Introducing Joe Kerby, changes in waste management in Benton County, and seasonal flooding tips are the top stories in the latest issue of News from Benton County.

November 2017
Volume 9, Issue 4

Waste Management in Benton County
Drastic changes in the international recycling markets have been announced in the past six months.

China notified the World Trade Organization in July that it plans to ban the import of 24 varieties of solid waste and recyclables and announced a new and exceedingly stringent recyclable contamination standard of 0.3 percent.

China is the main market for Oregon's recyclable mixed paper and plastic. Our recycling systems have been designed to produce mixed paper and plastic for China's markets, and it will take time to re-structure those systems to meet the new standards or find new markets if China further limits or stops accepting our materials.

Kerby begins as Benton County Administrator

Joe Kerby, Benton County Administrator, is a 3rd generation public servant. 

"Since I began in mid-August, I am increasingly more excited about the community and the opportunities before the organization. The quality of life here compared to many places around the country makes Benton County a very attractive place to live and work," said Kerby.

His past experience includes serving as both a City Manager and County Manager in numerous communities both in Colorado and Kansas.  Most recently, Joe served as the County Manager for La Plata County, Colorado. 

In Brief

Floods are the nation's most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year. The damage from just one inch of water can cost more than $20,000. Floods can happen anywhere-more than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone.

The primary purpose of the assessment effort is to engage the community to develop a common vision for the criminal justice system by thoroughly investigating all aspects of Benton County's justice system to provide a full assessment, evaluation of the system, and to recommend improvements and changes to the system to better serve the public and inmates.

The Oregon Legislature passed a $5.3 billion plan to modernize Oregon's transportation and public transit systems over the next decade. The additional revenue is estimated to provide the county with a 25% increase in funds. Benton County currently receives roughly $4.5 million annually and the recently passed transportation bill is projected to add over $1 million in the first year and increase over the next 10 years. 

Public meetings will likely be held in December 2017 and January 2018, and the public will be invited to provide comments and feedback about proposed options and recommendations.

Health Department earns National Accreditation

Benton County Health Department achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) in September. The Benton County Health Department is among the first 200 local, state and tribal health departments to be accredited out of roughly 4,000 total departments in the United States.

Learn more about public health in Benton County at  or .
Community Health Centers of Linn and Benton Counties receive grant to expand substance abuse services

The Community Health Centers of Linn and Benton Counties recently received a Health Resources and Services Administration grant in the amount of $70,000 to expand substance abuse services.

The additional funding will support the expansion of both mental health and addiction services and provide the ability to serve 50 more patients in the High Complexity program and 25 more patients in the medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction program.

To tal Solar Eclipse outreach highlighted at Engaging Local Government Leaders  conference

Lili'a Uili Neville, Benton County Public Information Officer, joined by Patrick Rollens, City of Corvallis Public Information Officer, and Nick Snead, City of Madras Community Development Director, presented at the Engaging Local Government Leaders conference in Portland on September 21, 2017 to discuss local Total Solar Eclipse public information efforts, successes and challenges. 

Neville and Rollens gave an overview of Benton County and City of Corvallis governments' planning process, highlighting the collaborative outreach and engagement campaign. Campaign efforts centered on an online information portal at  and a multi-lingual public safety brochure.

On September 15, 2017, Captain Rogers completed a ten-week training session at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. 

Captain Rogers began his career with the Benton County Sheriff's Office in 1997 as a reserve deputy, and the office subsequently hired him full-time in 1999. Over the years, he has led the Sheriff's detective team, the firearms training program, conducted internal investigations and currently manages the Law Enforcement Division.


Benton Soil and Water Conservation District and Public Works have a long standing partnership to address natural resource issues in Benton County. Recently, the shift has been towards management, identification and assistance with noxious weeds, and threatened and endangered plants.

The Alliance for Recreation and Natural Areas (AFRANA) works to facilitate community-supported projects to enhance recreation and connect people to their natural and cultural heritage. AFRANA was an important partner for hosting the Commemorative Fort Hoskins Open House that celebrated the 160th anniversary of the Fort and the five year anniversary of the return of the Commanders House. 

This spring, the Benton County Information Technology department and the city of Corvallis Information Technology department will collaborate to purchase a new phone system to replace the aging phone system jointly owned by Benton County and Corvallis.  The primary goals of this project are to analyze current and future County and City telecommunication needs, expand functionality as required, stabilize the telecommunications service, reduce support and maintenance costs, and allow for mutual survivability of the phone system in the event of a disruptive event. 

The Benton County Health Navigators working on-site at Lincoln, Garfield and Linus-Pauling schools are bilingual and bicultural individuals that provide health services and advocacy to schools, parents and families, and Parent Teacher Associations (PTA). They connect parents and families to primary care, oral health specialists, behavioral health specialists, and well-being programming and events.


SW 53rd Street currently goes under the Willamette Pacific Railroad in between SW West Hills Road and SW Reservoir Avenue. The trestle supporting the railroad bridge is located between the two travel lanes causing a safety hazard. The undercrossing frequently floods and ices over in the winter, causing additional hazards to the driving public and railroad operators.

The proposed project would realign SW 53rd to the east, construct an overcrossing of the railroad, and naturalize Dunawi Creek that currently passes through a culvert.

Another undergraduate student attending Oregon State University in Corvallis is being treated for meningococcal disease. This is the fifth reported case of meningococcal disease at Oregon State in the past year. The ill students were treated for serogroup B meningococcal disease and fortunately they have all recovered. In 2015, there was a meningococcal disease outbreak at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Seven confirmed cases occurred between January and June 2015 and resulted in one fatality.