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  •   2/13/2021 6:12 AMWinter Storm Debris Management

County News

  • Online dog licensing now available in Marion County

    Online dog licensing now available in Marion County

    Date: 2/2/2021 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Community Services - Dog Services

    ​Marion County Dog Services now offers online dog licensing. Dog Services Director Ann Potter said, “We know the community wants an online option and it’s become even more necessary this year with our lobby closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    Online licensing can be accessed from the following link: http://bit.ly/MCDogLicense

    To license online, dog owners will need a copy of their dog’s current rabies vaccine. Photos of rabies certificates may be uploaded directly to the licensing program. Dog licenses may not be purchased for longer than the rabies expiration date.

    Dog licenses were originally designed as a way to ensure dogs were vaccinated against rabies, which used to be a common canine disease and transferable to humans. Licensing has worked and now rabies is rarely seen in dogs in Oregon. Licenses also provide other important services such as helping return lost dogs to their owners and providing revenue to care for dogs in the dog shelter. And, licenses are required by state law.

    License fees are $20 annually for altered dogs and from $37 for non-altered dogs. Discounted fees are available for multi-year licenses and for senior dog owners. 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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  • County expands mental health crisis services to serve Woodburn community

    County expands mental health crisis services to serve Woodburn community

    Date: 12/1/2020 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Health and Human Services

    ​Woodburn, OR - In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many community members find themselves struggling with mental health. In response, Marion County Health & Human Services, which has operated a crisis center in Salem for over 25 years, has expanded its mental health crisis services to the Woodburn community.

    Beginning today, December 1, 2020, crisis counselors will be on-site at the department’s Woodburn office seven days a week from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Counselors can assist those who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. No appointments are necessary to utilize the program; individuals may walk-in for service or call the Woodburn office at 503-981-5851.

    Cydney Nestor, Behavioral Health Division Director, said, “We are pleased to offer local, convenient mental health care to the Woodburn community. This area has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and these supportive services are needed now more than ever. Our hope is to provide a safe space for youth, families and adults of all ages to get the help and support they need.”

    Services will be offered in English and Spanish, with interpreter services available in other languages as needed. Individuals may receive services regardless of insurance, immigration status, or ability to pay. Marion County Health & Human Services’ Woodburn office is located at 976 N. Pacific Highway.

    More information about Marion County’s Behavioral Health Programs is available at: www.mchealthy.net.


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  • Remaining wildfire evacuation levels lifted in Marion County

    Remaining wildfire evacuation levels lifted in Marion County

    Date: 10/14/2020 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    Effective at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, the Marion County Sheriff's Office is removing all remaining wildfire evacuation levels in Marion County following close consultation with fire management officials. There may be some roadways in the area that are closed for inspection and repairs. Up to date information on closures can be found by visiting tripcheck.com.

    As a reminder, the Oregon Department of Transportation released the following statement yesterday, October 13, 2020:

    "OR 22 in the Santiam Canyon will open to thru traffic beginning at 7 p.m. tonight. Sections of the highway have been closed to traffic or controlled with pilot cars since Sept. 7 when a wind storm and series of wildfires caused devastating damage to communities and creating a series of hazards for travelers.

    The Oregon Department of Transportation estimates that over 30,000 hazard trees have been removed along a 40-mile stretch of OR 22 that was heavily impacted by the winds and wildfires. Hazard trees are dead, dying or leaning trees that were damaged by the wildfires, and would likely come down on the highway posing a risk to travelers.

    Travelers should be aware of the following:

    The speed limit is reduced to 40 mph between Gates (milepost 33) and Pamelia Creek Road (milepost 63).

    Significant work continues in the canyon and travelers should expect delays throughout the burn area.

    Utility companies are working throughout the corridor to repair power lines. Utilities and ODOT continue to cut down hazard trees.

    In addition to the ongoing work zones, hazards to travelers include damaged guardrail, roadside log decks and slash piles from the hazard tree removal, as well as the potential for falling rocks.

    With fall and winter rains beginning, slides and debris flows are a particular concern, especially in areas where the vegetation, tree roots and underbrush have been stripped away.

    Since many businesses and other facilities were damaged or destroyed by the fires, there are limited services available throughout the Santiam Canyon.

    Fill your gas tank, pack enough water, food and other supplies for the journey.

    Travelers are urged to use extreme caution while traveling through the burn area. Add extra travel time or consider using an alternative route.

    Access for pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will be available and identified through or around the work zones"

    The Willamette National Forest remains closed in certain areas (refer to map for specific areas of closure). All recreation sites INSIDE OF THE CLOSURE AREA remain closed as of September 25th, 2020 include the following:

    Middle Fork Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • Fall Creek Road and all adjacent sites

    McKenzie River Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • Road 19 between Hwy 126 and Road 1980

    • Terwilliger Hot Springs

    • French Pete Trailhead

    • Echo Boat Launch

    • Bruckart Boat Launch

    • Saddle Dam Boat Launch

    • O'Leary/Castle Rock Trailhead

    • Kings Castle Trailhead

    • Olallie North Trailhead

    • Lower section of the McKenzie River Trail (where it crosses Rd 2654 – Deer Creek Road to the southern terminus) and associated trailheads

    • Frissell Boat Launch

    • Paradise Boat Launch

    • Big Lake Road, Ray Benson Sno-Park, and portions of the Santiam Pass OHV Area

    • Pacific Crest Trail – Santiam Pass Trailhead

    • Pacific Crest Trail north of Highway 20

    Sweet Home Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • Hackleman Old Growth Trailhead

    • Santiam Wagon Road, from west from the junction with Rd 2672

    • Iron Mountain – Deer Creek Trailhead (Iron Mountain – Civil Road TH remains open)

    • House Rock Day Use Area

    • Gordon Lakes Trailheads (all three)

    Detroit Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • All recreation sites

    • All wilderness areas (Opal Creek and Mt. Jefferson)

    • All trails

    • Pacific Crest Trail north of Highway 20

    * All Marion County parks in the fire zone remain closed while crews continue to work on cleanup efforts.

    * Detroit Lake is open for recreation via Mongold State Park.

    For more information on Willamette National Forest Closure Areas please visit: USDA Willamette ALERTS


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  • Mill City: FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Site Opens

    Mill City: FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Site Opens

    Date: 1/22/2021 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​FEMA has begun moving Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs) onto a newly constructed site in Mill City that will provide temporary housing to qualified Oregon wildfire survivors and their families.

    Construction on the new Mill City site began earlier this month, with work completed ahead of schedule. The site is currently scheduled to house 13 manufactured housing units (MHUs) and can accommodate up to 16 MHUs, providing necessary temporary housing for the qualified residents of both Linn and Marion counties.

    As soon as all manufactured housing units (MHUs) are delivered and placed on site, each unit will be given a final inspection ensuring they are ready for occupancy, and families can be scheduled to be licensed into their temporary homes.

    To date, 85 families whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed by this year's wildfires have been licensed-in to temporary housing units from FEMA. These units are placed in established RV parks or in FEMA constructed group sites.

    In addition to Linn and Marion counties, FEMA's Direct Housing mission is establishing temporary housing for qualified disaster survivors in Jackson and Lincoln counties in sites like the one in Mill City. Housing units are chosen by FEMA based on the survivor family composition and needs, as well as to ensure that requirements for access or functional needs are met.

    Currently, 240 qualified families are scheduled to receive FEMA Direct Temporary Housing in the four counties. The current number of qualified families has fallen as many households that qualified for this assistance have located alternate temporary or permanent housing on their own.

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  • Marion County  becomes first in state to designate local safety corridor

    Marion County becomes first in state to designate local safety corridor

    Date: 2/3/2021 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works

    ​Today (Feb. 3, 2021), Marion County became the first Oregon county to designate a local safety corridor establishing the McKay/Yergen/Ehlen Safety Corridor. This was made possible under House Bill 3213 (2019) allowing the Oregon Department of Transportation to create a safety corridor pilot program for counties. 

    The safety corridor designation allows traffic fines to double in the designated area, which is located between OR-219 and Interstate 5. County Public Works anticipates safety corridor signs will be installed early next week.

    Safety corridors have been available for Oregon's highways for many years and have proven effective at reducing crash rates. Commissioner Colm Willis said, "For several years, people have been bypassing bottlenecks on I-5 through Marion County rural roads. We appreciate the work of Rep. Bill Post and other legislators who sponsored legislation to make county safety corridors a possibility. We've done a great deal of work to get to this point and appreciate the cooperation between the county, state, and local communities to help improve traffic safety in northern Marion County."

    For several years the McKay/Yergen/Ehlen corridor has been a high priority for Marion County due to higher than expected crash rates and people driving at excessive speeds in the area. Marion County Public Works has installed safety enhancements such as centerline rumble strips and wider striping; larger speed limit, warning, and stop signs; additional pavement markings; and designating no passing zones. The Marion County Sheriff's Office has coordinated with neighboring agencies to conduct targeted patrols to educate drivers on speed and other safety issues.

    The county continues to plan for future enhancements including the addition of flashing red beacons at stop signs, flashing amber beacons, increased intersection lighting, and driver speed feedback signs. The county is also pursuing grant funds for the construction of centerline turn pockets at major intersections within the corridor and other enhancements.

    "As soon as House Bill 3213 was adopted by the Oregon Legislature, Marion County committed to North Marion County communities to development this safety corridor," said Brian Nicholas, Marion County Public Works Director. "The formal designation of this safety corridor fulfills that promise and the county is committed to working alongside the community for future enhancements."

    To learn about Marion County Public Works programs and services, please visit www.co.marion.or.us/PW, call (503) 588-5036 or email mcdpw@co.marion.or.us

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  • Feb
    22

    Toll Rates Scheduled to Change at Wheatland and Buena Vista Ferries on March 15th

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​SALEM, OR – The cost of riding the Wheatland and Buena Vista ferries is scheduled to change on March 15, 2021. At Wheatland Ferry, which crosses the Willamette River north of Keizer, the toll for vehicles less than 22 feet in length, which includes motorcycles, passenger cars and pickups, will increase $1. The new Wheatland Ferry rate will match the rate already in effect at the Buena Vista Ferry, which crosses the Willamette River at the town of Buena Vista. The toll for motorcycles, cars and pickups will remain unchanged at the Buena Vista Ferry. Bicycle tolls will remain unchanged and pedestrians will continue to be allowed to ride both ferries for free.

    The new rate structure includes toll changes for trucks and tractor-trailers greater than 22 feet in length, too. Once these rates go into effect, the toll schedule for the Wheatland and Buena Vista Ferries will be the same. Upcoming toll changes have been posted at both ferries to inform people that ride the ferries on a regular basis. You can view all Marion County ferry toll rates on the county's website at: https://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/ferries.

    The two ferries operated by Marion County provide an important transportation resource for various segments of the county. The upcoming toll increases will not make the ferry program profitable, but are designed to keep operating losses to a manageable level while keeping toll rates as low as possible. This will be the first rate increase for the Wheatland ferry in 12 years.

    Thank you for using Marion County's ferries. If you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming toll changes, please email your comments to MCDPW@co.marion.or.us.

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    Toll Rates Scheduled to Change at Wheatland and Buena Vista Ferries on March 15th
  • Feb
    19

    National Guard to provide resources to community members

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​Salem, OR – Beginning next week, members of the Oregon Army National Guard will begin to assist local authorities in ensuring the safety of county residents severely impacted by the winter storms and subsequent power outages. Since the winter storm, Marion County's Emergency Operations Center has been working with local communities to provide support for the thousands of residents who have been impacted.  The guard's support will complement the efforts of the Marion County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Teams in conducting welfare checks on vulnerable residents around the county. 

    Kevin Cameron, Board Chair, stated: "This storm has brought a tremendous new set of challenges to our community which has already faced significant difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the wildfires in September. By accepting the aid of the Oregon National Guard, we ensure we're doing all we can to provide for residents in their time of need."

    While the specific details of the deployment by the National Guard are still in the planning stages, we anticipate service members being available to assist as early as Monday morning, February 22nd.  Sheriff Joe Kast stated, "We look forward to having the women and men from the National Guard coming to assist our Search and Rescue teams with getting resources out into the community.  We'll be working with Emergency Management to get them supplied with water, blankets, and other supplies our community members may need."  Community members seeing National Guard service members can expect to see them wearing bright reflective vests to assist with being more visible to those in need of assistance.

    Marion County has established a call center for community members to request support, welfare checks, and information related to debris cleanup at 503-588-5108. The information is also available online at: www.co.marion.or.us/alerts


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    National Guard to provide resources to community members
  • Feb
    3

    Marion County becomes first in state to designate local safety corridor

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​Today (Feb. 3, 2021), Marion County became the first Oregon county to designate a local safety corridor establishing the McKay/Yergen/Ehlen Safety Corridor. This was made possible under House Bill 3213 (2019) allowing the Oregon Department of Transportation to create a safety corridor pilot program for counties. 

    The safety corridor designation allows traffic fines to double in the designated area, which is located between OR-219 and Interstate 5. County Public Works anticipates safety corridor signs will be installed early next week.

    Safety corridors have been available for Oregon's highways for many years and have proven effective at reducing crash rates. Commissioner Colm Willis said, "For several years, people have been bypassing bottlenecks on I-5 through Marion County rural roads. We appreciate the work of Rep. Bill Post and other legislators who sponsored legislation to make county safety corridors a possibility. We've done a great deal of work to get to this point and appreciate the cooperation between the county, state, and local communities to help improve traffic safety in northern Marion County."

    For several years the McKay/Yergen/Ehlen corridor has been a high priority for Marion County due to higher than expected crash rates and people driving at excessive speeds in the area. Marion County Public Works has installed safety enhancements such as centerline rumble strips and wider striping; larger speed limit, warning, and stop signs; additional pavement markings; and designating no passing zones. The Marion County Sheriff's Office has coordinated with neighboring agencies to conduct targeted patrols to educate drivers on speed and other safety issues.

    The county continues to plan for future enhancements including the addition of flashing red beacons at stop signs, flashing amber beacons, increased intersection lighting, and driver speed feedback signs. The county is also pursuing grant funds for the construction of centerline turn pockets at major intersections within the corridor and other enhancements.

    "As soon as House Bill 3213 was adopted by the Oregon Legislature, Marion County committed to North Marion County communities to development this safety corridor," said Brian Nicholas, Marion County Public Works Director. "The formal designation of this safety corridor fulfills that promise and the county is committed to working alongside the community for future enhancements."

    To learn about Marion County Public Works programs and services, please visit www.co.marion.or.us/PW, call (503) 588-5036 or email mcdpw@co.marion.or.us

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    Marion County  becomes first in state to designate local safety corridor
  • Feb
    2

    Online dog licensing now available in Marion County

    Posted by: Community Services - Dog Services

    ​Marion County Dog Services now offers online dog licensing. Dog Services Director Ann Potter said, “We know the community wants an online option and it’s become even more necessary this year with our lobby closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    Online licensing can be accessed from the following link: http://bit.ly/MCDogLicense

    To license online, dog owners will need a copy of their dog’s current rabies vaccine. Photos of rabies certificates may be uploaded directly to the licensing program. Dog licenses may not be purchased for longer than the rabies expiration date.

    Dog licenses were originally designed as a way to ensure dogs were vaccinated against rabies, which used to be a common canine disease and transferable to humans. Licensing has worked and now rabies is rarely seen in dogs in Oregon. Licenses also provide other important services such as helping return lost dogs to their owners and providing revenue to care for dogs in the dog shelter. And, licenses are required by state law.

    License fees are $20 annually for altered dogs and from $37 for non-altered dogs. Discounted fees are available for multi-year licenses and for senior dog owners. 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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    Online dog licensing now available in Marion County
  • Jan
    22

    Mill City: FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Site Opens

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​FEMA has begun moving Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs) onto a newly constructed site in Mill City that will provide temporary housing to qualified Oregon wildfire survivors and their families.

    Construction on the new Mill City site began earlier this month, with work completed ahead of schedule. The site is currently scheduled to house 13 manufactured housing units (MHUs) and can accommodate up to 16 MHUs, providing necessary temporary housing for the qualified residents of both Linn and Marion counties.

    As soon as all manufactured housing units (MHUs) are delivered and placed on site, each unit will be given a final inspection ensuring they are ready for occupancy, and families can be scheduled to be licensed into their temporary homes.

    To date, 85 families whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed by this year's wildfires have been licensed-in to temporary housing units from FEMA. These units are placed in established RV parks or in FEMA constructed group sites.

    In addition to Linn and Marion counties, FEMA's Direct Housing mission is establishing temporary housing for qualified disaster survivors in Jackson and Lincoln counties in sites like the one in Mill City. Housing units are chosen by FEMA based on the survivor family composition and needs, as well as to ensure that requirements for access or functional needs are met.

    Currently, 240 qualified families are scheduled to receive FEMA Direct Temporary Housing in the four counties. The current number of qualified families has fallen as many households that qualified for this assistance have located alternate temporary or permanent housing on their own.

    Read More
    Mill City: FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Site Opens
  • Jan
    21

    Silverton Road Bridge Replacement Project Upcoming Construction

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​SALEM, OR – Marion County has received federal funds to replace the Silverton Road Bridge over the Little Pudding River. The project is located on Silverton Road between 60th Avenue and 64th Place. The County has awarded the contract for construction to Farline Bridge, Inc., of Stayton Oregon and construction is scheduled to begin this spring. The contractor's closure schedule will be released when it becomes available.

    During construction, Silverton Road will be closed to through traffic between 60th Avenue and 64th Place. The closure will start this spring and will end by Thanksgiving 2021. While Silverton Road is closed, two well-marked detour routes will be in place.

    Closing Silverton Road during construction ensures that all of the in-water work can occur within the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's designated in-water work window for the Little Pudding River in one construction season. Silverton Road will be reopened prior to the start of the holiday shopping season, a commitment made by Marion County to the Silverton business community.                                     

    If you have questions or concerns regarding this notice or the project in general, please visit the project website at https://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Engineering/Projects/Pages/SilvRdBridge.aspx or contact Jill Ogden, Senior Engineering Technician, at (503)588-5036 or by email at jogden@co.marion.or.us.  


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    Silverton Road Bridge Replacement Project Upcoming Construction
  • Jan
    13

    Oregon wildfire recovery debris removal begin with hazard trees

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    ​Crews around the state are beginning to clear roads and private properties of trees damaged in September’s wildfires. The tree clearing is part of the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Debris Management Task Force’s effort to provide cleanup for homes and businesses in the eight affected counties – Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion. The work paves the way for rebuilding efforts, community recovery and helps revitalize Oregon’s economy.

    Before crews begin clearing hazard trees from private property, they will clear remaining logs and debris from roadsides. Drivers in fire-affected areas should keep an eye out for crews and be prepared to stop.

    State contractors are marking trees for removal with blue dot and a barcode tracking tag. Many other entities, including utilities and private companies, continue with their own tree removal operations and have their own markings.

    On private property, dead or dying trees will be removed if they pose a threat to the safety of cleanup crew or public right of ways. Ash and structural debris removal will soon follow, including concrete and other household and construction materials, from private homes and businesses. A list of what is included in cleanup is available.

    Home and business owners must sign an All Wildfire Debris Right of Entry Form with their county to allow cleanup crews onto their property. Visit https://wildfire.oregon.gov/ or call 503-934-1700 to submit your form and for more information. Even those who did not join in Step 1 of the cleanup may still opt into the program.

    Participating property owners also need to complete a questionnaire about their property, to help with planning and ensure an efficient, safe removal of debris.

    The contractors
    As the task force’s contract manager, the Oregon Department of Transportation is awarding three types of contracts for Step 2: hazard tree removal, debris and ash removal, and monitoring.

    Given the large geographic area and volume of work, ODOT elected to award the hazard tree, and ash and debris removal contracts over multiple operational areas and not as a single statewide contract.

    Monitoring (1 contract)

    CDR Maguire Emergency Management

    • Based in Florida

    • Contract: $75.5 million

    • Awarded Nov. 19, 2020

    Hazard Tree Removal (3 contracts)

    Ceres Environmental Disaster Recovery

    • Based in Florida

    • Contracts awarded Nov. 25, 2020 Archie Creek Fire, OR 138, $25.78 million Thielson Fire, OR 138, $2.07 million Two Four Two Fire, U.S. 97, $1.91 million

    ECC

    • Based in California

    • Contracts awarded: Nov. 30, 2020 Beachie Creek / Lionshead Fire, OR 22, $17.18 million Riverside Fire, OR 224, $71.63 million

    Suulutaaq Inc.

    • Based in Alaska, with an operations office in Eugene

    • Contract awarded Nov. 30, 2020 Holiday Farm Fire, OR 126, $22.94 million

    Ash and debris removal contracts have been awarded and that work also begins later this month. 

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    Oregon wildfire recovery debris removal begin with hazard trees
  • Dec
    1

    County expands mental health crisis services to serve Woodburn community

    Posted by: Health and Human Services

    ​Woodburn, OR - In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many community members find themselves struggling with mental health. In response, Marion County Health & Human Services, which has operated a crisis center in Salem for over 25 years, has expanded its mental health crisis services to the Woodburn community.

    Beginning today, December 1, 2020, crisis counselors will be on-site at the department’s Woodburn office seven days a week from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Counselors can assist those who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. No appointments are necessary to utilize the program; individuals may walk-in for service or call the Woodburn office at 503-981-5851.

    Cydney Nestor, Behavioral Health Division Director, said, “We are pleased to offer local, convenient mental health care to the Woodburn community. This area has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and these supportive services are needed now more than ever. Our hope is to provide a safe space for youth, families and adults of all ages to get the help and support they need.”

    Services will be offered in English and Spanish, with interpreter services available in other languages as needed. Individuals may receive services regardless of insurance, immigration status, or ability to pay. Marion County Health & Human Services’ Woodburn office is located at 976 N. Pacific Highway.

    More information about Marion County’s Behavioral Health Programs is available at: www.mchealthy.net.


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    County expands mental health crisis services to serve Woodburn community
  • Oct
    14

    Remaining wildfire evacuation levels lifted in Marion County

    Posted by: Fire Information - English

    Effective at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, the Marion County Sheriff's Office is removing all remaining wildfire evacuation levels in Marion County following close consultation with fire management officials. There may be some roadways in the area that are closed for inspection and repairs. Up to date information on closures can be found by visiting tripcheck.com.

    As a reminder, the Oregon Department of Transportation released the following statement yesterday, October 13, 2020:

    "OR 22 in the Santiam Canyon will open to thru traffic beginning at 7 p.m. tonight. Sections of the highway have been closed to traffic or controlled with pilot cars since Sept. 7 when a wind storm and series of wildfires caused devastating damage to communities and creating a series of hazards for travelers.

    The Oregon Department of Transportation estimates that over 30,000 hazard trees have been removed along a 40-mile stretch of OR 22 that was heavily impacted by the winds and wildfires. Hazard trees are dead, dying or leaning trees that were damaged by the wildfires, and would likely come down on the highway posing a risk to travelers.

    Travelers should be aware of the following:

    The speed limit is reduced to 40 mph between Gates (milepost 33) and Pamelia Creek Road (milepost 63).

    Significant work continues in the canyon and travelers should expect delays throughout the burn area.

    Utility companies are working throughout the corridor to repair power lines. Utilities and ODOT continue to cut down hazard trees.

    In addition to the ongoing work zones, hazards to travelers include damaged guardrail, roadside log decks and slash piles from the hazard tree removal, as well as the potential for falling rocks.

    With fall and winter rains beginning, slides and debris flows are a particular concern, especially in areas where the vegetation, tree roots and underbrush have been stripped away.

    Since many businesses and other facilities were damaged or destroyed by the fires, there are limited services available throughout the Santiam Canyon.

    Fill your gas tank, pack enough water, food and other supplies for the journey.

    Travelers are urged to use extreme caution while traveling through the burn area. Add extra travel time or consider using an alternative route.

    Access for pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will be available and identified through or around the work zones"

    The Willamette National Forest remains closed in certain areas (refer to map for specific areas of closure). All recreation sites INSIDE OF THE CLOSURE AREA remain closed as of September 25th, 2020 include the following:

    Middle Fork Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • Fall Creek Road and all adjacent sites

    McKenzie River Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • Road 19 between Hwy 126 and Road 1980

    • Terwilliger Hot Springs

    • French Pete Trailhead

    • Echo Boat Launch

    • Bruckart Boat Launch

    • Saddle Dam Boat Launch

    • O'Leary/Castle Rock Trailhead

    • Kings Castle Trailhead

    • Olallie North Trailhead

    • Lower section of the McKenzie River Trail (where it crosses Rd 2654 – Deer Creek Road to the southern terminus) and associated trailheads

    • Frissell Boat Launch

    • Paradise Boat Launch

    • Big Lake Road, Ray Benson Sno-Park, and portions of the Santiam Pass OHV Area

    • Pacific Crest Trail – Santiam Pass Trailhead

    • Pacific Crest Trail north of Highway 20

    Sweet Home Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • Hackleman Old Growth Trailhead

    • Santiam Wagon Road, from west from the junction with Rd 2672

    • Iron Mountain – Deer Creek Trailhead (Iron Mountain – Civil Road TH remains open)

    • House Rock Day Use Area

    • Gordon Lakes Trailheads (all three)

    Detroit Ranger District

    • All campgrounds

    • All recreation sites

    • All wilderness areas (Opal Creek and Mt. Jefferson)

    • All trails

    • Pacific Crest Trail north of Highway 20

    * All Marion County parks in the fire zone remain closed while crews continue to work on cleanup efforts.

    * Detroit Lake is open for recreation via Mongold State Park.

    For more information on Willamette National Forest Closure Areas please visit: USDA Willamette ALERTS


    Read More
    Remaining wildfire evacuation levels lifted in Marion County
  • Jun
    23

    County works to finalize contract with local hotel for isolation rooms

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    ​Marion County Health & Human Services is working to finalize a contract with a local hotel in the Woodburn area to provide an isolated, short-term location for Marion County residents with a possible exposure or a confirmed case of COVID-19 with mild symptoms, to self-isolate when they cannot otherwise do so safely. The contract is a requirement under Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s phased reopening framework, and is intended to ensure the county is prepared to protect residents and prevent the spread of the virus as the state moves forward with reopening.

    The hotel, an 81-room facility in the Woodburn-area, was selected because it will allow guests to safely distance themselves from others while also providing access to an on-site public health nurse to provide wellness checks and monitor symptoms. The hotel has been secured to house people unable to safely isolate, including farm workers and those who are under the supervision of Marion County Parole and Probation. The typical term of stay will be 14 days to isolate and quarantine, depending on the time frame of when the individual developed symptoms or was exposed to the virus. To start, the county anticipates that 10-15 individuals will be housed in the hotel.

    The safety and security of the community are a top priority for the county. Each guest will sign a Standards of Conduct Agreement, outlining acceptable behaviors and expectations while in isolation. Security will be at the hotel 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guests will not leave the facility during the isolation period and Marion County staff will tend to the needs of the individuals, including food and wellness checks.

    Marion County’s Public Health Director, Katrina Rothenberger, stated, “This is a required resource for many people in our community who do not have other means to protect friends, coworkers, or loved ones from COVID-19 if they have a confirmed case or have been exposed. The hotel will allow us to slow the spread of COVID-19 by giving those with no place else to go a place to safely isolate.”

    Before individuals leave the hotel, their symptoms will have been monitored for a minimum of three days by the on-site public health nurse, and transportation will be coordinated to return the individual to their community upon leaving the hotel. The county Health and Human Services Department will begin managing the facility on July 1, 2020.


    Read More
    County works to finalize contract with local hotel for isolation rooms
  • Jun
    17

    Phase 2 Reopening of Marion County to Begin on June 19

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    ​On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority approved Marion County to enter Phase 2 of its reopening roadmap. Starting June 19, many additional types of businesses and activities will be allowed to resume or expand operations. Commissioner Kevin Cameron said that, “This important milestone comes at a critical time of need as families struggle with unemployment, businesses work hard to recover, and farmers begin their harvests. We’re thrilled to enter Phase 2 and get public life in Marion County moving again.”

    In Phase 2, swimming pools, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and arcades can reopen. Bars and restaurants will be able to expand hours of operation to stay open until midnight. Social, civic, and faith-based gatherings can meet in larger groups. Some recreational sports can resume, including training activities within college athletic programs. Importantly, Phase 2 retains several physical distancing and sanitation measures for businesses and other activities to help limit the spread of the coronavirus as people become more active in the community.

    Marion County’s roadmap for reopening was developed in collaboration with county health experts, other local leaders, and regional public health partners. According to Commission Chair Colm Willis, “We’re proud to see that our county has successfully slowed the spread of COVID-19 to the point where we can confidently move into Phase 2. Today’s success is a testament to the hard work and resiliency of the people of Marion County.”

    Throughout reopening, anyone who feels sick should remain at home. Additionally, high-risk individuals who are over 65 years of age or suffering from chronic illnesses should continue to remain home as much as possible. We encourage all individuals to continue to follow physical distancing guidelines. All businesses, organizations, and activities that choose to reopen should follow state guidelines, many of which are available by specific sector and type of activity. Face coverings are strongly recommended for all individuals and are required for employees in many businesses.

    Guidance for businesses and other information is available on the county’s website: COVID-19.MCHealthy.net.




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    Phase 2 Reopening of Marion County to Begin on June 19
  • Jun
    17

    Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Marion County

    Posted by: Health and Human Services

    ​Public health officials are warning area residents to take precautions after a rabid bat was found in the Stayton area of Marion County, Oregon. 

    A dog with a current rabies vaccine owned by a resident of the Stayton area was bitten by a bat on June 12, 2020.  The bat was sent to Oregon State University for testing. Results confirmed the bat was positive for rabies. Based on the positive test, Marion County Public Health recommended the dog be quarantined for 45 days and given another rabies vaccine. 

    According to the Oregon Health Authority, bats are the most common carriers of rabies in this 
    state. About 8-10% of bats tested for rabies are positive every year. So far in 2020, 3 bats have tested positive for rabies in Oregon. 

    Authorities emphasize the main protection for humans is to make sure pets are vaccinated and avoid contact with stray animals and wildlife. Public health officials advise taking extreme precautions before attempting to handle a bat. If it is necessary to pick up a bat, it is best to wear heavy gloves, use a shovel, or both. 

    The public should not approach bats, wildlife, or other mammals seen exhibiting odd behavior. Sick bats may be seen flopping around on the ground or otherwise acting unusual. If you find a sick bat or other sick wildlife on your property, take children and pets indoors. If you do have an exposure (e.g., scratch or bite) from a bat, immediately clean the wound and seek medical attention. If the bat has been captured, do not crush the bat or throw it away, as intact bats can be tested for rabies, which can help avoid post-exposure rabies shots. If your pet has encountered a bat or been bitten by a wild animal, contact your veterinarian immediately or call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 866-968-2600. 

    In the event of bat contact such as a bite or scratch, an attempt should be made to safely capture the bat for testing for the rabies virus. Efforts should be made to collect the bat without destroying the head and the bat should be kept in a cool place. Immediately seek medical attention and report the incident to Marion County at 503-588-5346. 

    For more information about rabies, please visit the Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division website at: 
    https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/RABIES/Pages/rabies.aspx

    Information is also available on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at:  https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html  


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    Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Marion County
  • Jun
    11

    Phase 2 Reopening Deferred Another Week

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    ​On Thursday, June 11, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority determined that Marion County was not approved to enter Phase 2 of reopening on Friday, June 12. In her letter to the county, Governor Brown noted that it failed to meet two of the six criteria laid out in her guidelines for Phase 2 reopening. The county’s application will be reassessed in one week based off of data gathered in the next seven day period. 

    In response to Governor Brown’s decision, Commission Chair Colm Willis shared, “We are disappointed in the governor’s decision. The County has worked diligently with our Public Health team to ensure we are prepared for a safe Phase 2 reopening. We will continue this work and are hopeful that our application will be approved as soon as possible.” 


    Marion County’s roadmap for reopening was developed in collaboration with county health experts, local leaders, and regional public health partners. The county will continue to evaluate the data as it is available and looks forward to entering Phase 2 as soon as possible. County Commissioner Kevin Cameron said, “Of course we want to see the number of cases falling steadily, but that is an unrealistic expectation. As more businesses reopen and people are doing more activities outside their homes, some occasional increases are anticipated. With the increase in testing throughout the county, we can also expect to see an uptick in known cases. We are also working closely with farms and food processing facilities to prevent outbreaks in facilities where physical distancing is often a challenge.” 

    As the county looks toward Phase 2 of reopening, the health and safety of all Marion County residents is top of mind. This decision comes at a critical time of need as families struggle with unemployment, businesses work hard to recover, and farmers begin their harvests. County Commissioner Sam Brentano stated “I don’t agree with the decision and I think it’s time we explore all our options. “ 

    Marion County remains committed to working with the Governor’s office, the Oregon Health Authority, and local health and community partners to enter Phase 2 of reopening once state officials give their approval. 


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    Phase 2 Reopening Deferred Another Week
  • May
    20

    Limited Reopening of Marion County to Begin on May 22

    Posted by:

    ​On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority approved the Community Roadmap for a Limited Reopening of Marion County starting Friday, May 22.

    The approved plan represents a collaboration with state and county health experts, local leaders, and regional public health partners. According to Commission Chair Colm Willis, "We are proud of what our communities and public health teams have accomplished to slow the spread of COVID-19. As we have all worked together to protect public health, we have also seen businesses closed and livelihoods destroyed. Our plan encourages businesses, churches, and other organizations to move forward in a limited capacity while continuing to protect the health of our community."

    Phase 1 of the approved community roadmap allows reopening of several types of businesses and services, while keeping sanitation, physical distancing, face covering, and crowd size measures in place. Eventually, phases 2 and 3 of the plan allow for increased gathering sizes and resumption of non-essential travel, nursing home and hospital visits, and additional seating at restaurants, bars, and other venues. The county is required to remain in Phase 1 for at least 21 days, and advancement to phases 2 and 3 will be allowed only if public health monitoring indicates it is safe.

    Throughout reopening, anyone who feels sick should remain at home. Additionally, high-risk individuals who are over 65 years of age or suffering chronic illnesses should continue to remain home as much as possible. All businesses and organizations that choose to reopen should follow state guidelines, many of which are described in detail sector by sector. We encourage all individuals to continue to follow physical distancing guidelines.

    In recognition that additional restrictions and guidelines may be needed as circumstances evolve, we remain committed to working with the Governor's office, the Oregon Health Authority, and local health and community partners to monitor progress and refine the roadmap as needed.


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    Limited Reopening of Marion County to Begin on May 22
  • May
    14

    Marion County Reopening to Begin Later than Proposed

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    ​On Thursday, May 14, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority determined that Marion County's application for a limited reopening must be deferred to a later date. While many counties across Oregon will begin reopening on May 15, others, including Marion and Polk counties, will not yet reopen. Our application will be reviewed by the state again next Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, statewide and in Marion County, some stand-alone "Main Street" retail businesses, such as furniture stores, art galleries, jewelry stores, and boutiques, can reopen on May 15 if they agree to follow safety guidelines. Additionally, childcare, summer school, camps, and youth programs can reopen with specific limitations and guidelines. We also want our community to know that all county parks and boat ramps will be open for day use beginning May 15 (playgrounds will remain closed).

    In response to Governor Brown's decision, Commission Chair Colm Willis shared, "My heart goes out to all of the people who have been affected by this virus, including all of the family-owned businesses and their employees who have not had a paycheck for more than two months. We will continue to do everything we can to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our community and get the people of Marion County back to work as soon as possible."

    We remain committed to working with the Governor's office, the Oregon Health Authority, and local health and community partners. We are reviewing the information provided by the Governor's Office and are considering all of our options in moving forward toward timely reopening.


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    Marion County Reopening to Begin Later than Proposed
  • May
    6

    Commissioners Adopt Roadmap for a Limited Reopening of Marion County Beginning on May 15

    Posted by: Health and Human Services - COVID-19

    During its regular weekly board session on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, the Marion County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution for beginning to reopen businesses, restaurants, churches, and county parks. Phase 1 of the community roadmap for reopening will begin on May 15. According to Commission Chair Colm Willis, "Many people in Marion County are suffering right now. This plan ensures first and foremost, the safety of the people of Marion County and fairness for our families and small businesses."  

    Working closely with our county Health and Human Services experts, local leaders, and regional public health partners, the roadmap is based on the Governor's guidelines for reopening counties across the state. Commissioner Willis adds, "In our case, the roadmap is tailored to fit the specific needs of our communities. We have worked hard with state and regional partners to prepare a thoughtful, balanced approach to supporting a safe, strong, and thriving Marion County."

    In Phase 1, the roadmap proposes reopening several types of businesses and services, keeping in place sanitation protocols and specific limits on physical distancing, face coverings, and crowd size until public health monitoring shows it is safe to move to later phases. Hospital visits will remain prohibited at this time, as will night clubs and most large venues.

    Monitoring community health and safety is very important as the limited, phased reopening gets underway. Marion County Public Health Director Katrina Rothenberger is leading efforts to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic and observes that, "Local hospitals have ample capacity today and much more so than a few weeks ago when the virus first arrived in Oregon." She goes on to add, "As businesses and other sectors begin to reopen, we will closely track new cases of the virus and will take immediate action if we see an unacceptable increase in new cases and hospitalizations." Meanwhile, the roadmap has very specific details about what types of preventive measures are required for each type of business, venue, and activity.

    Marion County is committed to working with the Governor's office, local healthcare providers, and other community partners to update and refine the roadmap as needed.



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    Commissioners Adopt Roadmap for a Limited Reopening of Marion County Beginning on May 15
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