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  • County celebrates 10 years of "Giving People a Second Chance"

    County celebrates 10 years of "Giving People a Second Chance"

    Date: 10/2/2018 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​On October 25, Marion County will celebrate ten years of the "Giving People a Second Chance" community breakfast which supports the Marion County Reentry Initiative. The event will be held at the Salem Conference Center located at 200 Commercial St. SE in Salem. Doors open at 7 a.m. and the program will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is required at http://bit.ly/2018MCRI.

    This engaging and inspiring event will feature a retrospective of the last ten years of the Marion County Reentry Initiative – a collaborative effort involving public safety and justice, mental health and substance abuse treatment, victim services, health care, and education partners working together to rebuild lives, promote community safety, and save taxpayer money by breaking the cycle of criminal activity. 

    "Supervising people through parole and probation is only part of the equation," said Commissioner Janet Carlson. "People have to have housing, they have to have jobs, they have to have good support systems, and they have to reunite with their families. Parenting can become a real challenge. There are a lot of barriers for people trying to successfully reintegrate into the community."

    More than 600 offenders are released into Marion County communities each year. Forty-eight percent of those released are immediately homeless, 60-70 percent have substance abuse problems, and most have no transportation. Seventy percent are parents.

    The reentry initiative helps those reentering society by giving them access to opportunities for assistance with housing, employment, job skills, mentoring, transportation, and treatment for mental health and addiction.

    By providing comprehensive services, Marion County has seen dramatic reductions in recidivism – defined as committing a new felony crime within three years of release. The county's recidivism rate has seen a steady decline since 2002 when it was 37 percent. Recidivism dipped to an all-time low of 14 percent in 2014 and has been holding steady at roughly 20 percent for the last few years.

    Visit http://bit.ly/2018MCRI to register on Eventbrite. For more information, contact the Marion County Board of Commissioners Office at (503) 588-5212 or email kwitherell@co.marion.or.us. ​

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  • Art and Craft Supply Swap at Stayton Library

    Art and Craft Supply Swap at Stayton Library

    Date: 11/3/2018 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Calling all artists and crafters! Clean out your craft closets and bring in surplus supplies to swap at the Stayton Public Library, Saturday, November 3. This is a great time to share what you aren't using, and pick up items can you can put to good use now.

    "Creatives have so many great ideas, sometimes it's hard to finish all of the projects we start. Swaps are a great way to share materials like paint that have a shorter shelf life. Swaps enable us to avoid throwing usable items away and helps showcase how fun reuse can be," says Jessica Ramey, a waste reduction coordinator with Marion County.

    Starting October 15 through November 2, bring clean, useable art and craft supplies to the Stayton Public Library. Please no aerosols or food containers. Those who contribute items will receive a ticket admitting them to the swap for first crack at the loot at 1:00 p.m. on November 3. The doors will open at 1:30 p.m. to the general public.

    To sign up or learn more about this event, contact Stephanie at Stayton Public Library at 503-769-3313 or email srubel@ccrls.org.

    Read More
  • 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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  • County motion to intervene in Detroit Lake lawsuit granted

    County motion to intervene in Detroit Lake lawsuit granted

    Date: 10/2/2018 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    Salem, OR – On September 25, 2018, a federal magistrate judge approved Marion County's status as an intervenor in the lawsuit between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Northwest Environmental, Wildearth Guardians, and Native Fish Society. In order to maintain a stable economy in the North Santiam Canyon and for the health and welfare of Marion County's residents, including safe and adequate drinking water for the city of Salem, the county filed the motion to intervene in the U.S. District Court of Oregon on September 6, 2018.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed construction of a water mixing tower to control water temperature at Detroit Dam. In order to construct the tower, it is anticipated that Detroit Lake would need to be drained for an extended period of time which could negatively impact agricultural and recreation based industries in the area. 

    Marion County Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue estimates that 70 percent of jobs in the Detroit Lake area are recreation based and prolonged low water conditions could lead to an annual $11 million loss to these industries. Additionally, farms and businesses in the southern part of the county that rely on water from the North Santiam River Watershed for irrigation would also be severely impacted by low water conditions at Detroit Lake.

    "With this action, Marion County is seeking to protect the long-term viability of county agricultural and recreational industries," said Commissioner Kevin Cameron. "It is important for Marion County to officially participate in this lawsuit to ensure the concerns of our residents and businesses are considered." ​

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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.

    Read More
 

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  • Nov
    3

    Art and Craft Supply Swap at Stayton Library

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Calling all artists and crafters! Clean out your craft closets and bring in surplus supplies to swap at the Stayton Public Library, Saturday, November 3. This is a great time to share what you aren't using, and pick up items can you can put to good use now.

    "Creatives have so many great ideas, sometimes it's hard to finish all of the projects we start. Swaps are a great way to share materials like paint that have a shorter shelf life. Swaps enable us to avoid throwing usable items away and helps showcase how fun reuse can be," says Jessica Ramey, a waste reduction coordinator with Marion County.

    Starting October 15 through November 2, bring clean, useable art and craft supplies to the Stayton Public Library. Please no aerosols or food containers. Those who contribute items will receive a ticket admitting them to the swap for first crack at the loot at 1:00 p.m. on November 3. The doors will open at 1:30 p.m. to the general public.

    To sign up or learn more about this event, contact Stephanie at Stayton Public Library at 503-769-3313 or email srubel@ccrls.org.

    Read More
    Art and Craft Supply Swap at Stayton Library
  • Oct
    12

    2018-19 property tax statements in the mail

    Posted by: Assessor's Office

    ​Marion County tax statements were mail on Thursday, October 11, and should arrive in property owner mailboxes soon. Tom Rohlfing, Marion County Assessor, certified the 2018-2019 Tax Roll on October 9, 2018.

    As of the January 1, 2018, valuation date, the aggregate Real Market Value of all property countywide increased by 9.91% from last year, to $46.39 billion.  Real Market Value is the estimated amount in cash that could reasonably be expected to be paid for a property by an informed buyer to an informed seller.  This rapid increase in market value stems from such factors as the healthy economy, high employment rates, and national interest in this region.     

    Escalating values of residences and residential land located in cities and towns largely fueled the increase, jumping more than $1.86 billion or 11.72%. The total value of rural property, including acreage homes, farms, and forest lands, also showed continued growth, increasing values by 11.34%. 

    Due to Measure 50 benefits, some homeowners will experience much smaller tax increases than the preceding figures suggest. The typical unchanged home will experience only a 3% increase in assessed value no matter where it is located in the county. However, changes in tax rates due to new or expiring bonds will significantly affect owners in selected communities.

    Salem and Keizer have experienced the largest tax rate increase this year. There will be an 11% tax amount increase for the average homeowner in both Salem and Keizer due to the new Salem-Keizer School District and Salem Public Library Bonds. The East Salem Service District has an additional $10 per month fee for each household, apartment unit, and per acre of commercial property for additional public safety services. Aurora and Hubbard will see tax amount increases of 6% and the city of Donald will see a 5% increase due to the North Marion School Bond. The most significant decrease will be noticed by homeowners in St. Paul, with typical tax bills decreasing approximately 8% due to an expiration of a local option levy.

    Commercial and industrial properties show a 7.46% growth in total value, which is slightly lower than residential, urban homes or rural properties. Trends vary by property type. Industrial facilities, warehouses, and prime retail and office properties continue to experience value increases. Apartment construction added significant new value, while existing apartments continued to show growth.

    Assessed Value county-wide grew by 4.64% to $25.34 billion, standing at just 54.62% of total Real Market Value. A big factor in the gap between market and assessed values is the Measure 50 limit of 3% annual growth in the Maximum Assessed Value of unchanged property. However, 13,350 properties enjoy sharply reduced assessed values and taxes due to farm or forest special assessment and more than 16,000 properties receive full or partial tax exemptions.   

    The value of Marion County property exempt from taxation increased by $319 million to just under $7.01 billion. Exemptions continue to expand due to new legislation and tax court interpretations of existing statutes.

    Primary beneficiaries of Marion County property taxes are schools, the community college, and educational service districts, receiving 46.14% of the total. Other major recipients include cities (22.63%), Marion County government (17.17%), and fire districts (6.4%). Urban renewal districts receive about (3.18%). These percentages are similar to last year. 

    Mr. Rohlfing encourages property owners to promptly review their tax statement for accuracy.  This includes checking for correct ownership, mailing, and location addresses. To aid with this, the Assessor's Office provides a wide array of information on its website, including more detailed information about how each property is assessed than can fit on the mailed tax statement. 

    Taxes are due by November 15, 2018, to receive the 3% discount and avoid interest charges.  Owners with questions, or who feel changes are needed, should contact the Assessor's Office at (503) 588-5144. Those who disagree with the Real Market Value placed on their property are encouraged to request a review prior to filing an appeal. If the property owner still does not agree with the value once the review is completed, instructions on the back of the tax statement describe how to appeal to the local Board of Property Tax Appeals, which is comprised of community volunteers.​

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    2018-19 property tax statements in the mail
  • Oct
    2

    County motion to intervene in Detroit Lake lawsuit granted

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    Salem, OR – On September 25, 2018, a federal magistrate judge approved Marion County's status as an intervenor in the lawsuit between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Northwest Environmental, Wildearth Guardians, and Native Fish Society. In order to maintain a stable economy in the North Santiam Canyon and for the health and welfare of Marion County's residents, including safe and adequate drinking water for the city of Salem, the county filed the motion to intervene in the U.S. District Court of Oregon on September 6, 2018.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed construction of a water mixing tower to control water temperature at Detroit Dam. In order to construct the tower, it is anticipated that Detroit Lake would need to be drained for an extended period of time which could negatively impact agricultural and recreation based industries in the area. 

    Marion County Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue estimates that 70 percent of jobs in the Detroit Lake area are recreation based and prolonged low water conditions could lead to an annual $11 million loss to these industries. Additionally, farms and businesses in the southern part of the county that rely on water from the North Santiam River Watershed for irrigation would also be severely impacted by low water conditions at Detroit Lake.

    "With this action, Marion County is seeking to protect the long-term viability of county agricultural and recreational industries," said Commissioner Kevin Cameron. "It is important for Marion County to officially participate in this lawsuit to ensure the concerns of our residents and businesses are considered." ​

    Read More
    County motion to intervene in Detroit Lake lawsuit granted
  • Oct
    2

    County celebrates 10 years of "Giving People a Second Chance"

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​On October 25, Marion County will celebrate ten years of the "Giving People a Second Chance" community breakfast which supports the Marion County Reentry Initiative. The event will be held at the Salem Conference Center located at 200 Commercial St. SE in Salem. Doors open at 7 a.m. and the program will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is required at http://bit.ly/2018MCRI.

    This engaging and inspiring event will feature a retrospective of the last ten years of the Marion County Reentry Initiative – a collaborative effort involving public safety and justice, mental health and substance abuse treatment, victim services, health care, and education partners working together to rebuild lives, promote community safety, and save taxpayer money by breaking the cycle of criminal activity. 

    "Supervising people through parole and probation is only part of the equation," said Commissioner Janet Carlson. "People have to have housing, they have to have jobs, they have to have good support systems, and they have to reunite with their families. Parenting can become a real challenge. There are a lot of barriers for people trying to successfully reintegrate into the community."

    More than 600 offenders are released into Marion County communities each year. Forty-eight percent of those released are immediately homeless, 60-70 percent have substance abuse problems, and most have no transportation. Seventy percent are parents.

    The reentry initiative helps those reentering society by giving them access to opportunities for assistance with housing, employment, job skills, mentoring, transportation, and treatment for mental health and addiction.

    By providing comprehensive services, Marion County has seen dramatic reductions in recidivism – defined as committing a new felony crime within three years of release. The county's recidivism rate has seen a steady decline since 2002 when it was 37 percent. Recidivism dipped to an all-time low of 14 percent in 2014 and has been holding steady at roughly 20 percent for the last few years.

    Visit http://bit.ly/2018MCRI to register on Eventbrite. For more information, contact the Marion County Board of Commissioners Office at (503) 588-5212 or email kwitherell@co.marion.or.us. ​

    Read More
    County celebrates 10 years of "Giving People a Second Chance"
  • Oct
    1

    Parking fee stations on North Fork Road Corridor closed for the season

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​Marion County has closed all parking fee stations along the North Fork Road Corridor for the season. Visitors to that area will not be required to pay parking fees until the fee stations are reopened on May 15, 2019.

    For further information, please contact Russ Dilley, parks coordinator, at 503-588-5036 or parks@co.marion.or.us.

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    Parking fee stations on North Fork Road Corridor closed for the season
  • Sep
    25

    SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION (PHOTO)

    Posted by: Sheriff's Office

    News Release from Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
    Posted on FlashAlert: September 25th, 2018 5:14 PM
    Marion County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the following information pursuant to ORS181.507, OAR 291-28-30, which authorizes Community Corrections to inform the public when the release of information will enhance public safety and protection.

    The individual who appears on this notification has been convicted of a sex offense that requires registration with the Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, this person’s criminal history places them in a classification level which reflects the potential to re-offend. This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather, it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.

    NAME: Brian Jackson Thomas

    SID#: 12812772

    DOB: 3/6/1976

    CURRENT AGE: 42

    RACE: White

    SEX: Male

    HEIGHT: 5’11”

    WEIGHT: 246 lbs

    HAIR: Brown

    EYES: Hazel

    RESIDENCE: 4882 LANCASTER DR NE #3, SALEM, OR 97305

    Brian Jackson Thomas is on Post Prison Supervision for the crimes of: SODO III- 4 counts

    This person was granted supervision on: 3/9/2018

    Supervision expiration date is: 3/8/2020

    Special restrictions include:

    [X] No contact with minors (male/female)

    [X] Sex offender treatment​

    [X] Submit to polygraph

    Other: Thomas’ victim pool includes minor males known to him.

    Contact Info:
    Primary PIO Phone: 503. 584. MCSO (6276)
    Public Information Officer Lt. Chris Baldridge
    Cell Phone: 503.930.0579
    Email: cbaldridge@co.marion.or.us
    On Twitter: @MCSOInTheKnow
    www.Facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow

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    SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION (PHOTO)
  • 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.

    Read More
    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.

    Read More
    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.  ​

    Read More
    Marion County confronts suicide
  • 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
  • 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.  ​

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    Recycling Reset - Curbside recycling changes
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