YOUR GOVERNMENT: Marion County commissioners consider federal wildfire recovery funds

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider accepting $12 million of federal funding from the state’s housing agency for wildfire recovery.

The funding is intended to pay for recovery work in the Santiam Canyon and help residents displaced by the 2020 wildfires. The work could include buying homes, acquiring land for affordable housing development and providing supplies for volunteer housing construction.

Commissioners will consider approving the federal funding through an agreement with Oregon Housing and Community Services. 


The board will also consider awarding $2 million of federal pandemic relief funding to the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley for the Salem Community Investment Fund. 

The fund provides business development services, affordable senior housing and small grants to small businesses, unhoused seniors and others impacted by Covid.

The board will also consider appointing Jarrod Howard as the justice of the peace pro tempore for the Marion County Justice of the Peace District. 

Judge Justin Kidd recommended commissioners appoint Howard to serve in his place anytime he is absent, according to the agenda item. Howard has been an attorney in Marion County for over 13 years.

Commissioners will consider updating the county’s ambulance service area plan as is due every five years. The plan includes ten service boundaries, locations of fire districts and response times by area.

The board will also consider reappointing Judy Skinner as a citizen-at-large to the Marion County Solid Waste Management Advisory Council. Formed in 1989, the council has eight citizen-at-large positions and eight representatives from business and industry who make recommendations to the board of commissioners.

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

SUBSCRIBE TO GET SALEM NEWS  We report on your community with care and depth, fairness and accuracy. Get local news that matters to you. Subscribe today to get our daily newsletters and more. Click I want to subscribe!

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.