Marion County is funding staff support for NSSA so it can become a financially and operationally independent organization.
NSSA has hired Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments to provide this staff support.
Looking forward into 2024, Marion County will continue to support NSSA in developing their Operational Plan.
Santiam Rail Trail
Marion County received a grant to develop a recreation trail from Maples Rest Area to Gates and a potential connection to the existing Mill City bike trail.
The county is in the process of hiring a consultant to provide engineering and permitting services.
Marion County anticipates for the trail construction to be completed within three years.
Detroit Marinas Excavation
Marion County intends to reopen its excavation and fill permit for Detroit and Kane's Marinas.
Marion County has recently adopted a concept plan for the beneficial reuse of excavated sediment, and the project has moved into engineering and permitting.
Excavation of the marinas and construction of the new land feature in the lake is expected for the 2024-2025 drawdown season. Read more about it HERE.
Downtown Planning and
Small Business Loans
Marion County is assisting the cities of Detroit and Gates in preparing downtown vision plans and associated amendments to their zoning codes.
Thank you for participating in our community outreach and visioning sessions. The downtown vision plans are currently being drafted.
When the vision plans are complete in late 2023/early 2024, the cities will have the opportunity to pass design ordinances. Then Marion County will assist in direct business loans to support the redevelopment
Opal Creek Promise
In 1996, the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act designated 37,500 acres of timberland in the upper North Santiam Canyon region as the Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Recreation Area. As part of the overall agreement to transfer these lands, the legislation authorized $15 million to support economic development activities for communities in the area. The lands were designated and taken off Marion County's tax rolls, but the promised federal funding never arrived.
In 2021 with the establishment of Congressionally Directed Spending, Marion County, in partnership with the State of Oregon Business Development Department (Business Oregon), saw an opportunity to realize the Opal Creek Promise and began to submit funding requests for the $15 million. In 2023, Marion County was notified that Business Oregon and the US Forest Service had signed grant agreements to obligate the full $15 million in funding. Marion County is now in the process of executing Intergovernmental Agreements with Business Oregon to pass the funding through from to state to the county. Additionally, Marion County is undertaking a comprehensive process to develop the Opal Creek Promise Implementation Plan.
After adoption of the Opal Creek Promise Implementation Plan, Marion County will begin project initiation for identified construction and non-construction investments into the North Santiam Canyon.
Marion County is assessing gap areas of broadband access in the North Santiam Canyon and developing policy for addressing them.
The county has been meeting with key broadband stakeholders and internet service providers and developing a cost sharing program for middle-mile fiber buildouts.
When underserved areas in the Canyon are identified and the cost sharing program is developed, Marion County will partner with local internet service providers to build out fiber.
Marion County is working on several projects throughout the Canyon to help communities that were impacted by the fires.
- Development of affordable and worker housing
- Grants to help property owners repair or replace septic systems and fire harden their properties
- Working with cities to replace critical infrastructure
- Internally reopening county roads and parks
- Continuing to develop the Canyon Recovery Plan
Marion County will continue to work hard to support local areas as the recovery continues toward renewal.
Economic development is the concerted effort of policymakers, community leaders and entrepreneurs to grow the economy, increase employment, and improve the standards of living in Marion County.
The Community Services department works in conjunction with the Marion County Board of Commissioners and the Economic Development Advisory Board to support efforts to communicate across public and private sectors, seek efficiencies in government operations and help employers retain and create jobs.
Marion County Economic Development Strategic Plan
North Marion Business Partnership.pdf
What Does Your Business Need to Thrive.pdf
North Marion Small Business Owners Survey