City of Gresham
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News Releases
City of Gresham accepting applications for Arts and Culture grants - 07/18/18

GRESHAM, OR. – The City of Gresham’s Arts and Cultural Assistance Grant Program aids Gresham-based programs that enrich the arts, culture and heritage of the community. Applications are now open for fiscal year 2018-19 and are due by 9 a.m. on August 31.

Grants are available to nonprofit organizations physically located within Gresham city limits and to Gresham residents who have partnered with a qualifying nonprofit. Proposals should address at least one of the Grant Program objectives, which include exposure to art, particularly for families and children; collaboration between artists and community organizations; and enhancement of Gresham’s arts and culture organizations and/or individual artists. Grant categories include performing arts, festivals and parades, folk arts, literature, media arts, visual arts, museum exhibits and classes, and the heritage and preservation of Gresham’s history.

Applicants are required to describe the public purpose, public benefit, their project management experience and submit a detailed budget with their application. A volunteer committee, including a Gresham City Councilor, will award the grants in late August.

Previous grants have supported events such as the popular “Music Mondays” summer concerts at the Arts Plaza, public art installations, summer art camps, and a family friendly musical production.

Find applications and more information at www.GreshamOregon.gov/Arts-and-Cultural-Grants.

Multnomah County Fire Departments/Districts issue summer burn ban - 07/12/18

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR – Multnomah Fire Defense Board Chief Scott Lewis has issued an outdoor burn ban effective Friday, July 13, 2018, in all areas of Multnomah County.

The burn ban has been issued due to forecasted high temperatures, limited rainfall and ongoing dry conditions.  

The burn ban includes recreational campfires, fire pits, yard debris, agricultural burning and permits issued for open burning until further notice.  Check with your local Fire Department/District for more information. For updated information please call the burning information line at:

--503-618-3083 for Gresham, Troutdale, Wood Village, Fairview, Fire District 10

--503-695-2225 for Corbett Fire District 14

--503-621-1242 for Sauvie Island District 30

--503-823-3700 for Portland Fire & Rescue general information

Outdoor barbecuing is still allowed; however, residents should exercise extreme caution. When using charcoal briquettes please properly dispose of ashes in a covered metal container away from combustibles, and keep the ashes wet for a few days before properly disposing of them. Maintain at least ten feet between outdoor cooking and anything combustible such as siding, fences, shrubbery, etc.

Smokers are reminded to ensure their cigarettes are truly out and placed in proper receptacles.

Those living in rural areas are asked to maintain their defensible space by monitoring growth surrounding homes and structures, and to maintain adequate access for firefighting equipment.

For additional information, contact Gresham Fire and Emergency Services, 503-618-2355 or your local fire department.

City begins second phase of Kane Drive repair; road closure starts July 16 - 07/11/18

GRESHAM, OR. – The permanent replacement of the Kelly Creek culvert under Kane Drive is set to begin. Starting July 16, all lanes of Kane Drive will be closed from NE 17th to NE 23rd while the City replaces the culvert, rebuilds sidewalks and restores the roads. Construction is expected to last for approximately two months. Businesses will remain open, and Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) will be accessible.

Kane Drive washed out on December 7, 2015, after Gresham saw nearly six inches of rainfall in a 72-hour period. Substantial debris flows in Kelly Creek rapidly blocked the culvert beneath Kane Drive, causing water levels to rise several feet above the culvert entrance and washing out the soil between the culvert and roadway, creating a major chasm approximately 140 feet long, 40 feet wide and 15 feet deep. In the aftermath of one of the most severe weather-related transportation emergencies in Gresham’s history, City officials quickly mobilized and developed a two-phased approach. In the first phase, crews worked around the clock to complete a temporary repair, which allowed the 25,000 vehicles that use Kane Drive daily to resume safe travels and averted a months-long extended closure. The road was reopened in 36 days. Federal emergency funds paid for the repair.

The temporary repair allowed the City to plan and design the second phase of this project—a permanent culvert that will last for many decades. Installation of the temporary repair allowed the City to obtain permits and design and engineer a lasting solution, as well as to minimize the amount of time it will be closed for this final repair. Federal funds were also secured for the permanent repair. Work will take place this summer while stream flows are low, there is more daylight, and there is less impact to MHCC. The City’s contractor will be working to expedite this work so that the road reopens as quickly—and safely—as possible. Initial estimates suggest the construction window could be under two months.

“We know that traffic frustrations deeply impact the daily lives of our residents, and we greatly appreciate their patience,” said Steve Fancher, Public Works Director. “This project is one of our top priorities, and we will be doing all we can to quickly and safely complete the work and get traffic flowing once more.”

Access roads to and from the MHCC campus will remain open during construction. All TriMet bus lines that use Kane Drive will continue to operate using revised routes. Businesses will remain open, and apartment complexes will be accessible to residents.

Periodic project updates can be found at www.GreshamOregon.gov/Kane-Drive.

Gresham Arts Festival features 175 artists, paint party and Gresham's Got Talent competition - 07/10/18

GRESHAM, OR. – Celebrate art with free, family-friendly fun at the 17th annual Gresham Arts Festival with more than 175 artists, live music, Paint to Fame world record and more—it’s all happening on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 at the 17th annual Gresham Arts Festival in historic downtown Gresham.

The Gresham Arts Festival draws thousands from around the region each year to the charming downtown streets to meet, browse and shop from a carefully curated selection of Northwest artists and artisans, ranging from painters, potters and sculptors to woodworkers, photographers, jewelers and more.

“I invite you to spend a summer weekend in our beautiful and vibrant downtown. Whether you’re an art lover or just looking for some free fun for the whole family, you’ll find it at the Gresham Arts Festival,” Mayor Shane Bemis said.

The fun begins on Friday, July 20 from 5:30-10 p.m. with the Art Under the Stars charitable silent auction event. Attendees will enjoy family style dining outside on Main Street in historic downtown Gresham with local business specials, live music by Blues artist Lisa Mann, as well as games for the whole family. Arts Festival artists have donated artwork to the silent auction, proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Gresham Outdoor Public Art. Beer, wine, food and other refreshments will be available for purchase.

The Gresham Arts Festival continues on Saturday, July 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and in addition to more than 175 artist booths and a several musical acts, the Kids’ Village will set up shop at the Arts Plaza. Cool off in the Children’s Fountain, tackle a sports obstacle course, and enjoy bounce houses, crafts and much more.

More than 100 shops and eateries will throw their doors open for visitors to browse and dine. The Gresham Farmers’ Market will offer fresh produce on 3rd Street starting at 9 a.m. and adds to the festivities by remaining open until 5 p.m.

The Gresham community and festival visitors will also come together for Paint to Fame, the world’s largest paint party. Throughout the day, local Gresham artists will host 30-minute paint sessions to teach attendees how to paint a beautiful Greshamscape. Attendees get to take home the canvas. Online reservations are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome at the Arts Plaza on Third Street between Hood and Kelly Avenues. Reservations accepted at www.GreshamOregon.gov/Paint-to-Fame.  

On Saturday evening, Gresham’s Got Talent will showcase a wide array of talented entertainers in our community, all competing for the title of Gresham’s Most Talented and the first place prize of $1,000. The event will be held at the Arts Plaza. Food and beverage booths will open at 5 p.m.; the show begins at 6:30 p.m.

Park at Gresham City Hall at 1333 NW Eastman Parkway and take the free shuttle, courtesy of First Student, to the Arts Plaza. Parking is also available at nine City-owned lots in and around downtown, or take public transportation via TriMet’s MAX Blue Line to Gresham Central Transit Center.

More than sixty sponsors make this community event possible. Special thanks to our Patron sponsors: Gresham Ford, Gresham Station, The Outlook/Pamplin Media Group, MetroEast Community Media, 101.9 KINK and 98.7 The Bull.

For more information, visit www.GreshamOregon.gov/Gresham-Arts-Festival.

For information the day of the event, members of the media may call or text Elizabeth Coffey, Communications Manager for the City of Gresham, at 503-793-4167.

City monitors lead levels in water; offers advice for high risk homes - 07/09/18

GRESHAM, OR. – Twice annually, the City tests water samples in high-risk homes known to contain copper pipes and lead solder, which are more likely to contribute to elevated lead levels in drinking water. Recent samples show lead concentrations in seven homes out of the 65 enrolled in this voluntary program were above the action level of 15 ppb; the Oregon Health Authority requires public notification when more than 10% of homes sampled are above the action level. The City will work with these residents to provide them with tools and information to reduce their exposure—including the simple step of running water run for 30 seconds to two minutes.

In 1986 the City removed all known lead service connections from its distribution system. Exposure to lead through drinking water is possible if materials in a home’s plumbing contain lead. High-risk homes are typically built between 1983 and 1985 and may have used higher risk pipe materials. Lead enters drinking water primarily because of corrosion in building plumbing and fixtures. The 65 homes in Gresham that participate in a voluntary water monitoring program represent high-risk homes. Samples are collected by the homeowners after the water has been standing in the household plumbing for more than six hours.

“We’ve educated the residents of these high-risk homes how they can take action to reduce exposure to lead in their water,” said Andrew Degner, Water Resources Regulatory Manager. “Protecting public health is one our top priorities at the City of Gresham.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the biggest sources of exposure to lead are not from drinking water but rather from exposure to lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust or soil. Residents concerned about exposure to lead in their homes, especially those with pregnant women and children six years and younger, may contact the LeadLine at www.leadline.org or 503-988-4000 to learn more about reducing exposure.

There are four simple steps to reduce exposure to lead in water:

  1. Run cold water to flush out lead.  If the water hasn’t been used for several hours, run cold taps for 30 seconds to two minutes before drinking or cooking. This simple step can reduce lead in water up to 90% or more.
  2. Clean faucet aerators to remove trapped sediment.
  3. Do not cook, drink or make baby formula with hot water from the tap. Hot water dissolves contaminants, like lead, quicker than cold water.
  4. Do not boil water to reduce lead; it will not remove the contaminant.
  5. Install low lead fixtures and a lead-reducing filter.

Residents may order a free water test kit at Leadline.org. More information on the City’s water can be found at www.GreshamOregon.gov/Lead.