other activities will appreciate now having a two-restroom facility.

    During the winter, weather closes the county parks along the Little North Fork of the Santiam River. Come late spring and summer, North Fork, Bear Creek and Salmon Falls parks are so heavily used – for water play, fishing, hiking, picnicking and, at Bear Creek, camping – that the county instituted a parking fee from May 15 through September. The price is $5 per vehicle per day, or $30 annually.

    "The area up there was being loved to death. We're not trying to restrict anyone with the parking pass, instead limit the numbers because of the environmental factors," Dilley said.

    "This has been something that we're working on with the BLM and the Forest Service, trying to just make people aware: Tread lightly."

    North Fork Park drew an estimated 11,800 visitors from last May through September.

    Just north of Salem and Keizer is Spong's Landing Park, where a significant beautification and renovation project has been under way. Rock trails and additional picnic tables have been added, although April's flooding along the Willamette River impeded that work. The 61.6-acre park includes picnic tables and shelters, barbecues, play equipment, horseshoe courts and a ballfield.

    Reservations are not needed for picnic shelters at the county parks.

    The oldest park, dedicated in 1955, is Niagara County Park off Highway 22. "It's an absolutely beautiful park with a great interpretative trail and a beautiful view of the North Santiam River which runs through the park," Dilley said.

    As travelers and local residents enjoy the county parks, Dilley reminds them to use the trash cans or pack out their garbage.

    He adds: "Be safe. Tread lightly. Be respectful. Enjoy."

    Read More
    Marion County parks offer a wealth of recreational opportunities
  • Mar
    28

    Marion County and Save Our Bridge Committee holds Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Historic Railroad Bridge in Mill City, amateur and professional photographers are invited to enter their best images of the bridge in the "Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest" hosted by Marion County Public Works and the Save Our Bridge Committee in Mill City. The contest allows photographers of all skill levels to capture photographs of the bridge through their own unique lens.

    Send in your best photos for a chance to win! One grand prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize and the four category winners will each receive $125 cash prizes, thanks to the generosity of the contest's sponsor Santiam Hospital of Stayton.

    Winning contestants will receive their awards at Mill City's Historic Railroad Bridge Centennial Celebration on Saturday, September 14, 2019, in Mill City where their winning photos will be framed and displayed. Following the celebration, the framed photographs will also be displayed at the City of Mill City and Marion County Public Works offices, and the digital images on the city's and county's websites.

    Contestants may submit up to two photos for each of the following categories: Natural Setting, Architectural Features, Community Life, and Seasonal. Only digital photos will be accepted and although they will remain the property of the contestant, by entering the contest photographers grant Marion County and the City of Mill City the rights to publicly display and reproduce the photo in future publications, websites, and programs. For a full list of contest rules and to enter photos in the contest, visit the Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest web page at www.millcitybridge.com.

    Entries must be submitted by 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Contest entries will be judged on overall quality, creativity and how well the photograph portrays the Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge in the four listed categories.  

    Mill City's Historic Railroad Bridge was built in 1888 and moved to Mill City by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1919. The railroad suspended service to Mill City in 1967 and the last train crossed it in 1971. It now serves the community as a well-used bike and pedestrian bridge and is the last remaining Phoenix Column Bridge still in service in Oregon.

    To submit photo entries and learn more about the contest, go to www.millcitybridge.com.

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    Marion County and Save Our Bridge Committee holds Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest
  • Feb
    1

    Marion County welcomes new commissioner

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    By Dick Hughes​

    Marion County's newest commissioner has plunged into his job with gusto.

    The three members of the Board of Commissioners serve approximately 340,000 residents in Marion County, and Colm Willis was quickly immersed in that decision-making after taking office on Jan. 7.

    "I just love this place, and so my passion for this job is to serve the people of Marion County and to make the best decisions I can for this community," he said in a recent interview. "As much as there is a learning curve, I have to get it right, right away."

    He said he has learned a lot through getting to know the different county employees and understanding their jobs on a personal basis.

    Willis, whose first name is pronounced "Col-um," was elected in November to succeed longtime Commissioner Janet Carlson, who retired. He joins Sam Brentano, a commissioner since 2003, and Kevin Cameron, who was re-elected in November and has been a commissioner since 2014.

    County commissioners have broad roles. They work with other elected county officials, including the assessor, sheriff, district attorney, clerk, treasurer and justice of the peace; serve on dozens of local-government and regional boards; and oversee county departments dealing with roads and bridges, land-use planning, health and human services, juvenile services, parks and other programs.

    Willis, 32, is a graduate of Boston College and has a law degree from Willamette University. He and his wife, Joan, live in a 100-year-old house in Stayton with their four young daughters.

    Housing is an important issue for him, and he wants to increase its availability and affordability throughout the county.

    "I know what it's like to have student loans and try to buy a house and to feel that pressure with housing prices going up and up and up. So I'm really interested in working on that," he said.

    "I want young people to be able to afford to buy a home. I think home ownership is something that's been profoundly important to the people of Marion County and to the people of this country. And I'm concerned that's becoming harder and harder for people to achieve."

    He does not have a particular strategy in mind.

    "I think we need to look at all of our options," he said. "Obviously, we live in the heart of agriculture here in Marion County and it's one of our major economic drivers, so I'm not interested in taking good farmland and turning it into urban land. But we have land within the urban growth boundaries that I think we need to look hard at and see if there's a way we can expand the number of houses that exist on that land."

    When not working, he enjoys soccer, playing Irish music with his brother – Willis plays the wooden flute and the bodhran, an Irish drum – and spending time with his family. Reading to his daughters is a nightly ritual.

    As busy as he is, Willis wants county residents to know he makes time for them.

    "I want people to please come and tell me their concerns. I want people to know that they can call me, email me, come visit me in the office. I very much prioritize hearing from constituents. As busy as my calendar is, my most important meetings are meetings with constituents." 

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    Marion County welcomes new commissioner
  • Feb
    1

    Local youth turn struggles into award-winning music

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​By Dick Hughes 

    A local high school senior has turned his struggles with drugs into an award-winning song and a trip to the Grammy Awards.

    Andrew McMains, 17, co-wrote a rap song with David Bond that won first place in the ninth-annual Teens Make Music Contest.

    The song's message is "using drugs comes with a price," McMains said. "I'm just a normal kid that has been through some hard times in my life."

    Sponsored by the Recording Academy's charity, MusiCares, the national contest is for teen musicians whose original composition "celebrates life above the influence or brings attention to the real-life consequences of substance misuse."

    McMains is close to graduating from Marion County's juvenile STAR Court – Supervised Treatment and Recovery. The intensive program combines substance abuse treatment and other services with ongoing court appearances. It is for youth aged 14 to 17 who are on probation for non-violent offenses and have substance abuse problems.

    Once youth successfully complete the multi-level program, their juvenile court records are expunged. In a celebration of gaining a fresh start, their original court documents are fed into a paper shredder during the graduation ceremony.

    McMains, Bond and Caleb McDonald, who tied for third in the national contest with his song "Demons," participate in Bridgeway Recovery Services' adolescent treatment program and recorded the songs at the IKE Box in downtown Salem. Bridgeway is sending all three, along with their mothers as chaperones, to Los Angeles for the Grammy celebrations.

    Two years ago, Bridgeway used grants from Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management and the city of Salem to buy music and video production equipment.

    Sonny Saltalamachia, Bridgeway's adolescent program supervisor, said the music has spawned a way for youth to journal about the difficulties in their lives. Several teens participate in the music therapy program each week. Saltalamachia creates a rap beat on a sound track, the youth discuss and decide on a topic, and then they write lyrics to the sound track.

    "It becomes a cathartic experience," he said. "Sometimes behind a kid's attitude lies a kind and vulnerable kid who has had a lot of trauma in their lives. Once you get to know them, they're beautiful on the inside."

    McMains and Bond's song, titled "Lost," is about that vulnerability. The verses recount what they encountered by using drugs, with a chorus told from the mother's perspective.

    Joe Kauffman, McMains' probation officer, said there are a lot of misconceptions about juveniles who get into trouble with the law.

    "Most of these kids have a lot of trauma in their lives and then they start acting out," he said.

    McMains hopes to continue making music, as well as pursuing his interest in photography that he developed through high school classes.

    "I'm just so proud of Drew," said his mother, Cassie Ricketts. "He's so talented."

    She said she doesn't know where their family would be without Saltalamachia, Kauffman and STAR Court.

    "They truly, really care about these kids." 

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    Local youth turn struggles into award-winning music
  • Jan
    25

    Commissioners approve Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​The Board of Commissioners recently approved the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018. Grove, Mueller & Swank, P.C. provided an unmodified opinion which is the highest level of assurance for audited financial statements. The audit was completed in accordance with government auditing standards and Oregon standards for local governments.

    The CAFR provides an overview of the county's financial position.

    Marion County Chief Administrative Officer John Lattimer said, "Marion County remains in good shape thanks to our knowledgeable and professional finance staff. They keep us on target and ensure our accounting procedures meet financial standards."

    Commissioner Kevin Cameron, board chair, said, "This report illustrates the county's positive financial position. We have been judicious in how and when we borrow and we remain far below our debt limit which helps us keep a favorable bond rating." 

    Marion County received the Certificate of Achievement for Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the annual financial report for the year ended June 30, 2017. This is the 17th consecutive year the county has received this award. The county has submitted the 2018 report for evaluation by GFOA.

    Residents can review the 2018 CAFR, as well as prior reports, on the Marion County website.

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    Commissioners approve Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
  • Jan
    10

    Dog shelter introduces new hours and revised fee schedule

    Posted by: Community Services - Dog Services

    ​Beginning Monday, March 10, 2019, the Marion County Dog Shelter is introducing new public hours. The shelter will be open Monday – Friday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Additionally, dog control enforcement will be expanded to provide weekend service.

    "The new hours are in response to community requests for evening shelter hours," said Community Service Director Tamra Goettsch. "By staying open later we'll be more responsive for found dog intake and lost dog returns, reuniting people and their pets that much faster."  The expansion of dog control hours will allow dog control officers to increase dog safety services throughout Marion County. 

    Purchasing of dog licenses and adoption services will be available during the shelter's public hours.

    Dog license and other fees will increase beginning February 1. Dog license and impound fees and fines are part of the shelter's annual operating budget and are used to help cover the cost of shelter operations, including dog control officers who help maintain community safety. This will be the first increase in fees for the dog shelter since 2011 and the first increase to licensing fees since 2002.  

    License fees for will increase from $17 to $20 annually for altered dogs and from $32 to $37 for non-altered dogs. Discounted fees are available for multi-year licenses and for senior dog owners. A full fee schedule is attached.

    Marion County Dog Services Fee Schedule (PDF)

    For more information about Marion Dog Services fees and hours, visit www.mcdogs.net, call (503) 588-5233, or email dog@co.marion.or.us.  

    About Marion County Dog Services:

    Marion County Dog Services operates the county dog shelter whose mission is to provide shelter and care for stray dogs until they are reunited with their families or adopted; enforcing Marion County dog licensing and control ordinances; promoting humane treatment of dogs; and educating residents on quality dog care.  

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    Dog shelter introduces new hours and revised fee schedule
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