YOUR GOVERNMENT: Commissioners consider grant for expanded women’s shelter

The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday will vote on a contract to pay for two employees at the recently expanded Safe Sleep United women’s shelter in Salem.

Commissioners will also consider several public works contracts for emergency management planning and projects in the Santiam Canyon.


To participate

The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, in the Senator Hearing Room at 555 Court St. N.E. Anyone can attend or sign up to give public comment in-person at the meeting. The meeting is streamed live on YouTube.

Shelter money

Commissioners will vote on a $200,000 contract with United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley to pay for two new case workers, supplies and other client services at the expanded Safe Sleep United women’s shelter.

The money is retroactive and was part of the county’s plan for spending a 2021 federal grant to address homelessness, housing and community development.

Public works and emergency management

Commissioners will consider several public works and emergency management contracts:

  • Two grant agreements with the Oregon Department of Emergency Management: $226,000 to reimburse the county for the costs of its emergency management program using federal money, and $216,000 toward an assessment of infrastructure vulnerability for rural and underserved county residents.
  • A $705,000 addition to a contract with Keller Associates, Inc. to build a new sewer system for communities in the Santiam Canyon, using federal Covid relief money. The new contract would total $3.3 million.
  • A new contract with Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc. for $221,000 to cover engineering and permitting costs for an excavation project at the Detroit marinas. The project would remove about 162,000 cubic yards of sediment from the two marinas on Detroit Lake and use it to construct a peninsula extending southwest from Detroit Flats Day Use Area.

Boards and appointments

Commissioners will consider the following board and committee appointments:

  • Patrick Vance to the county’s budget committee, with a term ending June 30, 2026. The committee consists of the three commissioners plus three community volunteers. Vance has served on the committee since 1999 and lives in Salem.
  • Appointing Melvin Peterson, and reappointing Brian Butler, Mike Berger and Shawn Baird to the county’s Ambulance Service Area Advisory Committee with a term ending Jan. 31, 2027; and appointing Jim Walker with a term ending Jan. 31, 2025. Peterson is a technical manager with Salem’s 911 center, Butler is the Keizer Fire District’s operations division chief, Berger is the emergency medical services battalion chief for Marion County Fire District #1, Baird is the CEO of Woodburn Ambulance Services and Walker is Woodburn Fire’s operations division chief.
  • Reappointing Brian Sund and Will Posegate to the Solid Waste Management Advisory Council with terms ending Dec. 31, 2027. Sund is a citizen-at-large who has served on the council for 16 years, and Posegate is chief operating officer for Garten Services and represents the recycling industry.

Other items

  • A new discovery fee schedule for the Marion County District Attorney’s office
  • An order authorizing the county’s chief administrative officer to make payments of up to $125,000 for the county’s down payment assistance program. Commissioners recently raised the maximum amount for the program from $25,000 to $125,000 per client. Without the authorization, commissioners now have to vote to individually approve every down payment.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.