Government: Benton County Expands Housing Grant to Linn County, Seeks Public Input on West Hills Road Project

Benton Moves Low Income Housing Funds to Linn County: The Benton County Board of Commissioners has agreed to expand its housing grant funds to include Linn County. The dollars are targeted towards low-income housing. At their April 18 meeting the commissioners voted to extend the Community Development Block Housing Grant funding to serve a broader area and cover Linn County.  

There is currently $250,000 set aside for Benton County, which county officials do not think would be used in its entirety if it was solely used by Benton County alone, so it was suggested to expand the grant to our neighboring county.  

The motion stated the need to expand the program to include Linn County in order to maximize the use of resources but ensure there is always a priority to residents in Benton County who apply.  

The county has been working with DevNW, an organization that works through government grants, public support, and rental income, to renovate and build low-income Housing for families and individuals. 

According to DevNW, it is believed Benton County will not be able to spend the full amount of the grant. Sequioa Consulting suggested potentially expanding the grant into Linn County; DevNW is now considering this option with the support of Benton County.  

Commissioner Xan Augerot motioned to expand the grant, Nancy Wyse seconded the motion, Pat Malone voted to approve. 

SW West Hills Road: The City of Corvallis is seeking public feedback from the public for a project on SW West Hills Road from SW 53rd Street to Western Boulevard. The city has issued a public survey that will be open until May 5.  

West Hills Road has some unique constraints that challenge installation of standard road improvements; therefore, the City and County are partnering to identify what the future urban section will look like as development occurs along the corridor, according to release from the city.  

This section of West Hills Road is currently owned and maintained by Benton County but is anticipated to get transferred to the City of Corvallis. At this time neither the county nor the city have secured funding for construction. 

In the release from the city, both city and county staff are incorporating a robust public engagement process to inform plan development. Find more information about the corridor plan here. Here is a link to our online survey 

Proclamation: Benton County Commissioners have proclaimed the week of April 23- 29 as Crime Victims’ Rights Week. At the April 18 meeting the proclamation was read to commissioners in cooperation with the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to raise awareness about victims’ rights and services. 

The proclamation read, “Americans are the victims of 20 million crimes each year that affect individuals and communities, and in 2022 in Benton County, the District Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Program assisted 2,306 crime victims by providing 40,911 services.” 

This was on the agenda with a slew of other proclamations that will be recognized throughout April and May.  

By Jennifer Williams  

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