YOUR GOVERNMENT: Safe walking routes for Four Corners kids move forward

The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved using state money to build a safer route for students walking to Four Corners Elementary School.

Commissioners unanimously approved a $436,000 contract with Eugene-based Brown Contracting for the construction. The project received a “Safe Routes to School” grant from the state, which will pay for about $380,000 with the county covering the rest.

The total project, including engineering, will cost $675,000. It includes adding a crosswalk with flashing beacon across State Street east of Southeast Elma Avenue.

The work also includes rebuilding about 900 feet of sidewalk on the east side of Southeast Elma Avenue, adding curb ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act at the intersections with Southeast Causey Lane and Southeast Akin Court, and putting in place new signs and surface markings.

The school in southeast Salem serves one of the lowest-income neighborhoods in the city, where many students walk to school without sidewalks.

Construction is scheduled for summer 2024.

Bridge work

Commissioners unanimously approved a $3.8 million contract with Stayton-based Farline Bridge to replace a bridge on Northeast Hazelgreen Road that goes over the Pudding River. The area is between Hayesville and Silverton. 

The board also unanimously approved a $332,500 contract with the same company to build a bridge at the Brown’s Island Demolition Landfill in southwest Salem. 

Sheriff’s office services

Commissioners unanimously approved paying Correct RX Pharmacy Services an additional $150,000 for continued pharmaceutical services at the Marion County Jail. The new purchase order totals around $966,000

The board unanimously approved adding $123,000 to a contract with Chemeketa Community College to provide Student Opportunity for Achieving Results program services to people on probation and post-prison supervision. The college provides curriculum including “cognitive behavioral health interventions” for people seeking employment on their way out of the criminal justice system, according to the agenda item. The new contract totals around $511,000.

Commissioners unanimously approved spending $500,000 on parts and service repairs for heavy county equipment for the next three years.

They also unanimously approved a $169,000 contract with Incite Agency for Change to train Marion County Health and Human Services employees in suicide prevention and intervention.

The board unanimously approved or advanced all other agenda items, including proclamations designating the week of April 21-27 as Volunteer Week and April 22 as Earth Day in Marion County. 

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.