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  • Silverton Road paving project scheduled to begin Wednesday

    Silverton Road paving project scheduled to begin Wednesday

    Date: 9/24/2018 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works

    ​Marion County's contractor, Knife River Corporation, has rescheduled the resurfacing of a segment of Silverton Road NE and Lancaster Drive NE.  The project extends from 200 feet east of Fisher Road NE to 800 feet east of Lancaster Drive NE on Silverton Road, and 60 feet north and south of Silverton Road on Lancaster Drive NE. The work is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26 through Wednesday, October 3, Friday and Saturday excluded, and weather permitting.  All work will be performed at night.

    The existing asphalt surface will be milled and replaced with new asphalt surfacing. During milling and paving traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction on Silverton Road and Lancaster Drive and will be controlled by flaggers. Please comply with all posted traffic signs, safety warnings, and flagger instructions.

    The project work hours are 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Sunday through Friday, and travelers should expect travel delays during this time. Marion County understands the work will be disruptive and will make every effort to complete the work as quickly and efficiently as possible.   

    Construction of asphalt resurfacing extends the life of the pavement and provides a smooth surface for motorists.  If you have any questions please contact Jill Ogden at 503-588-5036 or email jogden@co.marion.or.us  or Dave Chamness at 503-588-7919, email dchamness@co.marion.or.us.

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  • Marion County confronts suicide

    Marion County confronts suicide

    Date: 9/1/2018 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Health and Human Services

    ​"I really want people to start talking about suicide and mental health and eliminate the stigma for people suffering with sadness, depression and anxiety. I want it to someday be as acceptable as saying 'I have a headache' or 'I broke my leg.' There are a lot of people and kids out there who are suicidal. We just don't know. If we don't talk about it, how will we know?"

    Those are the words of Mary Buzzell, whose son took his life by suicide six years ago. She has experienced first-hand the "collateral damage" – the pain felt by family members, friends, co-workers, therapists and others after a death by suicide.

    More than five times as many people die by suicide in Oregon than by homicide, according to Marion County health officials, where Buzzell is an active volunteer.

    The Marion County Health & Human Services Department has launched an initiative to dramatically reduce the number of suicides. The work includes educating county staff at all levels about suicide and partnering with other organizations to raise community awareness.

    One goal is to make suicide as normal a health topic as cancer, which for generations was called "the C-word" and which was considered a forbidden subject for polite conversation.

    Marion County brought local organizations together in May to identify resources and barriers in dealing with suicide. Seventy people, from a variety of agencies representing perspectives ranging from youth to seniors, participated. In September they'll gather again to identify action steps.

    "The call to action we put out in May was a way to coalesce the community," says Cary Moller, the county's Health & Human Services administrator. "One of the key roles we play in the community is to convene conversations like this."

    Kerryann Bouska, the department's prevention supervisor, says society is much better at suicide intervention than at promoting mental health, preventing suicides and helping people after a loved one has died by suicide. The newly formed coalition of community groups will help strengthen and share those resources.

    The perception of stigma is one of the biggest obstacles.

    "If we have a child who has a cold or a broken arm, we don't hesitate to take them to the doctor or the emergency room," says Phil Blea, the program manager for children's mental health. However, many families are reluctant to seek immediate help for someone experiencing mental health issues.

    There also is a common misperception that talking about suicide will push someone into suicide. Research shows that is not the case.

    "People fear that if they talk about it, bad things will happen. I think that if we don't talk about it, bad things will continue to happen," Moller says. "Suicide is preventable. Our goal is to help people know there are other options. If we think about it as a mental health condition, it's treatable. It's very treatable. And treatment works."

    Moller and others say it's OK to ask people whether they are having suicidal thoughts – and then to listen instead of dismissing or downplaying their concerns. Your asking is a sign of caring support.

    If someone is contemplating suicide, you can help the person contact a mental health professional. Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. You also can dial 211 to get a list of local resources.

    Suicide does not discriminate. It affects people of all ages and all walks of life.

    "It impacts everyone," says Cydney Nestor of Marion County Health & Human Services. "I've never met anyone who hasn't been touched."

    September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, the Marion County Psychiatric Crisis Center is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week and can be reached at (503) 585-4949. Youth and Family Crisis Services are also available 7 days per week from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday – Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at (503) 576-4673.  ​

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  • Bear Creek Park and Campground closes early for the season

    Bear Creek Park and Campground closes early for the season

    Date: 9/17/2018 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Marion County Parks announces that Bear Creek Park and Campground has closed for the season. The seasonal park is typically open until October 31 but this year the camp host departed ahead of schedule and county staff opted to close the park because of safety and security concerns. The park will reopen on May 1, 2019.  

    For more information about this and other Marion County Parks, visit the website at http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks/, email parks@co.marion.or.us, or call 503-588-5036.

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  • Portion of Jefferson-Marion Road SE to close for bridge replacement

    Portion of Jefferson-Marion Road SE to close for bridge replacement

    Date: 5/29/2018 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works

    ​On June 4, 2018, construction will begin to replace the existing Marion Creek Bridge on Jefferson-Marion Road SE between Parrish Gap Road SE and the City of Marion. Daytime traffic will experience intermittent flagged lane closures from June 4 through June 15 to allow the contractor to perform preparatory work. Beginning June 18, Jefferson-Marion Road will be closed for approximately 10 weeks at Marion Creek to allow the contractor to remove and replace the existing bridge.

    During the road closure, a detour will be in place utilizing Parrish Gap Road, Hunsacker Road SE, and Marion Road SE. Please be aware of increased traffic on the detour route, heed all posted road closure and detour signs, and be considerate of bicyclists and farm equipment on the road. Road work associated with the bridge replacement is expected to be completed by September 6, 2018.

    For more information, contact Jill Ogden, Senior Engineering Technician, or Bob Pankratz, Project Engineer, at 503-588-5036.

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  • Recycling Reset - Curbside recycling changes

    Recycling Reset - Curbside recycling changes

    Date: 3/1/2018 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Marion County is hitting the reset button on its popular curbside recycling program.  This means residents won't be able to recycle some plastics and other items after March 5. The reset is due to the global recycling crisis caused by China's crackdown on imported recyclable materials.

    "To put the problem in perspective, it's helpful to understand that China has for many years consumed over half of the world's recyclable materials," said David Lear, Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling General Manager. "However, a significant amount of the recycled material China was getting was contaminated with food waste, garbage, and other unusable materials."

    As of January 1, 2018, China made good on its promise to significantly limit the amount of material it imports from other countries. The ban created a major disruption in recycling and there is no excess capacity in worldwide recycling markets to absorb the material China no longer accepts. This leaves Marion County recycling processors, as well as other jurisdictions, with a lot of material and few markets.

    Will Posegate, Garten Services Chief Operating Officer, said, "Given that this shakeup in global recycling markets is likely to continue for the near future, we have identified a short list of materials for which we know there are markets, both global and domestic. Our goal is to make sure that collected recyclable material is marketable and will actually be recycled and not end up in a landfill in some other part of the world. If manufacturers aren't buying certain materials, we have no choice but to throw them away."

    Mixed Recycling Roll Cart – Approved items  

    1. Paper

      • Newspaper, including advertisements and paper inserts

      • Corrugated cardboard

      • Magazines and catalogs

      • Junk/Direct mail

      • Boxes — cereal, cracker, cookie and shoe boxes

      • Office paper — copier and printer paper, file folders, note paper, computer paper, brochures

    2. Metal

      • Steel (tin) cans

      • ​Aluminum cans

    3. Plastic – Bottles and Jugs only — clean with lids removed

      • ​​Beverage bottles (soda, water, juice); 12 ounces or larger only

      • ​Other bottles — soap, household cleaning solutions

      • ​​Jugs — milk, juice, detergent

    In our zeal to protect the planet, we've all put something in the mixed recycling roll cart and hoped that it will be recycled.  This "wishful" recycling is a part of the problem. Removing items that are not on this list will play a role in the solution. Cleaning up our recycling is a community issue that not only involves putting the right material in the mixed recycling roll cart, but making sure items are empty, clean and dry – when in doubt, throw it out.

    Marion County Environmental Services, the City of Salem, local garbage haulers and recycling processors recognize that changing the curbside program requires thoughtful re-education about contamination and materials that are no longer considered "recyclable." Customers will soon receive new recycling educational materials.

    "In making these changes to the countywide mixed recycling roll cart program, we hope to enable our customers to recycle items for which there are sustainable, accessible, and affordable markets – now and into the future," said Brian May, Marion County Environmental Services Manager. "Despite the current challenges in the recycling realm, Marion County remains committed to protecting the health and welfare of our residents by providing environmentally sound solid waste management services."

    For more information, contact the Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association at (503) 390-4000 or visit mrtrashrecycles.com or Marion County Environmental Services at www.mcrecycles.net​ or email EnvironmentalServices@co.marion.or.us.  ​

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  • Sep
    24

    Silverton Road paving project scheduled to begin Wednesday

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​Marion County's contractor, Knife River Corporation, has rescheduled the resurfacing of a segment of Silverton Road NE and Lancaster Drive NE.  The project extends from 200 feet east of Fisher Road NE to 800 feet east of Lancaster Drive NE on Silverton Road, and 60 feet north and south of Silverton Road on Lancaster Drive NE. The work is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26 through Wednesday, October 3, Friday and Saturday excluded, and weather permitting.  All work will be performed at night.

    The existing asphalt surface will be milled and replaced with new asphalt surfacing. During milling and paving traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction on Silverton Road and Lancaster Drive and will be controlled by flaggers. Please comply with all posted traffic signs, safety warnings, and flagger instructions.

    The project work hours are 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Sunday through Friday, and travelers should expect travel delays during this time. Marion County understands the work will be disruptive and will make every effort to complete the work as quickly and efficiently as possible.   

    Construction of asphalt resurfacing extends the life of the pavement and provides a smooth surface for motorists.  If you have any questions please contact Jill Ogden at 503-588-5036 or email jogden@co.marion.or.us  or Dave Chamness at 503-588-7919, email dchamness@co.marion.or.us.

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    Silverton Road paving project scheduled to begin Wednesday
  • Sep
    17

    St. Louis Fish Ponds to close for the season

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Marion County Parks announces that the St. Louis Fish Ponds near Gervais will close for the season on October 1, 2018.

    Hunters and fishermen are still allowed to fish, hunt, and train dogs at the park during the off-season but should be aware that they must walk in after parking their vehicles at the gate and that no restroom facilities are available.

    For more information, please call 503-588-5036, email parks@co.marion.or.us, or visit the Marion County Parks web site at http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks/.

    For more information about fishing and gun use at the park, please contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 503-947-6100.

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    St. Louis Fish Ponds to close for the season
  • Sep
    17

    Bear Creek Park and Campground closes early for the season

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Marion County Parks announces that Bear Creek Park and Campground has closed for the season. The seasonal park is typically open until October 31 but this year the camp host departed ahead of schedule and county staff opted to close the park because of safety and security concerns. The park will reopen on May 1, 2019.  

    For more information about this and other Marion County Parks, visit the website at http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks/, email parks@co.marion.or.us, or call 503-588-5036.

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    Bear Creek Park and Campground closes early for the season
  • Sep
    1

    Marion County confronts suicide

    Posted by: Health and Human Services

    ​"I really want people to start talking about suicide and mental health and eliminate the stigma for people suffering with sadness, depression and anxiety. I want it to someday be as acceptable as saying 'I have a headache' or 'I broke my leg.' There are a lot of people and kids out there who are suicidal. We just don't know. If we don't talk about it, how will we know?"

    Those are the words of Mary Buzzell, whose son took his life by suicide six years ago. She has experienced first-hand the "collateral damage" – the pain felt by family members, friends, co-workers, therapists and others after a death by suicide.

    More than five times as many people die by suicide in Oregon than by homicide, according to Marion County health officials, where Buzzell is an active volunteer.

    The Marion County Health & Human Services Department has launched an initiative to dramatically reduce the number of suicides. The work includes educating county staff at all levels about suicide and partnering with other organizations to raise community awareness.

    One goal is to make suicide as normal a health topic as cancer, which for generations was called "the C-word" and which was considered a forbidden subject for polite conversation.

    Marion County brought local organizations together in May to identify resources and barriers in dealing with suicide. Seventy people, from a variety of agencies representing perspectives ranging from youth to seniors, participated. In September they'll gather again to identify action steps.

    "The call to action we put out in May was a way to coalesce the community," says Cary Moller, the county's Health & Human Services administrator. "One of the key roles we play in the community is to convene conversations like this."

    Kerryann Bouska, the department's prevention supervisor, says society is much better at suicide intervention than at promoting mental health, preventing suicides and helping people after a loved one has died by suicide. The newly formed coalition of community groups will help strengthen and share those resources.

    The perception of stigma is one of the biggest obstacles.

    "If we have a child who has a cold or a broken arm, we don't hesitate to take them to the doctor or the emergency room," says Phil Blea, the program manager for children's mental health. However, many families are reluctant to seek immediate help for someone experiencing mental health issues.

    There also is a common misperception that talking about suicide will push someone into suicide. Research shows that is not the case.

    "People fear that if they talk about it, bad things will happen. I think that if we don't talk about it, bad things will continue to happen," Moller says. "Suicide is preventable. Our goal is to help people know there are other options. If we think about it as a mental health condition, it's treatable. It's very treatable. And treatment works."

    Moller and others say it's OK to ask people whether they are having suicidal thoughts – and then to listen instead of dismissing or downplaying their concerns. Your asking is a sign of caring support.

    If someone is contemplating suicide, you can help the person contact a mental health professional. Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. You also can dial 211 to get a list of local resources.

    Suicide does not discriminate. It affects people of all ages and all walks of life.

    "It impacts everyone," says Cydney Nestor of Marion County Health & Human Services. "I've never met anyone who hasn't been touched."

    September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, the Marion County Psychiatric Crisis Center is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week and can be reached at (503) 585-4949. Youth and Family Crisis Services are also available 7 days per week from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday – Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at (503) 576-4673.  ​

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    Marion County confronts suicide
  • May
    29

    Portion of Jefferson-Marion Road SE to close for bridge replacement

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​On June 4, 2018, construction will begin to replace the existing Marion Creek Bridge on Jefferson-Marion Road SE between Parrish Gap Road SE and the City of Marion. Daytime traffic will experience intermittent flagged lane closures from June 4 through June 15 to allow the contractor to perform preparatory work. Beginning June 18, Jefferson-Marion Road will be closed for approximately 10 weeks at Marion Creek to allow the contractor to remove and replace the existing bridge.

    During the road closure, a detour will be in place utilizing Parrish Gap Road, Hunsacker Road SE, and Marion Road SE. Please be aware of increased traffic on the detour route, heed all posted road closure and detour signs, and be considerate of bicyclists and farm equipment on the road. Road work associated with the bridge replacement is expected to be completed by September 6, 2018.

    For more information, contact Jill Ogden, Senior Engineering Technician, or Bob Pankratz, Project Engineer, at 503-588-5036.

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    Portion of Jefferson-Marion Road SE to close for bridge replacement
  • May
    1

    County gives water safety reminders as seasonal parks open

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​By Dick Hughes, special to Marion County

    Even first responders and expert swimmers gasp when they venture into Oregon's snow-fed streams, rivers and lakes at this time of year.

    "The best description everybody says is, 'I jumped in the water and it immediately took my breath away,'" said Marion County Deputy Sheriff Dave Zahn.

    As more Marion County parks open to the public on May 1, first responders are urging Oregonians to be wary around the water.

    "May's water conditions are frigid," said Marion County Sheriff's Sgt. Matt Wilkinson. And when it's hot outside, "Everyone runs to the river to cool off."

    "The water is pure snowmelt. For even the strongest swimmers, it can shock them and cramp their muscles and cause them to drown."

    Deputy Zahn uses this exercise to teach children about the escalating effects of cold water: Put nuts and bolts in a bucket of ice water. Try to put the nuts and bolts together while keeping your hands in the water. Within minutes, the task becomes increasingly harder as your hands lose dexterity and the cold zaps your strength.

    Every year, Marion County experiences one or two drownings and several near-drownings. That is why it's important to always swim with a buddy, use life jackets and make an emergency plan before you start your outing. Being well-prepared makes it less likely that something will go wrong and increases your survival chances if something does.

    Parks open to public

    Among the Marion County parks opening May 1 are ones on the Little North Fork of the Santiam River and on the North Santiam itself: Minto, Niagara, North Fork and Salmon Falls. Bear Creek Park and Campground will open later in May.

    Also opening are Aumsville Ponds on Bates Road SE near Aumsville; Bonesteele Park on Aumsville Highway SE; Spong's Landing on the Willamette River north of Keizer; and Scotts Mills Park.

    Open year-round are Packsaddle Park on the North Santiam; Rogers Wayside near Silverton; and Auburn, Denny, Eola Bend, Joryville, Labish Village and Parkdale parks in the Salem area.

    Cold water even on hot days

    "Spring rivers are cold," said Josh Weathers, recreation manager for the Detroit and Sweet Home ranger districts of the Willamette National Forest. "A lot of people seem to forget that."

    The North Santiam River never warms up, because it's fed by water from the bottom of Detroit Lake. At this time of year, even the Willamette and Columbia rivers are relatively cold.

    Cold water can cause shock in one minute and incapacitate a person within 10 minutes.

    Plan for the unexpected

    On hot days, many popular cooling-off spots are out of cell-phone range, which underscores the importance of having a safety plan. Emergency phones are located on North Fork Road at the entrance of Salmon Falls Park and at the Elkhorn Fire Department, 32788 North Fork Road SE, Lyons.

    Deputy Zahn said to think ahead for how you'll handle a water emergency. If someone is struggling, don't jump in unless you're trained in life saving and an expert swimmer; otherwise, the person could pull you under. Unfortunately, the would-be rescuer often is who drowns.

    Instead, Zahn said, remember to "Reach, Row or Throw." Reach out to the struggling person with a long stick or pole, row to the person if you're in a boat, or throw something – even an empty, closed cooler – that a person can use to stay afloat.

    As for life jackets, think of them like bike helmets. You might think they don't look cool, but they can save your life – and there's never time at the last moment to put them on. Wear them when you're around water, including boating – especially if you're not a strong swimmer and in excellent shape.

    "Last year was one of our deadliest summers," Sgt. Wilkinson said. "Taking these precautions could save a life."​


    WATER SAFETY TIPS

    • Remember that you're in the outdoors. If you were hiking in Oregon, you would never go alone. You would always make an emergency plan, inform friends and family, and follow that plan. Treat water outings the same way, including always swimming with a buddy.
    • Keep a constant eye on children, even if they are a distance from the water.
    • Life jackets are a good idea for everyone and especially for inexperienced, weak or non-swimmers. Wearing a life jacket while in or on the water is as important as wearing a seat belt while driving in a car or wearing a helmet while riding your bike or motorcycle. According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, drowning is the leading cause of death in nearly 75 percent of boating related fatalities and 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
    • Choose swimming areas carefully, and heed "No swimming" signs.
    • These are natural creeks and rivers, with constantly changing conditions, which means wading is less exciting but far safer than jumping or diving. Don't jump into water unless you can clearly see the bottom, have measured the depth and have ensured there are no obstacles.
    • Never wade or swim upstream of a waterfall or rapids.
    • River banks, logs and rocks may be slippery at any time of year.
    • Keep an eye upstream for logs and other debris. Swift currents can send rocks tumbling along the river bottom as well.
    • The U.S. Forest Service advises: "If you fall into fast-moving water, do not try to stand up. The force of the water will push you over and hold you under. Most drownings result from getting a leg or ankle caught in an underwater rock ledge, between boulders or snagged in tree limbs or other debris. (Lie) on your back with your feet pointing downstream and toes pointing up toward the surface. Always look downstream and be prepared to fend off rocks with your feet."
    • Stay hydrated and use sunblock.
    • Learn CPR, hope you never have to use it, but be prepared in case you do.

    Parking

    Reminder: Park legally so you can focus on your activities instead of worrying about being cited (or towed).

    There is a $5 daily parking fee along North Fork Road and in Marion 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. Fee stations are along the road. A $30 North Fork Corridor Annual Parking Pass also can be purchased at a fee station or from Marion County Public Works.

    Sources: Marion County Sheriff's Office, Marion County Public Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Safe Kids Oregon, Washington State Parks Boating Program

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    County gives water safety reminders as seasonal parks open
  • May
    1

    Marion County celebrates 175 years of service

    Posted by: Marion County 175

    ​This article appears in the May 2018 edition of the Salem Business Journal. 

    By Dick Hughes, special to Marion County

    Wolves, grizzlies, black bears and cougars were killing livestock. People were fighting over land. A well-to-do man died without a will, so what to do with his cattle and his estate?

    Those issues drove settlers to create the first Oregon, and later Marion County, government. They met May 2, 1843 on a bluff above the Willamette River at a site we now know as Champoeg State Heritage Area. That history-deciding meeting is memorialized in a mural in the House Chamber of the Oregon State Capitol.

    Much has changed in the 175 years since that meeting, but Marion County's place as the heart of Oregon government has remained constant. And regardless of whether residents have held a minimalist or expansive view of government, they have counted on county services.

    Marion County has good reason to celebrate "175 Years of Service" throughout this year, including festivities at the Marion County Fair in July.

    The celebration also could be called "175 Years of Solutions." That first meeting along the Willamette largely dealt with an issue that reigns across Oregon today: wolves.

    Political sentiments were strong in the 19th century, as they are in the 21st century. The Champoeg vote to form a system of self-government was close, perhaps 52-50.

    That Oregon Territory Provisional Government helped create order on the frontier. Land disputes proliferated. Probate – the settling of estates – was a critical concern, crystalized by the 1841 death of former mountain man Ewing Young, a prominent financier and cattle rancher in the Chehalem Valley who died without heirs.

    What would become Marion County was a huge area, stretching east to the Rocky Mountains and south to California and Nevada. One of four districts that made up the Oregon Territory, it was called Champooick, later changed to Champoeg.

    In 1849, Champoeg County's name was changed to honor Revolutionary War Gen. Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion.

    The county gained its present boundaries in 1856 after Wasco, Polk, Linn and other counties were carved from its vast breadth. Marion County is bordered by the Willamette River and Butte Creek on the north, the Santiam River and North Fork of the Santiam on the south, the Willamette on the west and the Cascade Range on the east.

    At 1,194 square miles, Marion is comparatively small in size; relatively large in population, estimated at 341,286 last year by the U.S. Census Bureau; and undeniable in its 175 years of political, economic and educational influence.

    The oldest university in the West, Willamette University, was founded here in 1842. Salem, the county seat, became the territorial capital in 1851 and then the state capital. The Marion County Courthouse in 1857 hosted the Oregon Constitutional Convention, whose foundational charter became the basis for Oregon joining the Union as the 33rd state on Feb. 14, 1859.

    In the 1860s, the county purchased what would become the Oregon State Fairgrounds, deeding the property to the Oregon State Agriculture Society.

    Through the centuries, Marion County has remained one of the world's great agricultural regions. Generations of Native Americans lived off the land. Retired fur trappers settled into farming. Nurseries took hold. County agricultural agents provided advice. And thanks to voters in 2015, that collaboration continues with creation of the Marion County Extension and 4-H Service District.

    The state has taken over the courts, but many of the 19th and early 20th century demands for services remain: roads, ferries, land use, law enforcement, animal regulation, help for the indigent, physical and mental health treatment, veterans care and yes, tax collections to pay for those services.

    The 21st century has brought more demands and more services. But it all started with wolves.

    On May 2, 2018, 175 years after the historic vote at Champoeg, Marion County kicked off its "175 Years of Service" celebration for the remainder of 2018. There will be special festivities as part of the annual Marion County Fair, a self-guided tour of Marion County, 175 things to do in Marion County, and more. Visit www.marioncounty175.com​ for information about upcoming "175" events and activities. ​

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    Marion County celebrates 175 years of service
  • Apr
    30

    County to hold board session at Champoeg

    Posted by: Marion County 175

    ​In anticipation of the 175th anniversary of the founding of Marion County, the Board of Commissioners will hold its regular board session at the Champoeg Visitor Center on May 2, 2018. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and the public is encouraged to attend. The visitor center is located at 8239 Champoeg Road NE, St. Paul, inside the Champoeg State Heritage Area State Park. 

    The meeting will include historical presentations featuring Champoeg State Visitor Center Park Manager John Mullen; Native American Historian David G. Lewis, Phd; Greg Leo from the Friends of Historic Butteville; and a special appearance by historical interpreter Michael Tieman from the Oregon Society Sons of the American Revolution as Gen. Francis Marion.

    May 2, 2018, marks the 175th anniversary of the historic vote at Champoeg on the formation of Oregon's first provisional government on May 2, 1843. Two months later on July 5, 1843, the Oregon Territory Provisional Government was formally established and divided into four districts including Tuality, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Champooick, which was later renamed Champoeg and finally designated as Marion County in 1849.

    The board session kicks off Marion County's "175 Years of Service" celebration for the remainder of 2018. The county is planning special festivities as part of the annual Marion County Fair, a self-guided tour of Marion County, 175 things to do in Marion County in partnership with Travel Salem, and more.

    For more information, contact Jolene Kelley, Public Information Officer, at (503) 566-3937 or email jkelley@co.marion.or.us. ​

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    County to hold board session at Champoeg
  • Apr
    23

    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 2018 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 new 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.

    Scotts Mills Park
    Scotts Mills Park will not open on May 1 due to scheduled maintenance. The parking lot is being repaved and will open for the season once that work is completed.

    Other Seasonal Parks
    Other seasonal Marion County parks that open to the public on May 1 include:

    • Aumsville Ponds on Bates Road SE near Aumsville;

    • Bonesteele Park on Aumsville Hwy SE;

    • Spong's Landing on the Willamette River north of Keizer; and,

    • Minto and Niagara parks along the Santiam River.

    These parks are open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.

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

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

    • Near Silverton - Rogers Wayside; and

    • Along the North Santiam River – 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.

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    Marion County Announces Seasonal Park Openings
  • Mar
    15

    Commissioners seek solutions for rural solar farms

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​Proponents and opponents of photovoltaic solar arrays, or solar farms, filled the Senator Hearing Room Wednesday to express opinions on potential changes to the county's Rural Zone Code. Following yesterday's public hearing, staff will work with the Marion County Planning Commission to gather stakeholders from both sides to come up with proposals to regulate solar farms to protect the Willamette Valley's high-value farmland. The commissioners placed a moratorium on solar farm applications until new standards are proposed.

    Marion County began receiving conditional use applications to site photovoltaic solar power facilities in farm zones in 2015. To date, the county has approved 17 sites covering 205 acres. All but one of these sites is composed primarily of high-value farm soils.  People contacted the county with concerns about allowing solar farms on properties that are actively being farmed, particularly farms with higher quality soils. In response, the commissioners are considering additional standards.

    Several people who testified at the hearing requested a work group to revisit the proposed standards. After the ordinance imposing the moratorium is adopted next Wednesday, the county will not accept new solar array applications. The commissioners directed the work group to complete its work before October 1.

    For more information, contact the Marion County Planning Division at (503) 588-5038 or email planning@co.marion.or.us. ​

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    Commissioners seek solutions for rural solar farms
  • Mar
    1

    Recycling Reset - Curbside recycling changes

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Marion County is hitting the reset button on its popular curbside recycling program.  This means residents won't be able to recycle some plastics and other items after March 5. The reset is due to the global recycling crisis caused by China's crackdown on imported recyclable materials.

    "To put the problem in perspective, it's helpful to understand that China has for many years consumed over half of the world's recyclable materials," said David Lear, Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling General Manager. "However, a significant amount of the recycled material China was getting was contaminated with food waste, garbage, and other unusable materials."

    As of January 1, 2018, China made good on its promise to significantly limit the amount of material it imports from other countries. The ban created a major disruption in recycling and there is no excess capacity in worldwide recycling markets to absorb the material China no longer accepts. This leaves Marion County recycling processors, as well as other jurisdictions, with a lot of material and few markets.

    Will Posegate, Garten Services Chief Operating Officer, said, "Given that this shakeup in global recycling markets is likely to continue for the near future, we have identified a short list of materials for which we know there are markets, both global and domestic. Our goal is to make sure that collected recyclable material is marketable and will actually be recycled and not end up in a landfill in some other part of the world. If manufacturers aren't buying certain materials, we have no choice but to throw them away."

    Mixed Recycling Roll Cart – Approved items  

    1. Paper

      • Newspaper, including advertisements and paper inserts

      • Corrugated cardboard

      • Magazines and catalogs

      • Junk/Direct mail

      • Boxes — cereal, cracker, cookie and shoe boxes

      • Office paper — copier and printer paper, file folders, note paper, computer paper, brochures

    2. Metal

      • Steel (tin) cans

      • ​Aluminum cans

    3. Plastic – Bottles and Jugs only — clean with lids removed

      • ​​Beverage bottles (soda, water, juice); 12 ounces or larger only

      • ​Other bottles — soap, household cleaning solutions

      • ​​Jugs — milk, juice, detergent

    In our zeal to protect the planet, we've all put something in the mixed recycling roll cart and hoped that it will be recycled.  This "wishful" recycling is a part of the problem. Removing items that are not on this list will play a role in the solution. Cleaning up our recycling is a community issue that not only involves putting the right material in the mixed recycling roll cart, but making sure items are empty, clean and dry – when in doubt, throw it out.

    Marion County Environmental Services, the City of Salem, local garbage haulers and recycling processors recognize that changing the curbside program requires thoughtful re-education about contamination and materials that are no longer considered "recyclable." Customers will soon receive new recycling educational materials.

    "In making these changes to the countywide mixed recycling roll cart program, we hope to enable our customers to recycle items for which there are sustainable, accessible, and affordable markets – now and into the future," said Brian May, Marion County Environmental Services Manager. "Despite the current challenges in the recycling realm, Marion County remains committed to protecting the health and welfare of our residents by providing environmentally sound solid waste management services."

    For more information, contact the Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association at (503) 390-4000 or visit mrtrashrecycles.com or Marion County Environmental Services at www.mcrecycles.net​ or email EnvironmentalServices@co.marion.or.us.  ​

    Read More
    Recycling Reset - Curbside recycling changes
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