Update, June 21
The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved nearly $2 million from the state for recruiting behavioral health providers to the Salem area.
The grant includes $1.4 million for workforce incentives and $578,000 to provide clinical supervision to behavioral health workers.
The funding comes from a workforce initiative the state legislature created in 2021 to boost local recruitment and retention of behavioral health providers with associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degrees or other credentials.
“If anybody walks the streets of Salem specifically, you can see that there’s a significant population who need behavioral health services,” Commissioner Danielle Bethell said at the meeting.
The board also approved a $1.3 million construction contract with Farline Bridge Inc. to rehabilitate the Abiqua Creek Bridge and keep it in serviceable condition.
Capital projects manager Ryan Crowther said at the meeting that the project will strengthen the bridge’s pier foundations and add guardrails on both sides of the bridge to improve safety.
The state will provide about $1.1 million while the county would provide the rest.
Commissioners also approved a $238,000 contract with Brown Contracting Inc. to build sidewalks, ramps, pedestrian signals, signage and striping on Shaff Road.
The project, which received a “Safe Routes to School” grant from the state, is intended to make the pedestrian route safer for students at nearby Stayton Middle School. The state would cover about $190,500 and the county would cover the rest.
The work would replace a missing portion of sidewalk and add new ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The state prioritizes the safety of some kids at some schools over the safety of other kids at other schools, and I think that’s wrong,” Board Chair Colm Willis said at the meeting. “The way that the state has their process for supporting safe routes to schools is unfair and it’s biased towards certain communities and against others, and that needs to change.”
The board unanimously approved or advanced other agenda items, including the appointment of Lt. Nick Hunter to Marion County sheriff, contracts with two new behavioral health workers and navigator coaching intended to help keep people out of state prisons.
Original story below:
The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday will consider accepting nearly $2 million from the state to provide incentives for recruiting behavioral health providers to the Salem area.
READ IT: AGENDA
The grant would come from a workforce initiative the state legislature created in 2021 to boost local recruitment and retention of behavioral health providers with associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degrees or other credentials.
The funding is also intended to “break down the systemic barriers that reduce access and exacerbate inequities in people of color, tribal members, and other communities harmed by historical and contemporary injustices,” according to the agenda item.
The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Senator Hearing Room at 555 Court Street N.E. Anyone can attend or sign up to give public comment in-person at the meeting. The meeting is streamed live on YouTube.
Commissioners will consider approving a $1.3 million construction contract with Farline Bridge Inc. to rehabilitate the Abiqua Creek Bridge.
The work is intended to extend the bridge’s service life by correcting scour and foundation issues, and make travel safer by adding a new guardrail, according to the agenda item. The state will provide about $1.1 million while the county would provide the rest.
They will also consider approving a $238,000 contract with Brown Contracting Inc. to build sidewalks, ramps, pedestrian signals, signage and striping on Shaff Road to allow a safer pedestrian route for Stayton Middle School students. The state would cover about $190,500 and the county would cover the rest.
New sheriff, other appointments
The board will consider approving the appointment of Lt. Nick Hunter to Marion County Sheriff.
Commissioners recommended Hunter’s appointment on June 7 to complete the term of retiring Sheriff Joe Kast. Hunter would be sworn in on Friday
The Wednesday meeting will open with a presentation from the board recognizing Kast and his service to the county.
They will also consider appointing Josh Lair as chair and Eric Rasor as vice-chair of the Marion County Local Alcohol and Drug Planning Committee.
Also on the agenda
Commissioners will consider adding $142,500 to a contract with Metro Presort, Inc. for ballot and voter notification card services. The new contract would total $237,500.
The board will consider an $800,000 contract with DePaul Industries, Inc. to provide unarmed security and vehicular patrol for Marion County Health and Human Services locations.
Commissioners will consider two contracts to provide mental health assessments and care to adult behavioral health clients: a $400,000 contract with Nathaniel Kravitz and $500,000 with Dr. James F. Miller.
The board will consider a $270,000 contract with the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency to provide navigator coaching intended to help keep people out of state prisons.
Such coaching would include one-on-one consultation for success planning and referrals to employment, education, housing, child and family services, transportation and health health needs.
They will also approve a $561,000 agreement with the county’s Health and Human Services Department to assess, monitor and provide treatment services for people with substance us disorders in the Student Opportunity for Achieving Results program.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
SUPPORT OUR WORK – We depend on subscribers for resources to report on Salem with care and depth, fairness and accuracy. 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.