Community Vision & Strategic Plan
Marion County, Oregon

Marion County experienced a decline of economic activity starting in the 1990s due to external impacts on the timber industry. 2020 brought new challenges, first the Coronavirus pandemic, and then infamous Oregon fires that decimated the area. Marion County hired Better City to conduct Community Visioning and create separate Strategic Plans for the heavily impacted cities of Gates and Detroit.

The City of Detroit is resilient. It has adapted through several economic shocks including the historic Santiam Fire, ice storms and heavy snow pack, and legislative-driven impacts to the timber industry that drives the economy. The goal of the study in Detroit is to determine how to execute the vision plan the community leaders and residents have. Additionally, it will identify strategies for recovery from the short term to the long term. 

Gates, Oregon started as a prosperous timber community in the northwestern part of Marion County. Along with Detroit, it was severely impacted by the Santiam Fire in 2020. The strategic plan will focus on recovery efforts in the community and how to address recommendations in the coming years.