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Salem and Keizer School Zone Flashing Beacons to be Tested Aug. 21 and 22 - 08/17/18

In preparation for the upcoming school year, and in an effort to keep our children safe, the City of Salem will be testing the operation of all school speed zone flashing beacons in the cities of Salem and Keizer next week. 

On Tues., Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. until noon, the school zone beacons in West Salem and South Salem will be tested. On Wed, Aug. 22, from 9 a.m. until noon, the school zone beacons in Keizer, North Salem, and East Salem will be tested.

Always follow the 20 mph speed limit when school zone flashing beacons are in operation.

Salem and Valley Partners Launch Start-Up Business Incubation Program - 08/17/18

LAUNCH Mid-Valley to provide programming and support for local businesses

Salem, Ore. – Do you have a business idea? Or are you looking to grow your business? Local entrepreneurs will soon benefit from a new program, LAUNCH Mid-Valley, to discuss their ideas, network, receive training, and formally pursue their business ideas. LAUNCH Mid-Valley’s offerings build on existing start-up resources offered locally by MERIT and the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and will also include education and events for individuals interested in investment opportunities.

LAUNCH Mid-Valley is a collaborative of regional partners working together to support and promote entrepreneurial activity in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Partners include SEDCOR, the Oregon Technology and Business Center, MERIT, Business Oregon, City of Dallas, City of Independence, Marion County, Polk County, Yamhill County, McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, City of Salem, and the Chemeketa SBDC.  The City of Salem is partnering with these organizations to broaden the resources available for Salem start-ups. 

The LAUNCH Mid-Valley incubation includes three years of start-up programming and support. Planned activities include:

  • Supporting entrepreneurs in entering Oregon Technology Business Center’s six-month Virtual Incubation Program (VIP) beginning Sept. 20 for a reduced fee of $79.  https://www.virtualincubationprogram.com/vip/
  • Pursuing funding to enhance start-up programming including additional virtual accelerator classes, continued Chemeketa SBDC programming, networking events, and opportunities for companies to compete for investment dollars.
  • Opportunities to expand investment offerings and expertise for Mid-Valley startups including programming, networking, and education.

For more information regarding LAUNCH Mid-Valley, please contact Annie Gorski, Economic Development Manager, at 503-540-2480 or ski@cityofsalem.net">agorski@cityofsalem.net or Chris Drobnicki, Project Coordinator, at 503-540-2435 or obnicki@cityofsalem.net">cdrobnicki@cityofsalem.net. Additional information can be obtained by calling 503-588-6178. Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta información, por favor llame 503-588-6178.

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New Artwork Planned for Salem to Commemorate Passage of Oregon's Bottle Bill - 08/16/18

Salem, Ore.  - Almost 50 years ago, Oregon made history by being the first state in the United States to formally adopt a bottle redemption system. Known as the Bottle Bill, this landmark legislation has since grown to become as much a part of Oregonian identity as its public beaches, speed limits, and sales tax-free shopping. To commemorate the ground breaking law, and the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC), the City of Salem partnered with OEC for a new art installation by celebrated artists Lillian Pitt, and Mikel and Saralyn Hilde. 

Oregon Environmental Council safeguards what Oregonians love about the state – clean air and water, an unpolluted landscape and healthy food produced by local farmers. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its innovative public policy work, the Oregon Environmental Council has commissioned works of art in partnership with three communities across the state. Senate Bill 100 -- the land use planning law that protects agricultural lands and reduces urban sprawl -- was commemorated earlier this month at the Sokol Blosser Winery in Dundee with “Framian,” an art project by Jason Rens of the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Architecture students at the Portland State University will unveil an art project later this year celebrating the Bike Bill, which authorized the state to set aside tax dollars for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure every year.

In Salem, the Pitt-Hilde team will create a brushed aluminum sculpture 10 feet in height, incorporating the use of recycled materials in its fabrication. Through the design, the team is intending to honor ancestors by drawing on basket designs, petroglyphs, and pictographs; employing symbols referencing the bottle bill; showing respect for nature and sustainability; and inspiring healing and understanding. 

“It’s great that Salem will be part of the Oregon Environmental Council’s Art of Loving Oregon project to commemorate landmark pieces of legislation with public art in three locations statewide,” said Christine D’Arcy, Chair of the Salem Public Art Commission. She added, “The team of Lillian Pitt and Mikel and Saralyn Hilde, through their sculpture, Good Cents, is creating a thoughtful and thought-provoking tribute to the Bottle Bill and issues of sustainability.”

The artwork was selected by the Salem Public Art Commission from several proposals from artists all around the region. Good Cents will be installed in the City’s Mill Race Park, on the south side of Trade Street between High Street and Church Street in October 2018. A total of $30,000 was made available from the OEC, the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, a grant from Travel Oregon, and the City of Salem Public Art Fund for design, artist fees, fabrication, transportation, and installation of this art piece.

“Our roads and highways were littered with bottles and trash in the years before the 1971 Bottle Bill,” said OEC Executive Director Andrea Durbin. “Thanks to hardworking Oregonians who crafted this legislation, a large percentage of our bottled trash is recycled. Oregon Environmental Council with all our partners takes pride in celebrating this bipartisan legislation that’s molded our state’s environmental legacy.”

To learn more about the Salem Public Art Commission and the City’s public art collection, please visit https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/salem-public-art-commission.aspx. For more about the Oregon Environmental Council and the Art of Loving Oregon, please visit https://oeconline.org/lovingoregon/.

How Have CDBG and HOME Funds Been Used to Assist Low Income, Homeless, and Persons with Special Needs in Our Community? - 08/09/18

2017-18 Consolidated Action Plan is Available for Review Beginning Aug. 9

The City of Salem annually receives HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Consolidated Action Plan describes how the City of Salem and the Salem/Keizer Consor­tium spent the federal funds over a one-year period for activities serving low- and moderate-income persons, the homeless, and persons with special needs in our community. The community is invited to review and comment on the draft Action Plan.

The draft Consolidated Action Plan is available to review from Aug. 9 - 24, 2018 at: the reference desk of the City of Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty St. SE; the City of Salem Urban Development Department, 350 Commercial St. NE, Salem; and the City of Keizer Department of Community Development, 930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer. It is also available online at www.cityofsalem.net/FederalPrograms.

All written comments should be submitted to the Salem Federal Programs Manager at 350 Commercial St. NE, Salem or email sehenger@cityofsalem.net by 5 p.m. Aug. 24, 2018.

The Salem City Council will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m., Mon., Sept. 10, 2018, in the City Council Chambers at 555 Liberty St. SE, Room 240. To request a translator or accommodations for people with disabilities at the hearing, call 503-588-6178 (voice) or 503-588-6370 (TDD) by 5 p.m. Wed., Sept. 5, 2018.

Additional information can be obtained by calling 503-588-6178. Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta información, por favor llame 503-588-6178.

Beat the Heat and Be Safe: Hot Weather Safety and Fire Prevention Tips - 08/08/18

Salem, Ore. – With the projected warmer weather this week, the City of Salem reminds everyone that additional steps should be taken to maintain health and prevent fires. High heat can impact the health of people and pets. Also, due to increased temperatures and lower fuel moistures, the risk of fire ignition and fire spread is magnified.

Here are some key points to follow to "beat the heat" and be safe:

Hot weather Safety
* Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, which promote dehydration.
* Minimize direct exposure to the sun and wear sunscreen.
* Limit exercise and exertion - rest frequently and pace yourself.
* Wear temperature-appropriate, light-weight, and loose-fitting clothing.
* During the warmest parts of the day, consider indoor activities such as visiting Salem's library, a shopping mall, or a movie theater. Salem's central library (585 Liberty Street SE) is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
* Consider scheduling outdoor activities during cooler time periods.
* Don't leave children or pets in vehicles. Check on family, friends, and neighbors who may be at higher risk to heat-related issues.

*Remember to use a life jacket when swimming in the Willamette. A life jacket loaner station is available in Wallace Marine Park: https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/new-wallace-marine-park-life-jackets-loaner-stations-installed.aspx

Fire Prevention
* Dispose of cigarettes properly in non-combustible ashtrays or extinguish them in water or sand. In Oregon, cigarettes start one in ten fires statewide.
* When using barbecue grills, maintain clearance from combustible decks, fences, and vegetation. Allow ashes to completely cool and then dispose of them in metal containers. Barbecue ashes can maintain ignition temperatures for many hours, even if the surface is cool to touch.
* Avoid using welding, grinding, or mowing equipment near dry weeds and grass.
* Avoid parking vehicles in dry, weedy areas. The temperature of vehicle exhaust components can easily ignite dry grass and weeds.
* Don't overload electrical outlets with portable fans, air conditioners, or extension cords. Don't use extension cords with air conditioners.
* Keep a fire extinguisher, water hose, or bucket handy in the event a fire occurs.
* Observe no-burn regulations and fireworks restrictions.

*A burn ban is still in effect: https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/outdoor-burn-ban-in-effect-in-salem.aspx

Being prepared and proactive can decrease the likelihood of fires starting and spreading. Take time to review your family's fire evacuation plan and emergency preparedness supplies and also review the basic safety tips for staying cool.

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Proposed Changes to How CDBG and HOME Funds are Used in Our Community - 08/08/18

Plan Amendments are Available for Review and Comment Beginning Aug. 8

Salem, Ore. – The City of Salem annually receives HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Consolidated Action Plan describes how the City of Salem and the Salem/Keizer Consor­tium will spend federal funds over a five-year period for activities serving low- and moderate-income persons, the homeless, and persons with special needs in our community. The community is invited to review and comment on the draft amendments to the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan and amendments to the 2017 and 2018 Annual Action Plan.

Draft amendments include a change of priorities for the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan, change of funding in the 2018 Annual Action Plan, and a funding modification in the 2017 Annual Action Plan.

Electronic versions of the draft amendments are available to review Aug. 8 – Sept. 6, 2018 at www.cityofsalem.net/FederalPrograms. They are also available at: the reference desk of the City of Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty St. SE; the City of Salem Urban Development Department, 350 Commercial St. NE, Salem; and the City of Keizer Department of Community Development, 930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer. Copies will be provided at a reasonable cost.

The City of Salem Urban Development Department will host a public comment opportunity on Wed., Aug. 22, 2018 at 3 p.m. during the Community Services and Housing Commission Meeting held at 350 Commercial St. NE, Salem.

All written comments should be submitted to the Salem City Recorder at 550 Liberty St. SE, Rm. 205, in Salem or by email to ecorder@cityofsalem.net">cityrecorder@cityofsalem.net by 5 p.m. Sept. 6, 2018.

The Salem City Council will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m., Mon., Sept. 10, 2018, in the City Council Chambers at 555 Liberty St. SE, Room 240. To request a translator or accommodations for people with disabilities at the hearing, call 503-588-6178 (voice) or 503-588-6370 (TDD) by 5 p.m. Wed., Sept. 5, 2018. Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta información, por favor llame 503-588-6178.

Salem Task Force Recommends Several Downtown Homeless Solutions - 08/02/18

Salem, Ore. – Salem’s Downtown Homelessness Solutions Task Force held their final meeting on Aug. 1, 2018 and approved moving a number of recommendations forward to Mayor Chuck Bennett, including:

  • Provide public toilet facilities that are available 24/7.
  • Provide a hygiene center with showers and laundry facilities to serve homeless individuals in the downtown.
  • Endorse a simplified point of contact system individuals may call for support in dealing with issues related to homelessness and provide the community with easy to understand guidance on when to call 9-1-1 verses the non-emergency number, or the point of contact number.
  • Support the development of additional storage for homeless individuals in need of a safe place to store their possessions during the day.
  • Support alternative ways of giving.
  • Encourage property owners to make building and site modifications that implement Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and provide Riverfront-Downtown Urban Renewal Area grants for improvements that meet grant criteria.
  • Pursue options for expanding downtown cleaning services.

The Task Force chose to revise and combine two draft recommendations. The new recommendation is to:

  • Establish a Downtown Good Neighbor Partnership for those who live, work, shop, and visit downtown Salem that supports appropriate behavior and ongoing dialogue with stakeholders. In conjunction with the establishment of a Downtown Good Neighbor Partnership, City staff will assess Salem codes and ordinances to ensure that the City is appropriately balancing the rights of those who live, work, and shop in our downtown, and providing the City of Salem with the tools needed to address behaviors that negatively impact others. 

The Task Force eliminated the draft recommendation to place limitations on where food can be distributed.

The Task Force was established by Mayor Chuck Bennett and is chaired by Councilor Cara Kaser (Ward 1). 

Task Force members include individuals with diverse experiences and roles in the community including city councilors, business owners, service providers, neighborhood association representatives, property owners, residents, and advocates for the homeless. The Task Force was designed to address specific impacts of homelessness in downtown Salem including trash, health, hygiene, and perceptions of safety. They are identified specific, measurable, and time-bound solutions that make the downtown inviting and welcoming to all Salem residents and visitors. They also ensured that solutions equitably address the rights of downtown customers, visitors, businesses, property owners, and individuals experiencing homelessness.

For further information on the Task Force, go to www.cityofsalem.net or call 503-588-6178.

The City of Salem’s Urban Development Department is committed to enhancing community prosperity through an array of programs in its four major service areas: Real Property Services, Housing and Social Services, Economic Development and Downtown Revitalization. The Urban Development Department: manages the City’s urban renewal areas (URA) and redevelopment projects within the URAs; administers federally funded block grant and housing programs; provides loans and grants to eligible businesses, homeowners, and renters; and manages leases, acquires, and sells properties for the City.

2019-2020 Neighborhood Partnership Program Applications Available - 08/01/18

Salem, Ore. — Are you looking to make a difference in your Salem neighborhood? The City of Salem is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 Neighborhood Partnership Program. For more than 21 years the Neighborhood Partnership Program has provided grants and City support to help residents and community partners make Salem a better place. The partnership program focuses a neighborhood’s strengths to solve problems. Examples include increased crime prevention efforts, education and empowerment of residents, and cleaner streets and parks. 

Those wishing to take advantage of the Neighborhood Partnership Program can apply for two-years of City support for a defined geographic area. Applications are evaluated by City staff from multiple departments and scored based on demonstrated neighborhood need, defined and measurable goals, and readiness of partners to address the issues. Applications are due by November 1, 2018 and can be found at www.cityofsalem.net/my-neighborhood.

“Through the partnership groups, I get to work with neighbors and community partners who recognize challenges, but are motivated to combine their skills and resources to make positive changes,” says Jessica Loewen Preis, Program Coordinator for the City. “Through our efforts, neighbors report that they feel more connected and engaged, often learning about opportunities that they had no idea were available right where they lived.”

In 2017 the Neighborhood Partnership Program turned a $5,600 working budget into more than $325,000 in combined donations, volunteer, and in-kind contributions to improve areas in east Salem and the Edgewater area of west Salem. Neighborhood strengthening efforts include monthly walking cruises, a farmers market, town hall meetings, Little Free Libraries, urban gardens, community celebrations, a soccer program and more.

For more information visit the City of Salem website or contact Jessica Loewen Preis at eis@cityofsalem.net">jlpreis@cityofsalem.net or 503-588-2329.

Street Closures for 2018 High Street Hustle - 07/27/18

The 4th Annual High Street Hustle will be held on Saturday, August 11, 2018, and includes 80s costumes, local food, drink, and entertainment.

The High Street Hustle includes an 8K, 5K, and 1K fun run and walk. Learn more by visiting: https://runsignup.com/Race/OR/Salem/HighStreetHustle.

The following streets will close for the event (see map for the run route):

  • Court Street NE between 12th Street NE and High Street NE-4:30 a.m. to noon
  • High Street NE between Court Street NE and Waldo Avenue SE-7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • State Street between Liberty Street NE and Winter Street NE-7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Ferry Street SE between Liberty Street SE and 12th Street SE-7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Trade Street SE between Liberty Street SE and 12th Street SE-7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Southbound off-ramp from Hwy 22 to Front Street SE-7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Please note that all the side streets will be closed where they intersect the run route.  Alternate routes around the event are noted on the attached map.

Attached Media Files: HighStreetHustle-map.pdf
Outdoor Burn Ban in Effect in Salem - 07/25/18

Salem, Ore. —Marion and Polk Counties issued an outdoor burn ban that applies to the City of Salem. Effective July 24, 2018, it was issued due to ongoing dry conditions and forecasted high temperatures.

The burn ban includes recreational campfires, fire pits, yard debris, agricultural burning and permits issued for open burning. It will remain in effect until further notice. For the most current burning information, please call the Burn Information Line at (877) 982-0011.

The following are subject to the burn ban and prohibited:

  • All campfires, warming fires, cooking fires and the use of charcoal briquettes
  • Backyard burning (yard debris, etc.)
  • Agricultural burning, regulated through Department of Agriculture
  • Land clearing or slash burning
  • Ceremonial Fires
  • Recreational fires, including:
    • Backyard fire pits
    • Outdoor fireplaces and portable fireplaces (Chimineas, etc.)

Portable cooking stoves with liquefied or bottled fuels that can be turned off with a valve are allowed. However, all such fires must be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. 

Please contact the Salem Fire Department at 503-588-6245 for questions about special situations.

The City of Salem will distribute any updates through local media, its website (www.cityofsalem.net), and social media channels.

For more wildfire prevention information and restrictions, visit Keep Oregon Green at www.keeporegongreen.org and the Oregon Department of Forestry at www.oregon.gov.

Salem's Homeless Rental Assistance Program Houses More than 70 People in its First Year - 07/24/18

Salem, Ore. — On Monday, July 23, the Salem Housing Authority gave an update on the one-year old Homeless Rental Assistance Program. Launched in July 2017 with the goal to house 100 homeless individuals identified as “hardest-to-house,” the program housed 71 clients and enrolled 121 clients in its first year. To help make more housing available for enrolled individuals, the Salem Housing Authority also started a sponsorship program in April 2018.

Homelessness in Salem is a complex problem that requires long-term, committed partnerships with public, non-profit, and private organizations.

The Homeless Rental Assistance Program is a key component of the Salem Strategic Plan. Supported by Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett and the Salem City Council, the City of Salem committed $1.4 million last year to the program through the Salem Housing Authority. The program combines rental assistance with intensive case management, and wrap-around services to treat addiction, mental illness and medical ailments. The program also helps clients overcome other preexisting barriers to housing such as criminal history, evictions or poor rental history.

Individuals, businesses and organizations wishing to support the Homeless Rental Assistance Program should go to the Salem Housing Authority website for more information or to donate.  The first donation to the program was received at the July 23 Housing Commission meeting and was given by 8-year old Abel Najera-Banuelos. Abel presented the Housing Commission with $100 that he earned through his lemonade stand.

2018 Hoopla Basketball Tournament Returns to Salem, Street Closures Around Capitol Building July 30 - August 5 - 07/24/18

Salem, Ore. — Hoopla returns to Salem August 4 – 5 as more than 950 teams vie for first place in Oregon’s longest and most prestigious 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Now in its 20th year, more than 3,500 people will play for street-court supremacy. Hoopla draws teams from all over the West Coast and is possible thanks to the hard work of the roughly 1,000 volunteers. Streets around the State Capitol building will be closed to make room for the tournament beginning 6 p.m., Monday, July 30. All streets are expected to reopen by 8 p.m., Sunday, August 5.

The following streets in the State Capitol area will be closed for the Hoopla Basketball Tournament:

  • Court Street NE between 12th Street NE and Cottage Street NE
  • Waverly Street NE between Court Street NE and State Street
  • Winter Street NE between Court Street NE and Chemeketa Street NE
  • Capitol Street NE between Court Street NE and Chemeketa Street NE

Additional streets will be closed beginning Friday, August 3, through Sunday, August 5:

  • State Street between Winter Street NE and 12th Street NE beginning at 2 p.m.
  • Cottage Street NE between Court Street NE and State Street beginning at 6 p.m.

Drivers should avoid these areas and anticipate delays due to congestion. Event information can be found at http://oregonhoopla.com.

Attached Media Files: Hoopla_Map.pdf
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Market Responds to Growing Demand and Offers More Housing Choices in Salem (Photo) - 07/20/18

Salem, Ore. — Those looking to live in Salem have more options as the number of apartments being built in Salem has skyrocketed in recent years. In the past three years, the City issued building permits for 1,317 multifamily units. That is more than the total number issued over the 10 prior years combined: 1,298 units. This recent surge in housing choices meets a need that is expected to continue over the next few decades.

According to the 2015 Salem Housing Needs Analysis, the Salem area is expected to grow by nearly 60,000 people by 2035. This growing population will need a mix of smaller and less expensive units, and more housing types, including more multifamily housing, according to the study.

The community and City of Salem recognized the need to increase affordable housing options as part of the recent strategic planning initiative. The 2017 Salem Strategic Plan, which articulates goals for the City, identified affordable housing as a priority.

Here are a few examples how the City is encouraging more housing choices in Salem:

Financial Incentives

Land Supply and Land Use Regulations

  • The City is working to increase the amount of land that can be developed into multifamily housing. The 2015 Housing Needs Analysis showed that the Salem area has a projected 207-acre deficit of land for multifamily housing based on a 20-year population projection.
  • In July 2017, the City changed its rules to allow accessory dwelling units, also known as mother-in-law units, in Salem. The City has approved 15 such units so far, with more under review. 

Attached Media Files: graph.jpg