YOUR GOVERNMENT: Marion County commissioners consider Cordon Road improvements 

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider a contract to build two turn lanes on Northeast Cordon Road.

Commissioners will consider a $1.35 million contract with Salem-based Carter and Company, Inc. to add northbound turn lanes onto Northeast Hayesville Drive and Northeast Kale Street. The project is intended to reduce collisions at the intersections by providing a refuge for northbound drivers turning onto either street, according to the agenda.

About $1.08 million will be covered by state funding for road hazard improvements, with the county covering the rest.


Commissioners will also consider spending $500,000 on drug testing for the county’s Health and Human Services Department. The services would come from California-based Redwood Toxicology, which provides testing for government agencies, criminal justice matters and addiction treatment.

The board will consider purchasing new Dell computers, laptops and monitors for the county’s IT Department for $170,000.

They will also consider a $297,000 agreement with the Oregon State Marine Board for law enforcement services related to recreational boating.

Commissioners will consider appointing Shawn Baird, chief executive officer of Metro West Ambulance and longtime leader of Woodburn Ambulance Service, as chair and Sherry Bensema, Lyons Fire Department, as vice chair to the Marion County Ambulance Service Area Advisory Committee for one-year terms.

The group advises commissioners and the service area administrator in coordinating ambulance services in the county.

Meeting details: The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Senator Hearing Room at 555 Court Street N.E. Anyone can sign up to give public comment in-person at the meeting. The meeting is streamed live on YouTube

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.