Senator Merkley’s staff to tour Emergency Operations Center

Sheriff patrol vehicle and Corvallis Police Department vehicles parked in front of the Law Enforcement Center at 180 NW 5th Street, Corvallis.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Senator Jeff Merkley’s senior staff members will meet with the Benton County Board of Commissioners, Sheriff, and emergency management staff to tour the current location of Benton County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. Currently housed in the Sheriff’s Office, the County’s primary EOC will be relocated to support both training and emergency operations activities.

Over the past year, elected officials and County staff worked with state and federal legislators to raise funds for a new emergency operations center. Senator Merkley worked to allocate $1.0 million in the Fiscal Year 22 Appropriations Bill in the U.S. Congress. The $1.0 million allocated directly from the U.S. Congress is authorized through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Under this Act, the federal contribution must represent no more than 75% ($1,000,000) of the total activity cost, which will require the County to contribute $333,333 to receive the total federal funding award. Total funding currently committed for a new EOC is $1,333,333.

Currently, the County does not have an EOC that is sufficient in size to serve the County’s needs. When the EOC was activated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Labor Day Wildfires, the County utilized four different facilities, moving three times. With the ongoing impacts of natural disasters, the need for an adequate facility is more prevalent than ever before.

The proposed EOC is approximately 8,000 square feet and can be either a standalone facility or integrated into a new law enforcement building. When not being used for emergency operations, it can be used for training or meeting purposes by the County, other municipalities, or the public. The proposed EOC will include various sized/configurable meeting spaces, restroom facilities, kitchen, and support service space.

WHAT: Emergency Operations Center building tour

WHO: Michael Zamore, Chief of Staff and Stacey Jochimsen, Outreach Director for Senator Merkley will join the Benton County commissioners, Sheriff and key project staff. Benton County elected officials and emergency management staff will first meet with Zamore and Jochimsen at the County’s 5th Street building at 205 NW 5th Street, Corvallis – then offer a tour of the current Emergency Operations Center in the Law Enforcement Center located at 180 NW 5th Street, Corvallis.

               Available for interview:

  • Nancy Wyse, Chair
  • Pat Malone, Vice Chair
  • Xan Augerot, Commissioner
  • Jef Van Arsdall, Sheriff
  • Joe Kerby, County Administrator
  • Bryan Lee, Emergency Services Manager
  • Nick Kurth, Justice System Improvement Program Manager

WHEN: Tuesday, March 29, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

WHERE: 205 NW 5th Street, Corvallis, OR 97330 – Large meeting room

RSVP: Members of the media that wish to attend Tuesday’s event must RSVP no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 28. Contact Benton County communications coordinator, JonnaVe Stokes, at jonnave.stokes@co.benton.or.us or 541-766-6852.

Benton County Board of Commissioners' meeting information is available at: https://bit.ly/BentonCoGov-2022BoardMeetings.