Marion County Board of Commissioners took to the road last week to hear updates on northern Marion County stakeholders

LINDSAY KEEFER - (From left) Marion County Commissioners Janet Carlson, Sam Brentano and Kevin Cameron held their weekly board session in Hubbard City Hall last Wednesday, where they heard from northern Marion County stakeholders.Taking a break from its regular board session location, the Marion County Board of Commissioners took to the road last week, holding its April 12 meeting at Hubbard City Hall, where it heard from several stakeholders from northern Marion County.

The 9 a.m. meeting opened with public comment, during which time the mayors of Aurora and Donald respectively shared updates on their cities and activities.

This was followed by scheduled presentations from Hubbard City Council President Angie Wheatcroft, Marion County Sheriff's Office enforcement director Eric Hlad (on behalf of Gerry Adcock, MCSO lieutenant currently serving as interim police chief of Hubbard), North Marion Community Library Association treasurer Josie Hyde, Marion E. Carl Veterans Memorial secretary Linda Kleczynski, City of Hubbard emergency planning coordinator Melinda Olinger, North Marion School District Superintendent Boyd Keyser and Ulven Companies owner Dan Ulven.

Wheatcroft spoke about the city's focus on business retention and attracting new businesses by partnering with SEDCOR, a nonprofit association that works with the public and private sector to bring jobs to the region.

Hyde spoke about the three-year-old library association. Currently housed in the basement of Aurora Presbyterian Church, the library has acquired 501(c)3 status, has more than 10,000 books and has issued more than 500 library cards. The organization, which potentially could expand into a larger space and join a neighboring library system, is 100 percent volunteer-run.

Kleczynski shared how the veterans memorial, conceived and brought to fruition through the Hubbard Parks Improvement Committee, acquired its own nonprofit status in 2016, and was funded entirely by donations.

Olinger, who works in the city's public works department, shared how she is training for emergency preparedness and is getting city staff trained in the event of a disaster. She highlighted the need to educate the public on using the Everbridge system, which allows citizens to sign up to receive notifications from the 911 dispatch center in an emergency. During a major event nearly 18 months ago, she said only about 10 percent of city residents were signed up.

In his presentation on the school district, Keyser shared budget woes facing school districts, as well as the district's plans for expansion, having recently acquired neighboring properties on which to eventually develop athletic fields and parking lots. He invited the commissioners to a May 10 open house, from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m., which will feature a school design "sneak preview" that will share plans for expanding the district, should a $42.2 million bond be approved by voters in the November election.

At the close of the presentations, Sam Brentano, board of commissioners chairman, said, "This has given us a good picture of a vibrant community."

Lindsay Keefer covers the small cities of northern Marion County. She can be reached at 503-765-1193 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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