City of Salem
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News Releases
City Creates Information Website for Salem Public Library Bond on November 2017 Ballot - 09/20/17

The City of Salem created an informational website for proposed Salem Public Library Bond Measure 24-423, which will be on the November 2017 ballot for Salem voters.

Please refer to for information about the proposed seismic retrofit, Americans with Disabilities Act, and safety improvements included in the $18.6 million bond measure.

Mission Street Closed Overnight on September 24 for Pavement Improvement Work - 09/20/17

Mission Street SE will be closed to through traffic between Commercial Street SE and Church Street SE from 8 p.m. on Sunday, September 24, 2017 through 6 a.m. on Monday, September 25, 2017 to allow for pavement improvement work at the intersections of Liberty Street SE and High Street SE. Liberty Street will be reduced to one lane of traffic at Mission Street. Detour routes will be in place during this paving operation.

Flaggers will be present at the intersection of Liberty Street SE to allow northbound Liberty Street traffic to pass through the intersection.

Travel delays through the area are expected during this work. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes.

Sewer Overflow to Willamette River - 09/19/17

On September 19, 2017 during repair of a valve actuator of the emergency bypass gate at North River Road Wet Weather Treatment Facility a malfunction caused 4000 gallons of untreated sewage to be discharged into the Willamette River. The spill started at 11:30 am and was stopped at 11:59 am.

Signs have been posted warning people to avoid contact with the water in Willamette River due to potentially high levels of bacteria. The signs will be removed once the bacteria levels return to normal.

DELAY in Lane Closures along River Road South and Closure of Bike/Pedestrian Path for Vegetation Control - 09/19/17

Update 9/19/2017
Due to weather, this work has been delayed until Tuesday Sept 26th and Wednesday Sept 27th.

River Road S between Owens Street SE and Minto Island Road SE will be reduced to one lane and controlled by flaggers on September 20 and September 21, 8:30 a.m. -- 4:30 p.m. This will allow for hillside vegetation control in an area that is prone to landslides. Motorists should expect delays.

Bicyclists and pedestrians will not have access to this section of River Road S or the nearby bike/walk path during this time and should consider using the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge as an alternate route.

Geotechnical studies found that the specific types of soils in this area are susceptible to fracturing by root growth. This root-related destabilization was identified as a contributing factor to the landslides in the area. This vegetation control is an effort to reduce the likelihood of future landslides.

Work is weather dependent and could be postponed due to wet weather conditions.

DEQ Investigating Possible Contamination of Glen Creek - 09/15/17

Signs have been posted along Glen Creek within the City of Salem warning people to avoid contact with the water due to possible contamination which occurred outside of the city limits.

DEQ is investigating a reported contamination of Glen Creek west of Salem that may have harmed fish downstream.

The signs will be removed once water samples determine that no contamination is present.

May 15, 2018 Primary Election Information Available - 09/14/17

You can now file to run for office in the City of Salem for the May 15, 2018, primary election.

City offices that are up for reelection in 2018 are:

* Mayor
* City Councilors for Wards 2, 4, 6, and 8
* Municipal Court Judge

If you are interested in running for any of these offices, you are encouraged to set up an appointment to review important filing deadlines, paperwork, and process questions with the City Recorder. To schedule an appointment, contact the City Recorder by calling 503-588-6097 or email

For critical deadlines, links to forms and other important rules and information please visit

City of Salem Floodplain Management Activities Nets Residents 25 Percent Discount on Flood Insurance Premiums - 09/06/17

Thanks to floodplain management activities by the City of Salem, nationwide increases to flood insurance rates will affect Salem residents less than other cities in Oregon. Set by the federal government, flood insurance rates are increasing in response to several recent flooding events around the country. Residents in Salem are eligible for a 25 percent reduction in their flood insurance premiums due to the City's efforts.

In late 2016, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, upgraded Salem from Class 6 to Class 5 in the National flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). The discount applies to NFIP policies issued on or after October 1, 2016 for properties in a Special Flood Hazard Area. This makes Salem the highest ranked city in Oregon for floodplain management activities and one of roughly 120 cities in the United States to achieve a Class 5 rating. The City has set a goal to achieve a Class 3 rating, which would result in further discounts for residents.

Some of the floodplain management and damage mitigation activities undertaken by the City include: providing one-on-one advice to residents regarding property protection, having higher regulatory standards, maintaining open space, managing storm water runoff, and having a flood warning and response program. Residents who would like to see floodplain management related documents can find them on the City's website: Additional information about flood insurance can be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website

Residents are encouraged to talk with an insurance agent to see how the federally set rate increases, as well as the 25 percent discount available to Salem residents, will impact their flood insurance premiums.

City of Salem Awarded $3 Million Grant to Upgrade System that Makes Electricity from Wastewater Gas - 09/05/17

Salem, Ore. -- The City of Salem was awarded a $3 million grant by Portland General Electric's Renewable Development Fund to update its innovative, and clean, power-generation system at the Willow Lake Wastewater Treatment Facility. The system, called a cogeneration facility, has powered a portion of the wastewater treatment facility for nearly 30 years by generating electricity from the wastewater treatment process. The grant will allow the City to upgrade the power generated from 650 kilowatts to 1.1 megawatts, enough to power 50 percent of the Willow Lake facility. Furthermore, the additional power from the facility will save the City of Salem $300,000 a year.

Specific upgrades include:
*Maximizing the ability to use available biogas to produce clean, reliable, and renewable energy
*Using waste heat generated by the cogeneration process to heat the water treatment facility which is currently heated using natural gas
*Reducing the City's reliance on non-renewable power sources
*Providing environmental and economic value to the community and the City's ratepayers
*Replacing the existing system, which is at the end of its useful life

The cogeneration system works by burning the biogas produced as a byproduct of wastewater treatment and using it to power a generator.

This project was made possible with support from PGE's Renewable Development Fund. Since 1999, customers of Portland General Electric have supported clean energy by participating in the utility's Green FutureSM power program. To date, PGE Green Future customers have helped fund more than 7.8 Megawatts of new renewable energy generation, with another 3 Megawatts under construction. To learn more about PGE's Renewable Development Fund, including how to apply for the next round of funding, please visit

"Our renewable power customers have really led the way on supporting renewable energy," said Josh Halley, Green Future program manager. "On behalf of our renewable power customers, we are extremely proud to support this project."

This project was also made possible by the Energy Trust of Oregon.

For more information about the project please visit the City's project page:


Life Jacket Station
Life Jacket Station
City of Salem Announces Life Jacket Loaner Program (Photo) - 08/29/17

SALEM -- The City of Salem announces a Life Jacket Loaner Program to promote water safety on the Willamette River. The United States Coast Guard reports that many victims of drowning accidents were not wearing life jackets. According to the North American Safe Boating Council "life jacket wear is the simplest strategy to stay safe while enjoying your favorite recreational water activity."

The City of Salem Life Jacket Loaner Station is intended to provide access to life jackets for visitors to use while on the Willamette River. The program provides life jackets in various sizes along with instructions on proper sizing.

Fire Chief Niblock noted that "residents who wish to support the Life Jacket Loaner Program may do so by making a monetary donation." Monetary donations will be accepted at Salem Fire Station #1, located at 370 Trade Street SE, between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. Monetary donations will be applied towards the purchase of additional life jackets. Each donation is considered a charitable contribution and will be confirmed by providing the donor with a receipt. The City is not accepting donations of used life jackets.

A temporary station has been placed in Wallace Marine Park near the public swimming area. The City's Public Works Department with assistance from the Oregon Department of Corrections will be installing two permanent Life Jacket Loaner Stations in the next month. One located in the swimming area of Wallace Marine Park and the other located near the boat launch in Wallace Marine Park.

Additional information regarding life jacket safety can be found here:


Attached Media Files: Life Jacket Station
Salem Fire Department Reminds Residents That Burn Ban is Still In Effect - 08/28/17

The City of Salem reminds residents and visitors that the Burn Ban is still in effect and will continue until further notice. Weather conditions have been hot and dry and are predicted to remain so for the foreseeable future. Atmospheric conditions within the City of Salem are such that open burning and recreational fires pose a hazard to persons and property throughout the entire City of Salem area.

Pursuant to Salem Revised Code (SRC) 58.001 -- 58.004 and Oregon Fire Code 307.1.1, the City of Salem imposed a total ban on recreational fires and open burning in on August 2, 2017, and it will continue until terminated by the Fire Code Official.

This includes, but is not limited to, the following types of fires which are prohibited within the entire City of Salem:

* Any open burning taking place in an unenclosed space such as the burning of leaves and grass, burning construction debris, burn barrels, fires built on the ground, and bonfires. This also includes open-air candles.
* Campfires, bonfires, and all fires in fire pits.

Pursuant to the Salem Revised Code and the Oregon Fire Code, cooking outdoors on approved grills is allowed during this total burning ban; however, all such fires must be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished.