YOUR GOVERNMENT: Marion County commissioners approve extended contract for addiction treatment

The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved an extended contract with the Oregon Health Authority for addiction treatment and services intended to help people get into housing.

Commissioners approved adding $4.67 million in state money to the contract and extending it through June 2025. That brought the new contract total to $11.09 million.

The funding will allow the county to continue providing treatment including substance use screening, intervention services, peer support and employment help for people with addictions who are seeking treatment and can’t afford it, according to Carol Heard, director of the county’s Addiction Treatment Services Division.

Heard said at the board meeting that the money will also continue allowing the county to help remove barriers for people with addictions who are struggling to gain or maintain housing. 

Oregon’s Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council, established after the passing of the state law intended to take drug users out of jails and put them into clinics, provided at least one grant to every county and federally recognized tribe in Oregon.

Counties association

Commissioner Danielle Bethell on Nov. 16 was elected president of the Association of Oregon Counties at the organization’s annual conference, Marion County announced Thursday in a news release. The election was unrelated to Wednesday’s board of commissioners meeting.

Bethell previously served as first vice chair and second vice chair. She will serve a one-year term as president.

The association represents the interests of Oregon’s 36 counties with services including advocacy, training and technical help, according to the statement.

Community treatment

Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a $500,000 contract with Keizer-based Pelton Project to provide behavioral health and psychological rehabilitation for qualified Medicaid recipients in community homes.

The contract is retroactive to July and spans through December. “We’ll probably be back here again soon extending another six-month contract with Pelton as well as a few others,” Marion County’s Outpatient Division Director Phil Blea said at the meeting.

Wildfire recovery

The board unanimously approved adding $114,600 to a contract with the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, which will help with legal work, planning, community development and administrative support for the cities of Gates and Detroit. 

The new contract, which totals $236,400 and spans through June 2024, is funded by unspent money which the state Business Development Department provided the county in 2021 for economic recovery from wildfires in the Santiam Canyon, according to the agenda item.

Commissioners also approved adding about $103,300 to a contract with Stayton-based Slayden Constructors, Inc. to clear vegetation and dig test pits for developing sewer systems in the north Santiam Canyon. The new contract would total $478,500 and last through 2026.

Commissioners unanimously approved all other agenda items, including appointments to the county’s Parks Commission and Solid Waste Management Advisory Council, and ratifying a new collective bargaining agreement for the Marion County District Attorney’s Association.

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.