City Council Backs Justice Spending: The Corvallis City Council approved a resolution at their March 6 meeting supporting the County’s Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP). The matter goes before voters in May.
What County officials are seeking, and the City Council is now endorsing, is taxpayer approval of $110 million in spending to build a new jail and sheriff’s headquarters in Northeast Corvallis.
If passed, property owners would pay an added $0.55 per $1,000 of assessed value with their yearly property tax bill. The median assessed home value in Benton County is $258,596, so the median added tax amount would be $142 annually.
Councilors Paul Shaffer and Charlyn Ellis declined to support endorsing the upcoming bond measure, at least for the moment.
For more information about the JSIP plan, click here.
State of the City: The City Manager of Corvallis will be having what’s being billed as, a frank conversation with the City Council at a work session on March 9 about how the council needs to rebuild a more solid organizational foundation.
“The city has not adequately invested in our people, processes, technology, systems, and performance management. As such, the organization can no longer respond successfully to all the needs we face, said Mark Sheperd, City Manager. “This long-standing lack of investment has brought the organization to a tipping point. Without a course correction, organizational failure is not a matter of ‘if,’ but a matter of ‘when’ and ‘how.’”
Shepard will discuss how staff and council can partner to address the immediate and long-term needs for a healthy organization.
“This conversation is unique and may be uncomfortable at times, but it is required if we are going to attain our shared goal of a successful City,” said Shepard.
For more information on the upcoming meeting https://archives.corvallisoregon.gov/public/ElectronicFile.aspx?dbid=0&docid=3450793
Interim Health Department Director: Benton County has announced an interim Health Department Director, April Holland. Holland will be stepping in to replace outgoing Director, Suzanne Hoffman, who departs the Health Department to serve as the Interim County Administrator on March 15.
She joined Benton County as the Deputy Director of Public Health in December of 2020. In a release from the county, Holland will assume this interim role as they take the time to plan for a recruitment process for the permanent position.
Empowerment Grants: It’s that time of year, the City of Corvallis will be offering its annual Empowerment Grants beginning on March 15. Like previous years, the program will make available $10,000 in small cash grants from the city to fund projects around the community.
This year the grant program is separated into two categories:
- Neighborhood Empowerment Grants are focused on improving geographic areas in Corvallis. Past projects have included landscape improvements, neighborhood events, public art installations, education programs, and training services.
- Community Empowerment Grants are focused on assisting individuals and organizations doing enriching work throughout Corvallis. Example grants include cultural events, guest lectures, and outreach campaigns. Often this work cuts across different geographic areas and may serve diverse community groups.
Applications will be accepted from March 15 to April 15 and grant funding will be distributed in June. To apply or download an application form you can visit www.corvallisoregon.gov/empowerment.
By Jennifer Williams