Climate adaption planning, the National Environmental Public Health intern hosted at Benton County, and the p ublic safety and health services levy renewal  are the top stories in the latest issue of News from Benton County.

August 2017
Volume 9, Issue 3

Climate adaptation priority for county

In 2015 Benton County Health completed a comprehensive assessment of the human health and environmental impacts resulting from projected climate change within Benton County and the surrounding region. 

Following this initial planning document, Benton County established a Climate Action Committee late last year. The first charge for this committee was focused on internal assessment, research and establishing foundational data.The next charge for the committee is to establish a mechanism to track internal resource use.

County selected as host agency for National Environmental Public Health Internship Program

In early spring 2017, the Benton County learned it was selected by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) as a host agency for the National Environmental Public Health Internship Program (NEPHIP). The NEPHIP is an annual internship program for environmental health students. 

Reem Tariq was awarded the National Environmental Public Health Internship and began began with the Benton County Environmental Health division in late June 2017. Coming from Johnson City, Tennessee, Tariq is in the final stages of earning her Masters of Science in Environmental Health at East Tennessee State University.

Public safety and health services levy renewal to be placed on November 2017 ballot

To continue current health and safety services, Benton County will ask voters on the November 2017 ballot to approve a five-year $.90 per $1,000 assessed valuation beginning 2018. 

This levy would continue the same maximum tax rate of $.90 per $1,000 assessed value (AV) as the previous levy. The tax would cost $7.50 per month or $90 per year for every $100,000 of a property's assessed value.

Three Deputies Recognized with the Life Saving Award 

At this year's Benton County Sheriff Office's annual Awards Event three deputies were recognized with the Life Saving Award.
Deputy Justin Bowers received a Life Saving Award for a head-on crash incident that occurred on August 30, 2016.  Also receiving Life Saving Awards were Marine Deputies Randal Tugwell and Marshall Dean who rescued a woman in the Willamette River in June 2017.

Benton County Public Works staff member Owen Millehrer passed his Professional Engineers exam in spring 2017. He will now apply for state licensure and join Laurel Byer, Fred Gomez and Josh Wheeler as the fourth Professional Engineer in the department.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to Benton County for its comprehensive annual financial report.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

Through a partnership with the InterCommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization (IHN CCO), the Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties began a pilot program August 1st to provide dental hygiene services to senior and disabled residents in care facilities. The pilot will last the remainder of the calendar year.

T his past spring, the Oregon State University College of Engineering sought out Public Works professionals to participate in their two-quarter Capstone Project Class.  Public Works Director Josh Wheeler and County Engineer Laurel Byer participated in this two-quarter Civil Engineering course.

The Juvenile Department partnered with Jackson Street Youth Services to extend invitations to youth residing at the overnight shelter and join the Juvenile Department and attend the Benton County Fair and Rodeo.

Next month, several local agencies will participate in a multi-day crisis intervention training spearheaded by a partnership between the Benton County Health Department and the Corvallis Police Department. Organizations in the local planning workgroup include the Benton County Sheriff's Office, Philomath Police Department, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Oregon State University and National Alliance on Mental Illness-Mid Valley Chapter.

The Benton County Fair & Rodeo spearheads many collaborations with local partners, especially with nonprofit organizations including, Kidco Head Start, Sick Town Derby Dames, Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon, Corvallis High School, Rotary Club of Greater Corvallis, Zonta Club of Corvallis, Kiwanis Club of Corvallis Sunrisers, C.A.R.E., Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon, OSU Extension Program and 4-H, and, the Heart of the Valley Astronomers who taught visitors about the total solar eclipse and eye safety.

Additionally, nearly all county departments participate in preparing for the fair or participating at expo booths at the fair.

For the first time, Adair Village partnered with Benton County and participated in the county paving contract. This partnership enabled them to pave Columbine Road and save thousands of dollars.

"A paving overlay is intended typically to be a 2" surface that lasts about 20 years," said Josh Wheeler, Public Works Director. "Benton County is not able to perform overlay projects every year, so it was nice when Adair Village joined our contract this year and we were able to meet a need of theirs."
2nd Annual Volunteer Appreciation Night

The Benton County Board of Commissioners is hosting the 2nd annual Volunteer Appreciation Night to thank its many volunteers for their years of service. The event is also geared towards recruiting new community members to serve on the county's advisory committees and boards.

The volunteer appreciation and recruitment event will take place on September 21, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Guerber Hall at the Benton County Fairgrounds, 110 SW 53rd St., Corvallis, Oregon. 

This event is free and open to the public, and a dinner will be provided. Find more information about committee vacancies at
Nominations sought for county environmental awards 

The Benton County Board of Commissioners and the Environmental Issues Advisory Committee requests nominations for the fifth annual Benton County Environmental Awards. Benton County presents two awards annually, an individual award and an organizational award. 

Nominees will have demonstrated a commitment to environmental stewardship that went beyond compliance with regulatory requirements. 

An individual or organization is eligible to either nominate or apply for the award. Nomination forms are available online at

All nominations must be submitted via email to [email protected] or delivered to Benton Co. Public Works, 360 SW Avery Avenue, Corvallis, OR 97333 by September 16, 2017.