OACES Newsletter for Feb. 23, 2024


Upcoming OACES Meetings:

  • OACES Virtual Meeting - March 28
  • Eastern Oregon Road Officials - April 3
  • OACES Spring Conference - May 6–8
View the 2024 OACES Meeting Schedule

2024 Legislative Session Update

The Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) and OACES kicked off the 2024 legislative “short” session on Feb. 5, with a full day of internal policy meetings followed by our 2nd Annual Open House.

Monday, Feb. 19, was the “first chamber deadline," meaning policy bills that have not been voted on in the policy committee in their chamber of origin will not move forward this session. All AOC top-priority issues are currently poised for passage, and AOC has successfully advocated for amendments to mitigate concerns as needed.

This includes OACES priority, Senate Bill 1566 - county right of way permit fee authority. SB 1566 is the product of an interim work group made up of county commissioners, county transportation staff, and utility representatives. This compromise bill lifts the statutory preemption on counties from charging fees for permits to gas, water, electric, and communication utilities for work in our right of way. ...[Read More]

You can view the OACES Bill Tracker here.

OACES 2024 Spring Conference Registration Now Open

The OACES 2024 Spring Conference will be held Monday, May 6 through Wednesday, May 8. This year’s conference is at the Sunriver Resort, located at 17600 Center Dr., Sunriver Ore., 97707.

To reserve your hotel room, please click here or call the hotel directly at 855-420-8206 and reference the OACES Spring Conference. To receive the OACES rate of $126 per night, please book your room by Thursday, March 21.

To register, click here. The registration deadline is Saturday, April 20.

Registration Fee

  • Members: $375
  • Non-members: $400

More information, including the draft conference agenda, will soon be available on the 2024 OACES Spring Conference page.

If you have booking or registration questions, please email [email protected] or call 503-585-8351.

2023 Local Roads, Streets Survey: Report to Legislature

Recently, the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) reported annual county road revenues and expenditures to the Oregon Legislative Assembly.

As the next big transportation package approaches, AOC is taking every opportunity to inform the legislature of the critical importance of the State Highway Fund. Counties have limited options for pursuing local and federal funding sources and must rely on state funds to preserve our roads, bridges, and safety.

This annual report is supported by data from the Local Roads and Streets Survey administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). You can read the full report here: 2023 ANNUAL REPORT TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY.

New Jurisdictional Transfer Advisory Committee Developing Application Process

The Jurisdictional Transfer Advisory Committee was established by Gov. Kotek in late 2023 in response to direction from the Oregon Legislature in House Bill 2793. The purpose of the Committee is to review applications for jurisdictional transfers of portions of state highway from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to a city or county, and recommend three jurisdictional transfers per biennium to the Joint Commission on Transportation. The committee will also engage the Oregon Transportation Commission in the development of the list.


Currently the committee is engaged in developing an application process and criteria. Once processes are established, the committee will begin reviewing applications and is expected to provide its first recommendations in September of 2024. HB 2793 did not allocate funds to support transfers. Instead it provides a formalized opportunity to make the legislature aware of needs.

To learn more about the Committee and its work, please visit the Jurisdictional Transfer Advisory Committee webpage.  

AOC/LOC Transportation Funding Forum Update

The Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) and League of Oregon Cities (LOC) continued the Transportation Funding Forum meeting series in January (watch recording), featuring presentations from Gov. Kotek’s transportation policy staff and transportation stakeholders in the construction industry, the environmental community, transit, and freight carriers. The discussion explored the range of interests and priorities in the future of Oregon’s shared transportation system.

The forum series will continue through 2024 to further coordination, collaboration, and shared understanding of local government interests in the future of Oregon’s transportation funding system, as well as increase transparent, partnership-oriented communication with state agencies, stakeholders, and the legislature. ...[Read More]

Oregon Watershed Restoration Inventory's Annual Call for Data Open Through March 31

Since 1997, the Oregon Watershed Restoration Inventory (OWRI), which is managed by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), has been tracking information about completed restoration projects designed to improve watershed health.

To assist in the collection of data, OWRI puts out an annual call for data from projects completed over the last year. Specifically, OWRI is seeking voluntary reporting of projects not funded with OWEB grants. Examples include projects implemented by private forest landowners, state forests, tribes, state parks, conservation groups, and county/city/state agency-led programs.

If interested in contributing your data, you can report your project via OWRI Online by March 31, 2024.

If you have questions about OWRI or are unsure whether or not a project was reported, please contact Bobbi Riggers at 971-345-7003.

USDOT Funding Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) regularly publishes Notice for Funding Opportunities (NOFO) as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), current open funding grants include:

Technical assistance resources:

Please contact AOC County Road Program Director Brian Worley with any questions about USDOT grant funding opportunities.

Safe Routes to School Accepting Construction, Education Grant Applications Through March 25

The Oregon Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant program is now open and accepting applications for both competitive construction and education grants through March 25, 2024.

Competitive Construction Grants

Competitive construction grants provide funding for projects designed to help address barriers, such as lack of sidewalks, for students who walk or roll to school. For the current funding cycle, SRTS will distribute approximately $26 million, and all Oregon cities, counties, tribal governments, and ODOT regions are encouraged to apply.

Applications for competitive construction grants will undergo a two-part process. The first of the two-part application window will close March 25. After the part one window closes, SRTS staff will review and score submitted applications to allow applicants the opportunity to see how competitive their proposed projects will likely be during part two of the application process.

Part two of the application process will open May 6, 2024 and will require a more detailed proposal about the project, schedule, and budget.

Education Grants

Education Grants focus on education and engagement to promote awareness and safe use of walking and biking routes, prioritizing underserved communities. All Oregon government entities, school districts, tribes, and non-profits may apply. You can learn more about SRTS's Education Programs here.

To help applicants prepare, SRTS recently hosted an informational webinar, which can viewed here.

For questions or more information on SRTS Competitive Construction and Education Grants, please contact Xao Posadas, Safe Routes to School Construction program manager, or Heidi Manlove, Safe Routes to School Education, Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety program manager.

Connect Oregon Grant Applications Accepted Through Feb. 29

Connect Oregon's 2024 competitive grant opportunity is now open and will remain open through Feb. 29, 2024, with approximately $46 million available for eligible aviation, marine, and rail transportation projects.

To learn more about the program, eligibility requirements, and application process, please visit the Connect Oregon webpage. Public, private, and nonprofit entities are eligible to apply. Click here to complete your application.

The entire application and review process is expected to run into the fall. The anticipated timeline for the process includes:

  • Staff Review: March & April
  • Area Commission on Transportation & Modal Committee Review: May - July
  • Final Review Committee: August & September
  • Oregon Transportation Commission: October

Since launching in 2005, the Connect Oregon Grant Program has awarded $463 million to 221 projects over seven funding opportunities. To view a PDF of the complete list of funded projects in 2022, click here.

For more information, please contact Freight Program Manager John Boren at 503-951-0166. 

ODOT Carbon Reduction Program Grants Return Spring 2024

Transportation projects in Oregon that reduce greenhouse gas emissions have another opportunity in 2024 to get a funding boost from the federal Carbon Reduction Program.

About $12 million is available in 2024 for eligible projects in small urban and rural areas of Oregon with populations of 200,000 people or less.

The application window runs March 1 - May 31. Eligible applicants are counties, cities, tribal governments, and local and state transportation agencies.

A full list of 2023's awarded projects can be viewed here.

Visit ODOT's Carbon Reduction Program webpage to learn more about the program and how to apply for funding. For questions, please contact Climate Program Coordinator Rye Baerg at 503-798-0589.

Now Open: Applications for Oregon DEQ 2024 Diesel Emissions Mitigation Grants Program

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is providing approximately $8 million in grant funding for diesel equipment owners to replace older and more polluting diesel engines with new, cleaner technologies and exhaust control retrofits. The Diesel Emissions Mitigation Grants Program is designed to help address health and environmental impacts from diesel emissions in Oregon.

Business, government, and tribal diesel equipment owners across the state are invited to apply for funding for projects that reduce diesel emissions. Visit the DEQ Diesel Emissions Mitigation Grants program web page to:

Owners of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles requiring retrofits under DEQ’s Diesel Retrofit Compliance Program may also apply for funding to support the installation of diesel particulate filters. In addition, non-road equipment and fleet owners (i.e., those with diesel-powered machinery or vehicles involved in construction), may also be interested in applying for a diesel emissions grant. If the project is awarded funding, it will improve the emissions profile for pursuing certification under DEQ’s upcoming Diesel Emissions Identification Program.

Deadline: Submissions must be received by DEQ no later than 5 p.m., Thursday, May 30, 2024.

For more information on Diesel Emissions Mitigation Grants, please contact Gerik Kransky, DEQ program manager.


New FHWA Unmanned Aerial Systems TechBriefs Now Available

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently published a series of new Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) TechBriefs.

The technical topics range from general information to mission specific operations, such as retaining wall inspections. These new publications, along with the existing publications in the library, can help with the foundational knowledge needed to build or expand a UAS program.

Please visit the FHWA USA TechBrief Library page to view the new TechBriefs and learn more.

Join NACE 2024 in Palm Springs, April 15-18

Join your colleagues nationwide at the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) Conference and Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., April 15-18!

Registration is now open. Early-bird discount on all delegate registrations ends March 8, 2024.

OACES hopes to have a strong Oregon delegation attending NACE this year. If you or your county need financial support to attend, you are encouraged to apply or nominate fellow OACES members for the Education & Leadership Scholarship Program.

Mark Your Calendar: NACS Annual Meeting, Regional Survey Conference, March 23-26

The National Association of County Surveyors (NACS) will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the Western Regional Survey Conference, which will be held in Las Vegas, March 23-26.

The annual meeting is scheduled for March 25. Both the conference and meeting will be held at the Horseshoe Las Vegas.

You can learn more about this year's meeting and conference by visiting NACS's conference website. There, you will find a list of speakers, a preliminary agenda, and information about registration and lodging.

If you have questions regarding the conference, please email [email protected] or call 888-994-3510.

If you or your county need financial support to attend, you are encouraged to apply or nominate fellow OACES members for the Education & Leadership Scholarship Program.

Save the Date: Northwest Transportation Conference, March 4-6

Save the date for the biennial Northwest Transportation Conference, which will be held in Corvallis, March 4-6.

Since its inception in 1949, the Northwest Transportation Conference has served as a forum for engineers, designers, builders, operators, planners, and other transportation professionals.

More details, including the conference agenda, as as well as lodging and registration information can be found on the Northwest Transportation Conference website.

If you have questions about the upcoming conference, please contact conference chairs, David Hurwitz, Oregon State University, or Matthew Mabey, ODOT.

ELC to Hold Wetland Delineation Workshop March 18-21

Clackamas Community College's Environmental Learning Center (ELC) will host its annual Wetland Delineation workshop March 18-21.

This workshop will introduce the science and protocol of wetland delineation. The intended audience includes environmental professionals who work with wetlands, streams, and watershed management. Participants will learn about standard methodology, data sources, wetland indicators and regulations, as well as the practical components of an onsite inspection.

The workshop has both a lecture and field practicum component, and participants may choose to take part in the full four-day workshop or just complete the field practicum, which is scheduled for the final day of the workshop. Registration is now open.

  • When:
  • Lecture/Classroom: March 18-20, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Field Practicum: March 21, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Where:
  • Lecture/Classroom: Environmental Learning Center (Oregon City campus)
  • Field Practicum: Three Creeks Natural Area (adjacent to Harmony campus)

You can find more information about this year's Wetland Delineation workshop, by visiting the ELC's professional development page. If you have questions, please contact Leanne Wells at 503-594-3015.

County Engineering, Road Department, and Surveyor Jobs

The AOC job posting page provides counties and other government organizations with a platform to advertise job opportunities while also providing a resource for job seekers looking for a new challenge.

Current engineering, road department, and surveyor postings include:

Find out more specifics for each position and how to apply on the AOC jobs postings page. If you have an open job listing to post for your county, please contact [email protected].

In The News

Newsletters of Interest:

County Road Program Director

Legislative Director

Transportation Policy Analyst

Malea Stockton

Member Services and Education Coordinator

Robert Yde

IT Trainer and Communications Coordinator

IRIS Support