Neighborhood grants

The story: The city of Corvallis for the first time since 2012 offered neighborhood empowerment grants to community groups and neighborhood associations last year. A total of $5,000 was distributed to seven applicants, mainly in awards of $500 to $1,000.

The latest: The program is back this year, with the same total, $5,000, up for grabs. The city is hosting a grant workshop from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday for those interested in applying. The workshop is at the Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center at 128 SW Ninth St. Applications will be accepted from Feb. 1 to March 1, with grant packets available at The Corvallis Community Involvement and Diversity Advisory Board will review the applications and award the grants later in the spring. For more information call housing and neighborhoods coordinator Tracy Oulman or call 541-766-6552.

James Day

Land Annexations

The story: The city of Corvallis has forwarded annexation requests to the voters since passing a ballot measure in 1976. In 2016 Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed SB 1573, a measure that would limit voter-approved land additions. Corvallis, along with Philomath and the League of Cities, challenged the law in court, claiming that SB 1573 violated the “home rule” aspect of the city charter. Although the issue remains before the Court of Appeals, an effort to freeze or “stay” implementation of the new law was rejected by Benton County Circuit Court Judge Locke Williams.

The latest: The City Council will hold a public hearing on the issue at 6 p.m. Feb. 5. Options include continuing to submit annexations to the voters, only submitting to the voters annexations in which the applicant has agreed in writing to do so, and having the council make the final decision on annexations pending the outcome of the court challenge. Councilors also will hold deliberations on the Caldwell Farms, Marys and Samaritan Health Services annexation proposals. Because of high interest in the topic the meeting has been moved from the downtown fire station to the LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University, 875 SW 26th Street. The council packet for public hearing on council options is already on the city website (see this story at for the full 84-page text).

James Day

Shelter volunteering

The story: The men’s cold weather shelter is in its first year of operations at the remodeled Hanson Tire Factory location on Southeast Chapman Place after four years at a site on Southwest Fourth Street. “The Corvallis men’s shelter has worked very well this year,” said program manager Shawn Collins, “thanks to the efforts of our staff, community volunteers and generous support from donors.”

The latest: The shelter still is seeking volunteers to assist with shelter operations in February and March, said Roz Keeney, volunteer coordinator. Those wishing to participate can sign up at this link: For more information email The shelter also is seeking material and cash donations. A list of currently needed supplies is available at

James Day

Contact reporter James Day at or 541-758-9542. Follow at or