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City Manager Proposes FY 2025 Budget for Consideration - 04/12/24

Salem, Ore. — In accordance with City Charter, Keith Stahley, Salem City Manager has finalized the Proposed FY 2025 Budget. The Proposed FY 2025 Budget will be distributed to Citizen Budget Committee members Friday, April 12, 2024. The Proposed FY 2024 Budget will also be available online late Friday afternoon.  

This budget proposal comes at a time of uncertainty. Over the past 10 years Salem’s population has grown by over 23,000 people, driving a demand for more and different City services. Some City services have funding that meets the growing needs of the community. The General Fund has not kept pace with increasing demand. In 2023, voters did not approve a new revenue source for the General Fund to continue services causing us to adopt a mid-year supplemental budget eliminating vacant positions. The reductions in the Proposed FY 2025 Budget reflect difficult choices made after thorough deliberation to move toward fiscal sustainability. 

The formal submittal of the City Manager’s Proposed FY 2025 Budget marks the beginning of the deliberations process for the Citizen Budget Committee. Comprised of resident members, the Mayor, and City Council, the 18-member Citizen Budget Committee is the fiscal planning advisory board. Its role is to review quarterly financial reports and the five-year financial forecast, then to analyze and recommend a budget to the City Council and adopt the City’s property tax levy rate.  

The City’s $724.6 million proposed budget for 2025 covers the period from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025, and includes estimates of revenue and costs of services and capital projects.  

Salem’s Citizen Budget Committee begins their work on the City Manager’s proposed 2025 budget at the first of four scheduled meetings Wednesday, April 17, at 6 p.m. at Salem Council Chambers, 555 Liberty Street SE., in Salem. Weekly Wednesday meetings continue April 24, May 1, and May 8. All will be held at Council Chambers. The April 24th meeting will include a public hearing for the proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and review of the Salem Urban Renewal Agency (URA) budget. 

Any person may provide written testimony on the City and Urban Renewal Agency budgets for consideration by the Budget Committee. Send written testimony to budgetoffice@cityofsalem.net by 3 p.m. the day of the meeting. In-person public comment will also be available at the meeting. To provide testimony through video conference, sign up online the day of the meeting between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. The meetings are available to view online through the CC:Media YouTube channel or Comcast channel 21.  

 

Budget Process Overview 

The City’s Budget Document is the primary tool to determine program and policy priorities. 

Early September 2023– Leadership Team begins discussion of potential budget scenarios 

Developed Budget Operating Principles

September 18, 2023 – City Council continues discussion of structural budget imbalances and receives a five-year reduction scenario 

October 2023 –five-year financial forecast begins development  

January – March  2024 – City Departments develop budgets and submit for review and approval by the City Manager 

January 2024 – financial forecast presented to Budget Committee 

Budget Committee meetings, 6:00 PM Council Chambers  

March 14, 2024 - Proposed Reduction Scenarios presented to Budget Committee 

March 21, 2024 

April 17, 2024 

April 24, 2024 

May 1, 2024 - Budget Committee deliberates on a Budget Recommendation 

May 8, 2024 – Budget Committee recommends budget to the City Council 

May – Community presentations regarding Recommended Budget  

June - City Council hold a public hearing and adopts Annual Budget 

 

Street View
Street View
Residential Fire Results in Fatality (Photo) - 03/27/24

Salem, Ore. Earlier today Salem Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire at 3362 Sunnyview Road NE.

Upon arrival the structure was fully involved. Crews made entry into the structure and located a fire victim during the primary search. The victim was removed from the building and was moved to an awaiting ambulance.  After examination and a medical consult with the hospital it was determined that he was deceased and no further treatment was possible and resuscitation efforts were ceased. 

The victim's identity withheld pending notification to next of kin. 

Salem Police Department and Salem Fire Department investigators are in the process of determining the cause of this fire. 

Attached Media Files: Street View , Interior of Structure
Map showing road closure on Madrona at the Railroad Crossing
Map showing road closure on Madrona at the Railroad Crossing
Traffic Alert: Madrona Avenue SE to Close Between 22nd Street SE and Fairview Industrial Drive SE on March 30, 2024 (Photo) - 03/27/24

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is warning drivers that use Madrona Avenue SE that the road will be closed east of Fairview Industrial Drive SE to 22nd Street SE beginning Saturday, March 30, 2024, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. The one-day closure is necessary to repair and replace the pavement pad at the railroad crossing on Madrona Avenue SE. Local access to nearby businesses will be permitted during construction.

  • Location: Madrona Avenue SE at Fairview Industrial Drive SE and 22nd Street SE
  • Date and Time: Saturday, March 30, 2024, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Affected Areas: The Madrona Avenue closure will include travel lanes, sidewalks, and parking spaces near the train tracks in the construction zone.
  • Caution: Drivers are urged to be cautious while traveling, follow all signage, and watch for workers in the area.

The Active Construction Map provides up-to-date information on scheduled or emergency road closures in Salem.  For additional information, please contact the City of Salem at 503-588-6211 or service@cityofsalem.net

Turner_Rd_SE_Closure.png
Turner_Rd_SE_Closure.png
Traffic Alert: Turner Road Between Kuebler Blvd and Deer Park Drive to Close April 1 (Photo) - 03/26/24

Salem, Ore. — Drivers in Southeast Salem should be aware of a road closure on Turner Road SE, south of Boone Road SE and north of Deer Park Road SE beginning April 1, 2024. The closure will continue through April 15, 2024. 

During construction, northbound traffic will be detoured to Deer Park Road SE continuing to the Aumsville Highway. Drivers are encouraged to use Delany Road to Commercial Street as an alternate route.

The construction is part of the new 900,000 square-foot Dollar General Development currently under construction and is necessary to connect the development to new utility infrastructure in the area. The Dollar General property will be a dry goods and cold storage distribution, dispatch, and administration center for the company.

Details:

  • Location: Turner Road S from Deer Park Dr SE to Boone Rd SE
  • Date and Time: Monday, April 1, 2024, continuing to April 15, 2024.
  • Affected Areas: Deer Park Dr SE to Boone Rd SE
  • Caution: Drivers are urged to use Deer Park Dr SE and Aumsville Highway as detours, follow all traffic signage, and watch for workers in the area.

The Active Construction Map provides up-to-date information on scheduled or emergency road closures in Salem.  To report issues, contact the City of Salem’s Public Works Dispatch Center at 503-588-6211 or service@cityofsalem.net.

Attached Media Files: Turner_Rd_SE_Closure.png
Map of McGilchrist Closure
Map of McGilchrist Closure
Traffic Alert: Intersection at McGilchrist Street SE and 22nd Street SE to Close April 1 for Bond Project Construction (Photo) - 03/25/24

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is informing drivers who use McGilchrist Street SE that the intersection at 22nd Street SE will be closed to traffic beginning April 1, 2024. The closure will continue through July 2024. 

This project is partially funded through the 2022 Safety and Livability Bond project approved by the voters and will: 

  • enhance traffic flow
  • increase pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • improve stormwater infrastructure to protect homes and businesses from flooding

During the closure, drivers are advised to follow designated detour routes and use caution while traveling near work zones. Traffic congestion is expected and drivers in the area should expect some delays.

Details:

       Location: McGilchrist Street SE at 22nd Street SE

       Date and Time: Monday, April 1, 2024, continuing to July 2024.

       Affected Areas: The McGilchrist Street closure will include travel lanes and sidewalks within 650 feet of the intersection.

       Caution: Drivers are urged to use 12th Street, 25th Street, Madrona Street, and Mission Street as detours, follow all traffic signage, and watch for workers in the area.

Find details about the McGilchrist Street Project or other Safety and Livability Bond Projects at the City of Salem’s website. The Active Construction Map provides up-to-date information on scheduled or emergency road closures in Salem.  To report issues, contact the City of Salem’s Public Works Dispatch Center at 503-588-6211 or service@cityofsalem.net.

Attached Media Files: Map of McGilchrist Closure
Mayor Delivers State of the City - 03/20/24

Salem, Ore. – Mayor Chris Hoy delivered the 2024 State of the City message to a full house today at the Salem Convention Center. The message content is included below, or watch on demand on YouTube:

2024 State of the City

Watch in English

Watch in Spanish

Thank you, Chair Pigsley, for your wonderful invocation and taking the time to join us today. 

Good afternoon everyone!

Thank you for being here today. My staff assured me that if we ordered the Moroccan Tagine for lunch, that you would all show up.

Thank you to the sponsors of this annual event! 

  • the Salem City Club, 
  • Downtown Rotary, and 
  • the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Before I begin, I’d like to take this opportunity to share my appreciation and gratitude to several individuals. 

  • First, I’d like to thank the city employees who are here, and those who are also in the field doing their jobs. I could not be more thankful for your work during these last few years, and I could not be more proud of you.
  • What I have learned over the last seven years serving the city is that we have the best local government employees in the state. 
  • City employees continue to show up to work every day, 24 hours per day and 365 days per year and sometimes they do the work of two or even three people. 
  • They complete their work because of their commitment and dedication to serving you, our community
  • From the bottom of my heart, I thank them, and I promise to continue to fight for the revenue we need to deliver the services our residentdemand. 
  • I’d also like to thank our department directors for the work they do, and 
  • I’d like to specifically mention that last month we got a new City Librarian, Bridget Esqueda! Previously she was doing three jobs while Acting in Capacity.  Thank you, Bridget! 
  • We are very excited to have your leadership, and I hope that you get to operate a library with all the services befitting the capital city, very soon.
  • And finally, I’d like to share my appreciation for my colleagues who are with me today. 
  • Council President Virginia Stapleton representing North & Central Salem.
  • Councilor Linda Nishioka representing Central Salem.
  • Councilor Trevor Philips representing Central & Southeast Salem. 
  • Councilor Deanna Gwyn representing South Salem. 
  • Councilor Jose Gonzalez representing North Salem.
  • Councilor Julie Hoy representing East Salem.
  • Councilor Vanessa Nordyke representing South Salem.
  • Councilor Micki Varney representing West Salem.
  • And joining them on the stage is our highly skilled City Manager, Keith Stahley

I am happy to report that our local economy is robust and is gaining momentum. 

  • Our new commercial passenger air service is a success. Avelo is seeing a high enough passenger volume that they are making a profit and expanding. They are adding Sonoma, California to the destinations they offer. We are looking forward to the continued economic benefit that the airport brings to our region.
  • We are also building new large-scale housing developments in all corners of Salem, 
  • and we are seeing industrial development and job growth at the Mill Creek Corporate Center and Salem Business Campus, 
  • and there are new commercial investments at the Willamette Town Center. 

Our downtown continues to see progress with the development of the Rivenwood Apartments, Holman Hotel, and the recent announcement of the development of Block 50, into mixed use housing and shopping. 

Additionally, we continue to work with the developer supporting the Front Street Cannery project – a transformational project for the Riverfront north of downtown. 

Private investment is excited about Salem’s future.

And Killer Burger came to town. We must be doing something right. But, sadly, still no Burgerville. 

We are also demonstrating that Salem cares, we have been able to care for some of the most vulnerable in our community by continuing to advance as a statewide leader in our housing and homeless response. 

  • We have tripled the number of emergency shelter beds, and nearly 80% of ALL affordable housing in Salem has been added in the last five years
  • And with a thank you nod to Jimmy Jones and our partners at Arches, we’ve received compliments from the Governor, who said that our Project Turnkey, which turns under-utilized motels into shelters, was being done “better than anywhere else in the state”. 

While we have had some amazing successes, our persistent revenue challenges threaten our ability to support these critical services and threaten our hard-won success.

Despite the enormous capabilities of our city employees, and the advances we’ve made in housing and economic development, we are faced with an unprecedented revenue shortfall. 

This crisis wasn’t created by city management, city council, or by any of you. It’s a math problem that needs a statewide fix, and until the state fixes it, we will live under a broken revenue system that doesn’t keep up with the rising costs of basic services like police officers, firefighters, and librarians. 

  • We don’t have enough firefighters to handle the astronomical increase in 911 calls since Covid. 
  • We don’t have enough police officers to adequately address the rise in violent crimes, 
  • and we certainly don’t have enough for the community outreach that it takes to stop our kids from going down the wrong path to begin with. 

Property taxes help the local government pay for public safety. Thirty years ago, Measures 5 and 50 combined to severely limit property tax revenue. Fast forward to today and now those same dollars that used to pay for a firefighter or police officer, only pay for three quarters of one.

How did we get to this point? 

When I joined the council in 2017, at the beginning of the homelessness crisis, 26% of Salem residents listed “responding to homelessness” as their top priority. In 2018 it was 33%, then 41, then 49, then in 2021, 58% of residents listed “responding to homelessness” as the number one issue that they wanted Council to address. 

  • Here’s the rub though – cities have no funding mechanism to address homelessness. Cities are set up to provide infrastructure and public safety. We do water, wastewater, streets, parks, police and fire. 
  • Counties are funded to provide social services to residents. They are responsible for Salem residents’ 
    • behavioral health treatment, 
    • addiction treatment, and
    •  public health, and they receive money from the state to address these issues.

But cities like Salem are the first and last line of defense, and when the problem is on Liberty Street and not Cordon Road, our residents expect action from us

Using one-time grants and Covid relief funds, we were able to step up and address homelessness, but our revenue system has never been adjusted to fund these services annually.

Our residents’ expectations pushed us to explore new partnerships and develop new strategies that reached beyond the capacity of Salem alone. 

  • We teamed up with community partners to create the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance, and we partnered with the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency. 
  • We successfully lobbied the State for funds to create a Navigation Center,
  • We partnered with Church at the Park to launch three micro-shelter villages. 
  • We created the Salem Outreach and Services Team to go into unmanaged camps, to connect unsheltered residents with the services they need to get off the streets. 
  • We also started a pilot program to help people living in their vehicles repair them so they wouldn’t be towed, and 
  • We started a Safe Park program, so individuals living in their vehicles can do so safely and legally. 

All of these programs have been launched since 2017, in response to 

listening to our residents’ wishes.

At the core of the homelessness crisis is the cost and availability of housing. We prioritized streamlining and simplifying the process to better support development.

To continue responding to the needs of the community, City leaders have focused on eliminating barriers in the creation of housing and have worked to eliminate barriers for individuals seeking housing. 

  • For example, we’ve launched a new program that provides the community with free pre-approved building plans for accessory dwelling units. Now Community members can download the plans in English and Spanish on the City’s website.   
  • Like other municipalities, Salem’s permitting function was traditionally split between two departments and multiple divisions. This structure separated and limited collaboration between functions resulting in operational silos that hindered our effectiveness and created inconsistencies in the customer experience.
  • Developers faced uncertainty and frustration with the permitting process and were dissatisfied with the pace and availability of information.

In response, last year we shifted permitting professionals into one team to build a community-centric culture of service delivery informed by data-driven decisions.  

  • We streamlined Salem’s permitting and will produce more housing, more quickly for our community. 
    • Salem Housing Authority also successfully negotiated with the owners of Orchard Park to preserve the affordability of the 224–unit complex.

Because of these changes, on November 30, 2023, the Salem Housing Authority exceeded our placement goals for the rapid rehousing program we established under Governor Kotek’s executive order. We not only exceeded our placement goals, but also expended only 68% of the budget that was meant for that program. 

As a result, we were allowed to continue the program past its original deadline to further benefit our community members.

  • A quick glance around town will show you that in east Salem, East Park is building 659 single-family homes and 369 apartments. 
  • Northeast Salem is getting a 405-unit apartment complex on Hazelgreen. 
  • In south Salem, Mahonia Crossing will offer 313 affordable housing units. 
  • In west Salem, Titan Hill is developing 436 units, and three subdivisions near Landau Street are the site of 391 single-family homes.

All in all, there are thousands of apartments, single-family homes, and affordable housing units coming online. 

In addition to revenue reform, preventing homelessness, and increasing housing, we are also laser-focused on responding to a rising rate in violent crimes through our Community Violence Reduction Initiative. 

Last year, Chief Womack and I began meeting to discuss how the City should address the increase in violent crime. The first task was to understand, in detail, what was going on and where. 

  • We commissioned a study, and those findings were presented in a joint City and Marion County work session in November. 
  • During that work session, I promised that we would engage with the community to identify solutions, and I’m happy to report that we brought our community together for the first of these conversations on March 6th, and are planning three more.
    • increase awareness, 

The goal of these meetings is to

  • identify community stakeholders and partners, and
  • to develop prevention and intervention strategies that reach beyond law enforcement.

Law enforcement is only one piece of the solution. The rest must come from the community. As we have done to address our housing challenges, we need to forge partnerships and enlist our residents, not for profits, service organizations and businesses in strategies designed to help prevent violent crime.

When I was on this stage a year ago, I spoke about a new beginning for Salem. A vision of collaboration with city councilors, interest groups, businesses, and residents. 

Like mayors before me, I reported on the amazing work of our city employees and of our volunteer council, and then delivered information on the delicate state of our revenue situation. 

  • I shared with you that without significant help from our county and state partners, or significant public investment, we would no longer be able to provide services to our unsheltered population, 
  • we would nothave enough firefighters to adequately respond to emergency calls, and that 
  • we would not be able to address and reduce a growing violent crime rate. 

I explained how thirty years ago Measures 5 and 50 capped property taxes, resulting in today’s costs being beyond the revenue we can capture. Leaving us with two choices: 

find additional revenue, or reduce services.

Fast forward to today and we continue to fight for additional revenue to support our residents’ needs. 

  • We continue to leverage every possible opportunity to lobby our state and federal legislators, as well as the Governor’s office.
  • We’ve been successful in obtaining grants, and one-time funding that benefit the city,
  • but we continueto wait for those same leaders to deliver results to our residents through a Payment in Lieu of Taxes,
  • to address the ongoing costs related to homelessness, and
  • in the revenue reform that will provide us with sufficient public safety infrastructure to keep you safe. 

We have a revenue taskforce of volunteers from around the city that is hard at work, identifying funding that will help us address our short-term problems. 

  • This taskforce is representative of the entire community and has members from every ward. There are no elected officials on it, and a third party is facilitating it. I thank them for their work, and urge our community to support the outcome of the process.
    • When our community faced covid; our residents sewed masks and supported businesses.

And so, the road ahead is challenging. Its path is unknown, and our destination is not obvious, but we have faced challenges before. 

  • When a four-alarm fire scorched St Joseph’s Church in the early morning, over 200 people in our community held mass in the afternoon rain, beside it.
  • When a fire started on Jory Hill last summer, employees from Emery & Sons Construction, who were working nearby, steered their heavy equipment towards the flames. The fire lines they cut earned the compliments of Salem Emergency Manager Joe Hutchinson, who credited them with “saving a good chunk of the community”.

And thirteen days ago, when the unimaginable happened in Bush Park, bystanders from our community and first responders, sprang into action to save lives. 

  • Our community responds to adversity with strength.
  • Our community responds to challenges with perseverance.
  • We will protect what we must. And we will find solutions together.
  • As a united community we will emerge well on our way to becoming the vibrant and robust Salem we envision.

Thank you.

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