The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved buying an armored tactical vehicle for a sheriff’s office SWAT program.
The $410,500 vehicle will come from Terradyne Armored Vehicles Inc., a company based in Ontario, Canada.
The federal government has previously loaned the Marion County Sheriff’s Office vehicles to operate its SWAT program at little to no cost, but the agency needed to convert them to suit law enforcement needs, Sheriff Nick Hunter told commissioners at the meeting.
Since the two previous vehicles were 25 and 14 years old, Hunter said the sheriff’s office needed to build custom parts when they needed repairs.
He also said the older vehicles carried a stigma. “No matter what you do, you’re still driving a military vehicle down the road,” he said.
The new vehicle, he said, will allow for much quicker response to tactical incidents, gun threats as well as searches and rescues.
The board also unanimously approved a $160,000 grant for the Strategic Economic Development Corporation, also known as SEDCOR, to continue promoting job growth in the region.
Marion County will provide state lottery funds to the organization, which has received such funding from the county for several years. The county receives a portion of the state’s video lottery revenue and is required to use it to pay for economic development.
Kelli Weese, the county’s economic development program manager, said at the meeting that SEDCOR brings together “traded sector businesses” such as manufacturers, local governments and nonprofits in “all efforts that aim to promote job growth and economic vitality in the region.”
Commissioners also heard a presentation about the start of this year’s Project Joy, an annual fundraiser serving children and families in Marion County who are involved in the child welfare system.
In 2022, almost 700 children were in foster homes in Marion County, most under the age of 12.
“The state normally provides for general care of these kids, but it typically doesn’t stretch far enough for Christmas gifts and birthday gifts,” according to Kathy Bolen, the county’s workforce development coordinator.
She said at the meeting that county employees raised about $9,700 last year for Project Joy, which supported 67 resource families and 169 children with over 400 gifts, including toys, clothes, diapers and hygiene products.
This year’s campaign starts Nov. 20 and ends Dec. 8.
The Brothers Car Museum also donated $30,000 to the program last year, purchasing 4,000 gifts and hosting a toy drive. The museum is hosting another toy drive this year and asking for a $10 ticket with an unwrapped toy. Tickets can be bought online with a QR code – those who do so will then receive an address for the museum, which has been a well-kept secret.
The board approved all other agenda items, including appointments to the county’s Justice Reinvestment Council and Board of Property Tax Appeals.
Original story below:
The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday will consider buying an armored tactical vehicle for a sheriff’s office SWAT program.
READ IT: AGENDA
The board will consider buying the $410,500 vehicle from Terradyne Armored Vehicles Inc., a company based in Ontario, Canada.
The federal government has previously loaned the Marion County Sheriff’s Office vehicles to operate its SWAT program but some of the vehicles have aged, resulting in “a very costly maintenance schedule,” 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 awarding a $160,000 grant to the Strategic Economic Development Corporation, also known as SEDCOR, to continue promoting job growth in the region.
The board will consider providing state lottery funds to the organization, which has received such funding from the county for several years. The county receives a portion of the state’s video lottery revenue and is required to use it to pay for economic development.
The grant is intended to pay for “economic development activities that promote business recruitment, retention, and expansion efforts in Marion County,” according to the agenda item. Such work would include regularly meeting with local businesses and planning showcase events such as ribbon cuttings.
Commissioners will consider appointing Cmdr. Mike Hartford to the Marion County Justice Reinvestment Council through 2024. Formed in 2009, the council advises government agencies on policies related to diversion from the criminal justice system and helping people leaving prison reenter the community without reoffending, according to the agenda item.
The board will consider reappointing several people to the Marion County Board of Property Tax Appeals through June 2025.
They will consider appointing Robert Riggi as chairperson of the chairpersons’ pool, Jennifer Sasaki as vice-chairperson of the chairpersons’ Pool and the non-office-holding pool, and Jack Yarbrough to the non-office-holding pool.
Commissioners will also hear a presentation about the start of this year’s Project Joy, an annual fundraiser serving children and families in Marion County who are involved in the child welfare system.
The fundraiser is run by the nonprofit Oregon Resource Family Alliance, formerly known as the Oregon Foster Parents Association.
It collects holiday toys and gifts for families temporarily caring for minors who are unable to live with their biological families, according to the agenda item. The presentation will include local foster care statistics, a recap of the 2022 fundraiser and plans for this year’s project.
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.