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January 2017

Region360 is the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments’ (OCWCOG) monthly newsletter, bringing you a snapshot of what is happening at OCWCOG, and around Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties. OCWCOG is your regional Economic Development, Transportation, Senior and Disabled Services, and Planning agency. I encourage you to submit news and event information to share. Every two months we will publish regional data on the programs we manage that serve your communities. Your OCWCOG Board of Directors and Staff will continue to work with – and for you – to make 2017 a great year.

Fred Abousleman

Executive Director

Your Board of Directors and Senior Staff
Board of Directors Roster
Lydia George, Deputy Director
Sue Forty, Finance Director     Dave Toler, Senior and Disability Services
Phil Warnock, Community and Economic
Development (and Transportation Services)

Click on a link below to jump directly to one of our updates.
Member      Partner      Senior and Disability Services
Community and Development Development      Transportation

Regional News     News of Interest     Tech Tip

Member Updates
OCWCOG welcomes all the newly elected Commissioners, Mayors, and Councilors across our Region. We look forward to working with you this year.
Congratulations to Benton County Commissioner and OCWCOG Executive Committee Member Anne Schuster for being recognized as Corvallis’ First Citizen, at the 69th Annual Celebrate Corvallis event. This award is given annually to an individual for making a broad and substantial impact in the community, as well as recognizing an individual’s leadership in promoting non-profit causes and organizations. Former OCWCOG Board Member and Benton County Commissioner Jay Dixon was recognized with the Jim and Ruth Howland Special Achievement Award for his life-long service, at the same event, sponsored by the Corvallis Chamber of Corvallis.

Congratulations to Lincoln County Commissioner and OCWCOG Executive Committee Member Bill Hall for being named as the President of the Association of Oregon Counties. Commissioner Hall is the third Lincoln County Commissioner to serve in this role since the launch of the organization in 1906. His Presidential Acceptance Speech can be viewed here:  

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Partner Updates
Thinker Tinker Trailer - OCWCOG partnered with the United Way of Benton and Lincoln, and the Oregon State University’s College of Business to create the Thinker Tinker Trailer Program. The Trailer is a unique project aimed at breaking the cycles of poverty in rural Oregon communities. OCWCOG has submitted a funding proposal to the National Science Foundation, as well as other sources to expand this project. For more information, click HERE.
OCWCOG Senior and Disability Services Updates
Senior Meals and Meals on Wheels - Between July and November 2016, the Senior Meals and Meals on Wheels Staff have served 78,949 meals to seniors and individuals with a disability across our Region. The need for the Meals on Wheels program continues to grow, as does the need for additional resources and volunteers. If you are interested in donating or volunteering, please visit

OCWCOG Community and Economic Development Updates
Alsea Falls Recreational Area - OCWCOG, in partnership with Benton County and the Bureau of Lands Management, has been approved for funding from the Oregon Federal Lands Access Program to complete a planning study for future infrastructure improvements to the Alsea Falls Recreational Area. As the planning project gets underway, additional details will be made available.

Economic Resiliency Planning and Grant - The Community Service Center at the University of Oregon submitted a Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant application to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management on behalf of the Cascades West Economic Development District (CWEDD) and other local and regional partners. The application focuses on enhancing, integrating, and leveraging local hazard mitigation and economic development planning activities to strengthen the recovery of businesses in the event of a disaster.
Lincoln County Brownfields Inventory Update - OCWCOG completed an initial inventory of brownfields, which identified 127 properties in Lincoln County. In partnerships with the Cities of Newport and Toledo, Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, and Lincoln County, OCWCOG submitted a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Fiscal Year 2017 Community-Wide Assessment Brownfield Grant Application for work impacting the Yaquina watershed. For more information on this grant or inventory of brownfields, contact Seth Sherry at

OCWCOG Transportation Updates
Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) - The Cascades West Area Commission on Transportation (CWACT) and staff from the ODOT hosted an Open House during which members of the public provided comment on the (draft) slate of infrastructure projects to be funded by the 2018-2021 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). To learn more about the STIP or for more information, visit

Safe Routes to School - OCWCOG received funding, through October 2019, for a Safe Routes to School grant from the ODOT’s Transportation Safety Division in Albany, Harrisburg, Jefferson, Lebanon, and Sweet Home. The projects are developed in collaboration with the participating schools and
communities, and will include bike and pedestrian safety education, coalition-building, and strategic planning. 

Park and Ride Plan - OCWCOG started a two-year Park and Ride Plan that will support and advance Transportation Demand Management in Benton, Lincoln, and Linn Counties, and foster a multi-modal transportation system, connecting communities and
local/regional transit. For more information, visit

Pedal Corvallis - In partnership with the InterCommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization, which is the region’s Medicaid provider, OCWCOG and several community partners continue to promote Pedal Corvallis, a community bikeshare program. As of six months after the launch, the program has 90 active members, and 206 all-time members, who have taken a combined 1,048 bikeshare trips. About 1/3 of participants are Medicaid members. For more information, visit or click HERE to see a video about Pedal Corvallis

Drive Less Connect - For the period from October 1 to December 15, a total of 124 people joined the Drive Less Connect database for Benton, Lincoln, and Linn Counties. Overall during that period, members logged 308,429 non-drive-alone miles, including 6,189 bike trips, 1,378 bus trips, 3,710 carpool trips, 1,486 vanpool trips, and 2,155 walking trips. This resulted in an estimated CO2 reduction of 250,644 pounds, as well as 12,501 gallons of gas saved, and $95,582 saved by participants over driving alone. For more information, visit

Regional News
Building a better mid-valley economy, The Albany Democrat-Herald
Future Plans for Yaquina Head, Oregon Coast Daily News
NuScale First To Submit SMR Nuclear Application to NRC, Forbes
Oregon RAIN consortium... taps new executive director, The Register-Guard
Think Too Much: Partisan lines blue at county lines, The Albany Democrat-Herald
Top takeaways from Gov. Kate Brown's $20.8 billion budget proposal, The Oregonian

News of Interest
Midsize Cities Are Entrepreneurship's Real Test, Harvard Business Review
Tillamook County Creamery Association gives... facility at OSU, OSU Extension Service

Tech Tip
Don't be a victim of ransomeware!. Ransomeware can shut your IT systems down and cost you thousands of dollars. Hackers will lock your system and demand payment to get your files back. Here are some useful tips to avoid ransomware: preventing-ransomware

You can also work with the OCWCOG Technology Services department to help manage, secure, and back-up your systems. Contact Brian Chytka,, for more information.


Job Opportunities at OCWCOG

Customer Service Representative, Albany

GIS Analyst / Planner, Albany

Licensing and Monitoring Specialist, Albany

For more information:

Internship Opportunities at OCWCOG

College Students can Propose or Apply for an Internship, Albany

For more information:


Upcoming Events

January 31st
Free Medicare Class
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

February 17th
Free Medicare Class
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

For a list of all events:
The Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments (OCWCOG), on behalf of the member governments, carries out a variety of local, state, and federal programs. The majority of funding is provided by way of contracts to administer specific services. As an Oregon intergovernmental entity, OCWCOG can provide for, or on behalf of, its member governments any service that they are authorized to provide. Whether it is helping a business find appropriate capital, helping seniors and persons with disabilities plan for independent living, or coordinating local roads improvement priorities, OCWCOG offers these and many other innovative services to the local governments and residents of Benton, Lincoln, and Linn Counties. For more information, visit

OCWCOG's members are the Counties of Benton, Lincoln, and Linn; the Cities: Adair Village, Albany, Brownsville, Corvallis, Depoe Bay, Halsey, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Lincoln City, Millersburg, Monroe, Newport, Philomath, Scio, Siletz, Sweet Home, Tangent, Toledo, Waldport, and Yachats; the Confederated Tribes of Siletz; and the Port of Newport.
Copyright © 2017 Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments, All rights reserved.

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