Marion County TODAY: February 2020 Update

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Marion County Oregon

Feb. 4, 2021

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In this issue: 

County provides support to wildfire impacted Santiam Canyon communities

As part of Marion County‘s long term disaster recovery program in support of communities in the Santiam Canyon, Commissioners Colm Willis and Danielle Bethell delivered a $50,000 check to Gates Mayor Ron Carmickle and City Recorder Traci Archer.

When the county became aware of the City of Gates’ immediate financial needs the commissioners and Chief Administrative Officer Jan Fritz authorized the $50,000 payment to replace utility revenue and ensure the city can continue to operate and pay staff for the short term. The county’s goal is to help cities get through the fiscal year as they, and Marion County, apply for FEMA public assistance, state grants, and other funding.

The county has set aside $500,000 in economic development (video lottery proceeds) and general fund resources to help our canyon communities get back on their feet.

Wildfire recovery support includes:

  • Hiring a Disaster Recovery Manager who will be based in the Board of Commissioners Office to coordinate wildfire recovery needs in the Santiam Canyon for the next three to five years.
  • Providing cites with contracted staff support to meet on-going city needs and assist with recovery efforts.
  • Providing contracted financial analysis to complete projections for current and future revenue loss.

Marion County is committed to providing cities in the Santiam Canyon support as they begin the long recovery from last September’s devastating wildfires.

Commissioners Willis and Bethell present check to City of Gates officials

Save the Date: State of the County set for March 17

The Board of Commissioners will hold their annual State of the County address at the March Economic Business Forum Webinar hosted by SEDCOR. 

Please join Commissioners Kevin Cameron, Danielle Bethell, and Colm Willis for the annual State of the County address. The commissioners will highlight issues facing county residents such as the COVID-19 response and wildfire recovery and introduce new commissioner Danielle Bethell. The board looks forward to this annual visit and values the opportunity to hear from the community.

Register at

Financial assistance for home repairs available

Home repair image

Marion County residents may be eligible for low-interest deferred payment loans for home repairs. 

Eligible repairs include:

  • Health & safety issues
  • Electrical and plumbing upgrades
  • Structural repairs
  • Roofing, siding, weatherization
  • Heating systems

Housing rehabilitation loan funds are available for home owners in the cities of Aumsville, Aurora, Detroit, Gates, Gervais, Hubbard, Idanha, Jefferson, Silverton, Stayton, Turner, Mt. Angel, Woodburn and the unincorporated areas of Marion County county. 

Please visit the Mid-Willamette Council of Governments website for complete information on the program area, income limits, and other eligibility criteria. 

Homeowners impacted by wildfires may be eligible if repairs are not covered by FEMA or other programs and loan program criteria are met.

Dog Services now offering online licensing

Dogs wearing licenses

These pups know if they ever get lost Marion County Dog Services can help them find their way home.

Marion County Dog Services now offers online dog licensing. Dog Services Director Ann Potter said, “We know the community wants an online option and it’s become even more necessary this year with our lobby closed due to COVID-19.”

Online licensing can be accessed from the following link:

To license online, dog owners will need a copy of their dog’s current rabies vaccine. Photos of rabies certificates may be uploaded directly to the licensing program. Dog licenses may not be purchased for longer than the rabies expiration date.

Dog licenses were originally designed as a way to ensure dogs were vaccinated against rabies, which used to be a common canine disease and transferable to humans.  Licensing has worked and now rabies is rarely seen in dogs in Oregon. Licenses also provide other important services such as helping return lost dogs to their owners and providing revenue to care for dogs in the dog shelter. And, licenses are required by state law.

License fees are $20 annually for altered dogs and from $37 for non-altered dogs. Discounted fees are available for multi-year licenses and for senior dog owners. For more information about Marion Dog Services fees and hours, visit, call (503) 588-5233, or email

Wildfire Recovery Update

Debris Removal Task Force Update

Hazard trees marked for removal

Hazard trees along Hwy. 22 marked for removal

The Debris Removal Task Force is ramping up to begin work in the North Santiam Canyon. Per the task force, crews are already in the area assessing and tagging trees for  removal and beginning to assess private property for clean-up. As of Jan. 28, 2021, 2,822 of 20,600 trees have been marked along Hwy. 22.

Depending on the weather, they expect to begin falling hazard trees next week and hope to begin ash and debris removal in two to three weeks. The task force has committed to reaching out to property owners in advance of cleanup on individual properties. 

There is still time to sign-up for the Step 2 cleanup process. Visit the Marion County Wildfire Recovery web page to fill out a Right of Entry form.

To keep up to date with latest information from the Debris Removal Task Force, visit or sign-up to automatically receive updates.  

Reduced speed on Hwy. 22 in Santiam Canyon to remain through June


ODOT press release Jan. 28, 2021

A stretch of OR 22 through the Santiam Canyon that has been reduced to 40 miles per hour following the wildfires in early September will continue at the reduced speed until at least the end of June.

Significant work continues along OR 22 where wildfires in early September severely impacted communities in the Santiam Canyon. There are still numerous work zones for the massive wildfire debris cleanup and the reduced speed is to help protect the many workers in the area.

The speed limit has been reduced since September 7 between Gates (milepost 33) and Pamelia Creek Road (milepost 63).

Additional speed limit signs have been added to remind motorists of the reduced speed, and local law enforcement has increased patrols. Travelers are urged to obey the posted speed limits and still use extreme caution while traveling through the burn area. Anyone traveling through the Santiam Canyon should add more travel time.

In addition to the ongoing work zones, hazards to travelers include roadside log decks and slash piles from hazard tree removal, as well as the potential for erosion and falling rocks. With the active rainy season, slides and debris flows are a particular concern especially in areas where the vegetation, tree roots and underbrush have been stripped away.

COVID-19 Update

Approximately 15% of county residents have received COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine infographic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived in Oregon, more than 17,000 Marion County residents have tested positive for the virus. In just over five weeks, approximately 50,000 people in our communities have been vaccinated.

While we still have a long road ahead of us before community immunity is achieved, we are grateful for the dedicated work of our local health care, EMS, and first responder partners in efficiently and equitably distributing the vaccines to our community. We look forward to continuing these partnerships and moving into additional phases as supplies allow.

Vaccine Clinic Information: 

Salem Health - Oregon State Fairgrounds 
Appointment preferred with limited drop-in availability. Visit the Salem Health vaccine website for appointment scheduling and eligibility. 

Santiam Hospital
Pre-registration open for patients 65 and older. Visit for more information.