City News

$2 million grant to pay for drainage repairs in Santiam Canyon

A $2 million state grant will help pay for replacing drainage systems in the Santiam Canyon that were damaged by wildfire.

The Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments received one of four state grants for septic repair and replacement projects, intended to “improve public health and water quality” in areas impacted by wildfires in 2020, the state Department of Environmental Quality announced in a news release. A total of $5.2 million was awarded.

The council is a voluntary association of 43 local governments, including Marion and Polk counties as well as Salem. It provides intergovernmental communication, studies of regional issues and other functions.

Using federal Covid relief funding, the Oregon DEQ is awarding the grants at the state Legislature’s direction, according to the statement.

The agency chose proposals that will provide money to homeowners who have repaired or replaced their septic systems, or are in the process of doing so.

In Marion County, the septic work will be done in Detroit, Idanha, Gates and other unincorporated areas impacted by the Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires.

“The projects will assist Oregonians in rebuilding and returning to communities while decreasing potential environmental pollutants from aging septic systems,” DEQ said in the release.

Information will be available on DEQ’s homeowner resources page as the work develops.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.