Willamette Valley Cities, Counties To Consider 'Compact'

Dec 12, 2011

SALEM, Ore. - Local governments in Oregon's Willamette Valley have made various attempts at regional collaboration in the past few decades. Now, a group is trying to create a more formal relationship. City and county officials meet in Salem Monday to discuss a possible compact to band together on key issues.

The Willamette Valley stretches from Portland south to Eugene. It includes the state capitol and is known for its diverse agriculture. Some two-thirds of Oregon's population lives in the valley.

Advocates of this proposed compact say the agreement would facilitate better regional cooperation on a range of issues including the environment, transportation and economic development.

Roger Hamilton is with The Resource Innovation Group. The consulting non-profit is affiliated with Willamette University and is facilitating the meeting.

"The focus is not on any particular specific issue that might be controversial," Hamilton says. "The focus is on what we call 'regional resilience,' which is simply planning for the future in a coordinated way."

Hamilton says a compact would also put the region's cities and towns in a better position to win federal grants.

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