Justice System Improvement Program
Building a Justice System for the Future
Treatment and accountability to transform lives, ensure safety, and strengthen community
Mar. 1, 2022
Commissioners discuss updates to indoor mask order and adopt Resolution of Necessity
During today’s Board meeting, the Board adopted Resolution of Necessity R2022-001. The resolution allows the Board to declare it necessary and in the best interest of the public to acquire the McFadden Ranch, LLC, site adjacent to Hewlett-Packard in north Corvallis, for the purpose of locating justice system facilities. The Board agreed that this is the best possible location after a 20-month process to determine a site that provides the greatest public benefit and causes the least private injury to residents.
This is the first official step in a lengthy process that could span 18 months or more. Neither the Board’s adoption of the Resolution of Necessity, nor proceeding with eminent domain, prevents the County from negotiating a purchase of the property with the owner. The County sincerely hopes to negotiate an amicable agreement with the owner prior to a jury decision, and views the opportunity for ongoing negotiation as an advantage of the eminent domain process. Learn more.
Feb. 25, 2022
Board of Commissioners pursue next steps for the Justice System Improvement Program
Following a thorough 20-month search to identify the best property within Corvallis for new justice system facilities, the Benton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on January 21, 2022 in favor of the McFadden Ranch site adjacent to Hewlett-Packard in north Corvallis. Site selection included a methodical evaluation of 40 different possible properties in the Corvallis area. For several months leading up to the Board’s decision, the County negotiated with a representative of McFadden Ranch, LLC, to purchase approximately 28 acres of the 85-acre site. The objective of the negotiations, which began in September 2021, was to reach a negotiated purchase of the property. Unfortunately, Benton County was not able to reach an agreement with the property owner.
While both the County and the property owner were sincere in their efforts to reach a negotiated purchase – which remains the preferred outcome by both parties to date – the County eventually contemplated the use of eminent domain. Use of eminent domain was specific to the north Corvallis site and depended on two outcomes: 1) the Board of Commissioners selecting McFadden Ranch as the preferred campus site for Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP) facilities; and 2) if negotiations to purchase the site faltered. Driving both the Board’s January site-selection decision and ongoing negotiations, or the possible use of eminent domain, is the JSIP timeline and its May 2023 bond measure. The Board was compelled to identify the most compatible site, with the greatest public benefit and causing the least private injury, by the end of January 2022. As such, the County adopted a two-prong strategy in advance of the January 2022 deadline; negotiating in good faith with a strong desire to enter into a negotiated purchase agreement, while also preparing for the possible use of eminent domain. Learn more.
Jan. 21, 2022
Commissioners make final site selection decision for proposed Justice System Improvement Program facilities
The Benton County Board of Commissioners met this morning for discussion and to reach a decision between two proposed sites for Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP) facilities. The meeting was well attended by the public, who were invited to comment in advance of a decision.
The two sites under consideration for JSIP facilities included a site in west Corvallis on Reservoir Road, and a site in north Corvallis next to the Hewlett-Packard campus. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the north site and directed staff to continue pursuing the property. Learn more.
Commissioners poised to make final site selection decision for proposed Justice System Improvement Program facilities
The Benton County Board of Commissioners will meet several times the week of January 17 to begin deliberations and make a final site selection decision for proposed Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP) facilities. A preliminary discussion is scheduled for Tuesday, January 18, as part of the commissioners’ regular Board meeting, followed by virtual public meeting on Thursday, January 20, at 5:30 p.m. to review site selection options. On Friday, January 21, a special Board meeting is scheduled for the commissioners to make a final decision.
Although public comment is available at Board meetings, time restrictions may be imposed. Individual comment may be limited to three minutes. Board meeting links and materials will be made available at: https://bit.ly/BentonCoGov-2022BoardMeetings.
The two sites under consideration for JSIP facilities include a site in west Corvallis on Reservoir Road, and a site in north Corvallis next to the Hewlett-Packard campus. The County has secured a letter of intent with the owner of the west site, and negotiations continue with a representative of McFadden Ranch, LLC., for purchase of the north site. The Board had additionally considered a site in south Corvallis, but dismissed the site in late November, with the option to revisit it if neither the west nor north Corvallis sites work out. Learn more.
Decision for proposed justice facilities at west site to occur in January 2022
The site selection decision for proposed justice system facilities at the west site in Corvallis is now slated for January 2022 as commissioners and program staff continue to explore all available options.
After voting last week to allow the letter of intent for the south site to expire, the Board of Commissioners is currently considering the two remaining proposed suburban sites in west and north Corvallis. The County currently has a letter of intent to purchase the west site property in Corvallis for the creation of a justice system campus, and is in negotiation on a property in north Corvallis next to Hewlett-Packard. If neither the north nor west sites come to fruition, the County has not ruled out the possibility of reconsidering the south site, should it remain available for purchase. Learn more.
Questions and Answers from October 13 Virtual Community Meeting
2021 Public Involvement Report
Thank you for joining us and providing your feedback and ideas during our first round of public engagement between July-October 2021. Please see our Public Involvement Report and the Report Appendix for a full summary of 2021 public engagement.
The community wants a modern justice system that builds trust, provides safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment to help people rejoin the community as productive neighbors, parents, and family members.
Currently, old and overcrowded buildings are impacting the way justice happens in Benton County. This proposal for new facilities was developed through collaboration with a wide range of interests:
- Crisis Center: A treatment-centered alternative to incarceration or the emergency room that provides stabilization for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis, along with referrals and supports for ongoing mental health services. Treatment helps address the underlying problem.
- Courthouse: An accessible, safe, and secure building built for the 21st century. The Historic Courthouse will be preserved for future community use. All community members need fair and equitable access.
- Corrections Facility: With adequate space, room for expansion, and opportunity for rehabilitation programs, this facility will serve the County for the next 40 years. Victims and the public deserve to know dangerous offenders will be kept off the street.
- Sheriff and Emergency Operations: Providing the space, technology, and ability to collaborate both in crisis and everyday will make law enforcement more effective. Modern facilities assist first responders in saving lives.
Connecting with our community
Benton County is working hard to learn from our community by listening to ideas, concerns and opportunities in order to craft a final proposal that has wide support. Through small group meetings, speaking engagements, one-to-one conversations, and large online meetings, we want to reach as many people as possible in 2021. To learn more about our public outreach efforts, take a look at our Public Involvement Plan.