YOUR GOVERNMENT: Marion County commissioners consider resolution on homelessness, public spaces

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider approving a resolution supporting a “recovery-oriented system of care” for addiction, mental health and homelessness, according to the agenda.

The resolution, put forward by Commissioner Danielle Bethell, proposes the county focus on providing behavioral health and prevention services as well as “protecting public spaces for the use of the entire community.”

“Marion County recognizes that housing alone cannot cure mental illness or addiction, and the nature of addiction and serious mental illness can make sufferers unable to recognize their own illnesses or seek help willingly,” the document said.

The resolution does not list any specific programs or actions the county will take.

The language is nearly identical to a resolution approved on April 6 by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners. Marion County officials didn’t respond by deadline to emailed questions Tuesday about what prompted the resolution and Bethell did not return a call.


Commissioners on Wednesday will also consider a $176,500 contract with California-based company Tek84 Inc. to provide installation and training for a whole-body security scanning system at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center.

The board will also consider a $890,000 contract with Portland-based Maxim Healthcare Staffing for one full-time registered nurse and one full-time licensed practical nurse at the juvenile detention facility through June 2025.

Commissioners will consider a $228,000 contract with Salem-based Carlson Veit Junge Architects for remodeling of the Marion County Psychiatric Crisis Center through June 2025. The crisis center at 1234 Commercial St. S.E. is a 24-7 facility operated by the county’s Health and Human Services Department. 

The board will consider spending $400,000 on parts, supplies and repair services from John Deer for Marion County’s heavy equipment fleet.

They will also consider adding $183,000 of federal pandemic relief funding to a contract with Idaho-based Keller Associates Inc. for building new sanitary sewer infrastructure in the North Santiam River Canyon. The new contract would total about $2.1 million. 

Commissioners will consider a $436,000 contract with Portland-based engineering firm Harper Houf Peterson Righellis, Inc. to provide engineering and land surveying services for improvements to Center Street in the city of Gates. The work would include building curbs, sidewalks, street lighting and a new pedestrian crossing to parking facilities on the north side of the street, according to the agenda.

The board will also consider a $3.4 million contract with Salem-based Roy Houck Construction, LLC to provide asphalt concrete resurfacing for various county roads through November 2024. 

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.