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  • Jun
    17

    Collaboration leads to community project in East Salem neighborhood

    Posted by: Sheriff's Office

    ​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 neighborhood.

    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.

    Collaboration leads to community project in East Salem neighborhood
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