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Officials hear from Alsea residents at Government Corner

Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall, Benton County Commissioner Xan Augerot, Lincoln County Commissioner Casey Miller, and Senator Dick Anderson meet with residents of Alsea.

Alsea residents showed up to be heard by local elected officials on March 16 at the Alsea Community Library, where county and state officials gathered with around 40 locals to emphasize the importance of community participation in shaping the area’s future.

The event, called Government Corner, saw the likes of Benton County Commissioner Xan Augerot, Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall, and State Senator Dick Anderson, among others, engaging with residents. 

One focus of the event was to encourage Alsea citizens to take an active role in the Alsea Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), a platform designed to amplify local voices on county-level decisions.

Commissioner Augerot emphasized the significance, particularly as Benton County gears up to revise its Comprehensive Plan, a blueprint for future development. Augerot stressed that the best way for Alsea’s concerns to be reflected in the plan is through active participation in the CAC, which is slated to meet in April.

The committee, composed of five voting members and two alternates living in or owning property in Alsea, currently has vacancies. New members will be elected during upcoming meetings, offering community members a direct channel to influence land use policies.

“Community involvement is key,” Augerot said, acknowledging the diverse perspectives within Alsea. “While not every issue may be resolved, progress can be made through collaboration.”

One pressing issue for Alsea residents is the impact of land use restrictions on community growth. Limited housing options, property prices, and commercial development have underscored the need for comprehensive planning.

State Senator Anderson echoed these concerns, highlighting the balance between addressing housing shortages and preserving rural landscapes. He emphasized the importance of presenting unified community requests to policymakers, emphasizing Alsea’s specific needs.

Beyond land use, residents raised a spectrum of concerns, from healthcare access to wildfire prevention and criminal justice reform. Representatives assured attendees of ongoing efforts to secure federal funding for critical services like the Alsea Health Clinic.

In a positive development, federal funding secured by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley will facilitate improvements to the Alsea Sewer District, providing much-needed infrastructure upgrades.

Sheriff Van Arsdall also highlighted funding for improved first responder communications that will support rural fire departments. As the meeting ended, residents expressed gratitude for law enforcement’s dedication and voiced optimism for the future of Alsea under collaborative County leadership.

To learn more about Citizen Advisory Committees, please email

Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please call Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or email

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