OACES Newsletter for Dec. 19, 2023


Upcoming OACES Meetings:

  • OACES Virtual Meeting - Jan. 25
  • OACES Virtual Meeting - Feb. 22
  • OACES Virtual Meeting - March 28
View the 2024 OACES Meeting Schedule

Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year!

As 2023 comes to a close, and we prepare for a new year, we wanted to take a moment to

wish you and your family a warm season's greetings. The end of the year is a natural time for reflection, and we would like to thank you for all that you do for your county, as well as the support and guidance that you extend to your fellow OACES members.

Looking toward next year, we now have 2024 meeting dates posted to our OACES Conference & Meeting page. Meeting agendas and materials will be posted closer to the event dates. Additionally, we will be transitioning counties from IRIS v9 to IRIS v10 throughout 2024. You can learn more about our timeline and onboarding process in the current edition of The IRIS Update.

We look forward to seeing you in 2024 and wish you a safe and joyful holiday season!

OACES Welcomes Malea Stockton as Member Services and Education Coordinator

The Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) and OACES are excited to announce the addition of Malea Stockton, who joined the team Dec. 1 in the newly created role of Member Services and Education Coordinator.

Malea will be taking over OACES event planning and management, as well as the business partner programs, from Joann Hendrix, who is retiring at the end of the month after 30 years of dedicated service to AOC.

Additionally, with Joann's retirement, AOC has realigned a few OACES administrative duties across existing staff. Here are the existing and new OACES staff assignments for your reference:

  • Brian Worley, OACES Executive (Leadership, Budget, Agenda, Elections, Bylaws)
  • Malea Stockton, OACES Events (Conferences, Meetings, Partner and Sponsor Programs)
  • Jan Schindel, OACES Admin (Agendas, Minutes, OACES Directory, Dues Invoices)
  • Sara Gamaney, OACES Board Travel (Registration, Hotel, Flights)
  • Robert Yde, OACES Communications (Newsletter, Website, IRIS)
  • Jordan Cole, OACES Policy (Research, Committees, Revenue Forecasting, Discussion List, Surveys)

If you have questions about OACES staff responsibilities, please contact AOC County Road Program Director Brian Worley.

Oregon's Higher Courts End Recreational Immunity for Improved Trails

Until recently, Oregon’s recreational immunity provided liability protection to landowners who open their property for recreational activities, shielding them from certain lawsuits and claims related to injuries or accidents that occur on their land.

However, on July 6, 2023, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued an opinion effectively ending recreational immunity for improved trails. As a result of this decision, public and private landowners of improved trails are no longer protected from lawsuits.

The decision is the result of Fields v. City of Newport, a lawsuit initiated by Nicole Fields in 2022. Fields was walking with her friend and their dogs on the beach. She walked away from the beach on an improved trail that was owned and maintained by the city of Newport. Fields came to a wooden footbridge that was wet, where she slipped and fell, which led to litigation against the city.

Fields’ lawsuit alleged the city was negligent in maintaining the bridge and not putting up warning signs. Newport responded that it was immune from the suit because Fields was using the Ocean to Bay Trail for a recreational purpose, walking with a friend and their dogs while they talked and socialized.

While the trial court agreed with Newport, the Oregon Court of Appeals determined that Fields was not using the trail for recreation, which led to the case being overturned.

If you would like to learn more about this case and how it may affect recreational opportunities for Oregonians, download the full CIS article here.

Oregon Ranks 4th in U.S. for Climate-Focused Transportation Policies, Funding

Oregon is ranked fourth in the nation for transportation policies and funding that improve equity, public health, and climate change outcomes, according to a report published recently by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The report assessed states on several metrics to create a final scorecard ranking out of 100 possible points. The metrics included state planning for climate and equity, vehicle electrification, expansion of transportation choices, system maintenance, and procurement.

 View the full 50 state scorecard on page 10 of the report PDF.

The report’s authors cite the recent historic federal investments in transportation infrastructure for spurring their interest in state transportation policy and spending. In 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated $1.2 billion in additional transportation funding for Oregon over the next few years. About $800 million of that funding is directed to specific purposes.

The remaining $412 million is flexible funding. Last year the Oregon Transportation Commission directed the flexible funding be spent in ways that will make Oregon’s roads, streets, and walkways safer and easier to use.

To learn more about how Oregon is working to reduce emissions, visit the state's transportation emissions website For questions, contact Matt Noble at 503-779-9868.

USDOT Funding Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) regularly publishes Notice for Funding Opportunities (NOFO) as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

Technical assistance resources:

Please contact AOC County Road Program Director Brian Worley with any questions about USDOT grant funding opportunities.

New Handbook Will Help Local Governments Navigate Funding Opportunities to Reduce Emissions From Transportation

A new handbook, published by the Every Mile Counts partnership, which includes Oregon's 

Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), Department of Transportation (ODOT), and Department of Energy (DEQ), will help local governments navigate state and federal funding opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

The Every Mile Counts Funding Handbook for Local Governments provides information about the various resources available, including funding amounts, which federal or state agency is in charge, application deadlines, contact information, and resources for more information.

Thanks to recent historic investments from Congress to help the country transition to clean energy and tackle climate change, more than $369 billion in federal funds are now available. Many state funding opportunities are available, too.

For more information about the Every Mile Counts Funding Handbook for Local Governments, please contact Land Use and Transportation Planner Cody Meyer, DLCD, at 971-239-9475; or Senior Transportation Planner Brian Hurley, ODOT, at 503-986-4398.

Connect Oregon Grant Fund to Return January 2024

Connect Oregon's next competitive grant opportunity will be open from Jan. 11 to Feb. 29, 2024, with approximately $46 million available for eligible aviation, marine, and rail transportation projects.

To apply or learn more about the program, eligibility requirements, and application process, please visit the Connect Oregon webpage. Public, private, and nonprofit entities are eligible to apply.

Once the application window closes, several committees will review and rank submitted applications before presenting a final recommended project list to the Oregon Transportation Commission at it's November 2024 meeting.

Since launching in 2005, the Connect Oregon Grant Program has awarded $463 million to 221 projects over seven funding opportunities. To view a PDF of the complete list of funded projects in 2022, click here.

For more information, please contact Freight Program Manager John Boren at 503-951-0166. 

Grant Applications Available for Climate-Friendly, Equitable Communities Work

The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) is offering grants to cities and counties to help implement the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) program, which increases housing and transportation choices for Oregonians, while improving equity and reducing climate pollution.

Cities and counties can apply for assistance with:

  • Zoning and development code audits and amendments aimed at fostering walkability and meeting urban design standards
  • Parking reform and management
  • Market studies to refine locations and sizes for climate-friendly areas
  • Amending zoning maps and development regulations for climate-friendly areas
  • Equitable engagement, including work with disability consultants
  • Transportation system planning
  • Other CFEC-related work

No local match is required beyond staff time to participate in the project.

Cities and counties can use grants to reimburse local planning staff, contract with consultants through a local procurement process, or receive assistance from consultants through contracts managed by DLCD staff.

To pre-apply, send a paragraph describing your initial thoughts on the proposed work to DLCD.CFEC@dlcd.oregon.gov. While pre-applications are not mandatory, this will give DLCD staff an opportunity to help applicants prepare a full proposal.


DLCD Office Hours

DLCD staff will host virtual office hours to discuss the rules and associated program implementation Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 9 a.m. (Zoom Link)

For questions or to learn more, contact Land Use and Transportation Planner Cody Meyer at 971-239-9475 or Climate Mitigation Planner Evan Manvel at 971-375-5979.


Join NACE 2024 in Palm Springs, April 15-18

Join your colleagues nationwide at the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) Conference and Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., April 15-18!

Registration is now open. Early-bird discount on all delegate registrations ends March 8, 2024.

OACES hopes to have a strong Oregon delegation attending NACE this year. If you or your county need financial support to attend, you are encouraged to apply or nominate fellow OACES members for the Education & Leadership Scholarship Program.

Marion County Environmental Services to Offer CESCL, BMPs for Erosion Control Trainings in February

The Water Quality team at Marion County Environmental Services is excited to announce

upcoming training opportunities to enhance water quality practices for municipalities and commercial businesses.

Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead Training (CESCL)

This comprehensive, two-day course offers in-

person instruction, fieldwork opportunities, and

the CESCL certification test. Open to municipalities and commercial businesses.

Best Management Practices (BMP) for Erosion Control

This half-day training focuses on erosion control BMPs in rights-of-way and public infrastructure projects. Open to municipal operations workers.

If you have questions or would like additional information about either upcoming training, please contact Stephanie Rosentrater at srosentrater@co.marion.or.us.

County Engineering, Road Department, and Surveyor Jobs

The AOC job posting page provides counties and other government organizations with a platform to advertise job opportunities while also providing a resource for job seekers looking for a new challenge.

Current engineering, road department, and surveyor postings include:

Find out more specifics for each position and how to apply on the AOC jobs postings page. If you have an open job listing to post for your county, please contact jobs@oregoncounties.org.

Jackson County is Hiring Engineers!

Jackson County Roads, Engineering Division is recruiting for several engineering positions, including:

Please visit the Jackson County website for minimum requirements and additional information.

In The News

Newsletters of Interest:

County Road Program Director

Legislative Director

Transportation Policy Analyst

Malea Stockton

Member Services and Education Coordinator

Robert Yde

IT Trainer and Communications Coordinator

IRIS Support