YOUR GOVERNMENT: Marion County commissioners consider funding for Medicaid services

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider expanding a contract with an insurance agency for services covered under Oregon Health Plan, the state’s publicly-funded Medicaid program.

Commissioners will consider accepting $24 million from PacificSource Community Solutions, which would bring the county’s contract with the agency to about $62.2 million through this year.


The board will also consider approving a $1.1 million contract with the Oregon Health Authority for services intended to make health services more available to children and families eligible for Medicaid in Marion County.

The county’s Health and Human Services Department would inform people eligible for Medicaid about the benefits of the program, help them apply, and refer them to medical and social services. The contract would also cover translation and transportation to services covered by Oregon Health Plan.

The board will consider adding $80,000 to a contract with Carroll’s Group Care Home in south Salem to provide “client services” services for youth and young adults transitioning into residential care, according to the agenda. The new contract would total $150,000.

The care home provides services to people with mental or emotional disorders who need continuing care to remain stable and learn skills to be placed in “a more integrated community setting,” according to the agenda item.

They will also consider accepting $300,000 from the state Department of Human Services to provide job placement services to people with disabilities referred by DHS’s vocational rehabilitation program. 

Commissioners will consider buying about 6 acres of land adjacent to the Scotts Mills County Park and authorizing Brian Nicholas, the county’s Public Works Director, to sign closing documents. 

The Caster family currently owns the land, which has an appraised property value of $450,000. The city would pay $360,000 in cash and receive a $90,000 land value donation from the Caster Joint Revocable Living Trust.

The county sold Auburn Park to the Salem-Keizer School District as part of the Auburn Elementary School expansion. That sale used federal Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars, and the county was required to replace the sold park property with new parkland “having equal or better appraised and recreational values,” according to the agenda.

The board will consider accepting $541,500 from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board for restoration work on North Fork Road and Gates Hill Road in the Santiam Canyon. The Beachie Creek Fire in 2020 destroyed that area’s natural environment.

The county’s Public Works Department created a plan to revegetate the area for public use, control noxious weeds spreading after the fire, and “restore critical habitat for fish and wildlife,” according to the agenda. The grant agreement would cover a one-year salary and benefits for a full-time position to help with coordination and inspection of the project.

They will also consider approving a $268,500 contract with Riverbend Materials to purchase chip seal aggregate for roads.

There will be public hearings to consider two applications for mass gatherings: a Renaissance faire, and a paintball tournament.

Commissioners will hear a presentation of the 2022 Volunteer Annual Report, which includes data from county departments that use volunteers. In 2022, 1,394 people volunteered a total 56,168 hours for the county, according to the agenda.

The board will consider appointing Greg Walsh as the county’s emergency management director. Walsh was previously the city of Salem’s emergency services manager.

They will also consider a proclamation designating April 22 as Earth Day in Marion County.

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.