City of Salem
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News Releases
Salem Housing Authority is 'Moving to Work' - 10/04/22

Salem is one of only two Oregon cities selected for the nationwide program.

Salem, Ore. – Moving to Work is a federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that gives housing authorities flexibility around certain federal rules and regulations to implement local solutions. 

The Salem Housing Authority and the Housing Authority of Clackamas County were two of only 18 selected nationwide in late September 2022 for this special status.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Salem Housing Authority and Housing Authority of Clackamas County to the asset-building cohort,” said Northwest Regional Administrator Margaret Salazar. “Through this program, they will have increased flexibility with HUD resources to meet the needs of the community they serve. This will increase the self-sufficiency of their residents and strengthen the community overall.”

According to HUD, the Move to Work program “is a demonstration program for public housing authorities that provides them the opportunity to design and test innovative, locally designed strategies that use federal dollars more efficiently, help residents find employment and become self-sufficient, and increase housing choices for low-income families.”

Additional information regarding the Salem Housing Authority and HUD’s Moving to Work Program is available online.

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Salem Civic Center Customer Service Center Construction Begins (Photo) - 09/27/22

The City of Salem Customer Service Center is scheduled to open in 2023! The Customer Service Center will provide a centralized location for customers to apply for permits, pay utility bills or tickets, report concerns, request public records, reserve City of Salem facilities and register for programs.  

Cedar Mill Construction, from Tualatin, Oregon was awarded the contract in August, and has begun work. They will utilize several local minority-based and woman owned subcontractors and suppliers from within the Willamette Valley to complete the improvements at City Hall (555 Liberty St SE, Room 100). 

The Customer Service Center will be located on the North-East corner of the Salem Civic Center (city hall). Work on the renovation began in early September and is scheduled to be completed in the Spring of 2023. 

Attached Media Files: Civic-2.jpg
New Salem Permitting Software Will Smooth Process - 09/23/22

Salem, Ore. – New permitting software go live soon at the City of Salem and will result in more improvements to the permitting process. 

ProjectDox ePlan software will launch October 10. Applications submitted after October 7 will be processed using this software. Based on feedback from customers, the change was specifically designed for electronic review of building permits. 

Changes to the process are outlined as part of the Submit Electronic Plans page and include:

  • Drawing files must be submitted using one PDF file for each page.
  • Drawing file names must start with a three-digit number that sorts the pages into the correct order.
  • Drawing files must be in landscape orientation.
  • Comments from all department reviews will be sent to the applicant together.
  • Comments for each review cycle will show the original comment, the applicant response and the status of the comment.

EPlan is already in use in Hillsboro and Portland. When Salem implements the system, the City will use the same naming conventions as Hillsboro to help standardize the application process between cities. 

The update is part of a more than year-long process of permitting improvements. Goals of improving the overall process are to:

  • Provide accurate and consistent plan review,
  • Standardize the process, and
  • Improve timing and accountability.

Improvements over the course of the past year have included replacing fillable PDFs with online application forms for the following permits:

Electrical

Fire System

Mechanical

Plumbing

Reserve Liberty Parkade Banner or Liberty Pole Banner Space

Sign

Tent of Canopy Permit

In August, a Copy Permit function was also added to simplify the permitting process for people who submit multiple similar applications.

More changes on the way

More changes will follow through the rest of this year and into 2023. Additional online applications will include:

  • Land use
  • Structural
  • Land closure applications
  • Early next year, work will begin on Public Works processes.

 

View press release in other languages.

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Comments Sought for Stormwater Management Plan - 09/20/22

The City of Salem is seeking public comments on the updated Stormwater Management Plan. The comment period will be open until October 19, 2022.

The updated plan is a requirement under the City’s current National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit that went into effect on October 1, 2021. The SWMP Document outlines the operations/programs and measurable goals the City operates under and reports on annually to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Additional City programs addressed in the SWMP Document include the Fall Leaf Haul event, the summer stream cleaning program, the Clean Streams education, and outreach program, and the Watershed Protection and Preservation Grant.

The City of Salem (City) operates under a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) Document to reduce and prevent pollution in daily operations. Cleaning storm drains, sweeping streets, and building, inventorying, and maintaining stormwater quality facilities are a few of the operational activities the City performs to protect the water quality in local streams and the Willamette River. The updated SWMP Document is available for public comment through 5:00 pm on October 19, 2022.

The updated SWMP Document considers new information about emerging pollutants and best management practices and strategies to reduce water pollution. The City is also updating its monitoring plan. The comment period for the monitoring plan will run concurrently with the Stormwater Management Plan. 

After the public comment period, the City will submit the SWMP Document to DEQ for their approval before it goes into effect. 

Grants Available for Salem Events and Cultural and Historic Attractions - 09/19/22

Attendance at one of two pre-application meetings is required to apply.

 

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is accepting grant proposals from organizations that want to host historic, cultural, and tourism-related events in Salem. 

Grant awards of up to $10,000 are available for large events hosted by nonprofit 501(c) organizations listed with the Internal Revenue Service. Smaller events hosted by non-501(c) organization are eligible for up to $2,000 grants. All events must take place within Salem city limits, be open to the public, and occur between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024. 

The grants are funded by the Transient Occupancy Tax, also known as a hotel tax. They provide marketing and promotion support for various historic and cultural facilities and events in Salem. 

Attendance at one of these pre-application meetings is a requirement to apply:

Tuesday, October 11, 2022, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Via Zoom Meeting, organizations must submit email request for the link to cneider@cityofsalem.net or kskelly@cityofsalem.net.

Thursday, October 13, 2022, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Via Zoom Meeting, organizations must submit email request for the link to cneider@cityofsalem.net or kskelly@cityofsalem.net.

Applications will be available beginning October 14, 2022 both online at Grants for Promotion of Culture and Tourism | Salem, Oregon (cityofsalem.net) and by contacting the City of Salem at (503) 540-2361. Applications will be due November 14, 2022.

For more information about Transient Occupancy Tax grants, please contact the City of Salem at (503)-540-2361Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta información, por favor llame (503) 588-6207 x 1 Irma Dowd.

View in other languages.

Salem Cultural, Atracciones Históricas y Subvenciones para Eventos Disponibles - 09/19/22

Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta información, por favor llame (503) 588-6207 x 1 Irma Dowd.

Salem, Ore. — La ciudad de Salem está aceptando propuestas de subvención de organizaciones que quieren brindar eventos históricos, culturales, y turísticos-eventos relacionados en Salem.

Los premios de becas de hasta $2,000 están disponibles para eventos pequeños y hasta $10,000 para grandes eventos organizados por organizaciones sin fines de lucro 501(c) que figuran en el Servicio de Impuestos Internos. Todos los eventos deben tener lugar dentro de los límites de la ciudad de Salem, estar abiertos al público y ocurrir entre el 1 de julio de 2023 y el 30 de junio de 2024. 

Las subvenciones están financiadas por el Impuesto de Ocupación Transitoria, también conocido como impuesto hotelero. Las subvenciones proporcionan apoyo de comercialización y promoción para diversas instalaciones y eventos históricos y culturales en Salem.

La asistencia ase una de las reuniones previas a la solicitud se es un requisito para solicitar:

Martes, 11 de octubre,2022, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

A través de la reunión por Zoom, las organizaciones deben enviar una solicitud por correo electrónico para el enlace a cneider@cityofsalem.netkskelly@cityofsalem.net.

Jueves, 13 de octubre, 2022, 2:00 4:00 p.m.

A través de la reunión por Zoom, las organizaciones deben enviar una solicitud por correo electrónico para el enlace a cneider@cityofsalem.net  o  kskelly@cityofsalem.net.

Las solicitudes estarán disponibles a partir del 14 de octubre, 2022 tanto en línea en Grants for Promotion of Culture and Tourism | Salem, Oregon (cityofsalem.net) o poniéndose en contacto con la Ciudad de Salem al (503) 540-2361. Las solicitudes vencen el 14 de noviembre, 2022.

Para obtener más información sobre las subvenciones de Impuesto de Ocupación Transitorio, póngase en contacto con la Ciudad de Salem al (503)-540-2361

Ver en otros idiomas.

2022 Salem Fire Truck near cell towers
2022 Salem Fire Truck near cell towers
Update on Vitae Springs Fire in South Salem: Fire 100% Contained (Photo) - 09/17/22

Salem, Ore. — The Vitae Springs Fire that began late in the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 9, remains 100% contained. 

The burn area is being patrolled by two Salem Fire Department Brush Vehicles. Due to the size of the affected area, small areas of smoldering vegetation are being located and stamped out.

Residents in the area should be aware that smoke sightings are expected to continue for several weeks. Call 911 only if you see flames or signs of an active fire. If you have questions or concerns regarding the response to the Vitae Springs Rd fire, contact salemalert@cityofsalem.net.

The City of Salem Rescinds Burn Ban effective 1700 September 16th 2022 - 09/16/22

The City of Salem is rescinding the burn ban that was placed on September 7th. Burning is now allowed in the City limits but we ask everyone is careful when conducting any burning. Please stay vigilant and safe around fires and have a way to extinguish them quickly. 

Thank you for complying with the burn ban while it was in effect.

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Salem Outreach and Livability Services (SOS) Team Moves Forward (Photo) - 09/16/22

The City of Salem is proud to announce the official roll-out of its latest effort in working to address issues related to homelessness. The Salem Outreach and Livability Services (SOS) team is actively working in the community with people experiencing homelessness and surrounding neighbors. 

Funding for the team was included in the City’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget, thanks to a $10.5 million State Sheltering Grant, of which $1.098 million was allocated to the General Fund for use in creating this team. 

The seven-person SOS team consists of: 

  • Team Lead who coordinates team activities, supervises all aspects of work, and coordinates with other agencies/resources.
  • Two dedicated Salem Police Officers who work with persons who are unsheltered by providing referral assistance, respond to criminal complaints, provide safety to staff, and post notices when required.
  • One Public Works coordinator.
  • Three sanitation staff members to collect and remove waste.

Within the first week of operation, the SOS team collected seven tons of garbage and waste while providing outreach and connecting with individuals with needed services. Sanitation and hygiene efforts in public areas are vital to ensure health and livability of our outdoor spaces. 

Salem encourages anyone experiencing housing issues to contact social service providers to help identify any available resources and housing solutions in our community.

For more information about the new SOS team, contact Gretchen Bennett, Unsheltered Residents and Houselessness Liaison at 503-540-2371.

 

Attached Media Files: SOS-final.jpg
Upcoming Street Closures on Battle Creek Road SE and Landau Street SE - 09/16/22

Beginning Mon., Sept. 19, 2022, Battle Creek Road SE, and Landau Street SE will be closed for utility work between Boon Road SE and Wiltsey Street SE. 

Landau Street SE will also be closed between Reed Road SE and Battle Creek Road SE.  Local access will be provided.  These closures are anticipated to remain in place until mid-October.

Message boards and marked detours will be in place to direct traffic around this area. Please use extra caution and anticipate some travel delays.  The closure is necessary to accommodate the installation of new water, stormwater, and sanitary sewer lines.

The Current Road Conditions Map on the City of Salem website 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.

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Update on Vitae Springs Fire in South Salem: Fire 100% Contained (Photo) - 09/15/22

The Vitae Springs Fire that began late in the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 9, is currently 100% contained. There have been no reported injuries or structures lost. The fire, located within the Salem Suburban Rural Fire Protection District, burned approximately 164 acres in the largely rural area south of Vitae Springs Rd S and west of Skyline Rd S, which is behind the containment lines established by fire crews over the past 7 days. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Messaging and updates will transition from Marion County Sheriff's Office to the City of Salem this evening. The City of Salem will continue to a patrol the fire area for at least the next three days and respond to any detectable areas of concern remaining in the area. 

The response to the 4-alarm fire required more than 300 firefighters over the last 6 days. Salem Fire Department and local hand crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry have been working 24-hours a day in response to the threat posed by the fire.  

We would like to thank the many responding agencies for their help in protecting the lives, property, and livestock threated by the fire.  

Residents in the area should be aware that smoke sightings are expected to continue for several weeks or until the rainy season begins this fall. If you see flames or signs of an active fire at any time, please call 911. If you have questions or concerns regarding the response to the Vitae Springs Rd fire, contact salemalert@cityofsalem.net.

Attached Media Files: IMG_3722.jpg
Overnight Construction on Liberty Street SE Begins September 19 - 09/13/22

Expect delays during the overnight hours on Liberty St. SE north of Mission St. as crews complete repairs to the sanitary sewer lines from Mission St. to Salem’s Civic Center beginning September 19, 2022, through September 23, 2022. This work will require the closure of 1 lane of traffic during the hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on the west side of Liberty St. SE while the project is being completed.

The project consist of installing an 8-inch Cured-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) liner in the existing sanitary sewer. The new CIPP liner is a trenchless method of sewer construction that requires little digging and significantly less time to complete than other sewer repair methods. The new CIPP lining is expected to last for more than 50 years.

For more information on current construction projects in Salem, go to the Current Road Conditions Map on our website for 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.

Salem Firefighters are expecting little relief overnight on the Vitae Springs Fire in south Salem, as shifting weather is expected to present new challenges. City of Salem photo
Salem Firefighters are expecting little relief overnight on the Vitae Springs Fire in south Salem, as shifting weather is expected to present new challenges. City of Salem photo
Salem Firefighters Enter Second Night on Vitae Springs Fire (Photo) - 09/10/22

Salem, Ore. -- As night fell over the smokey ridges of rural south Salem, firefighters entered their second night of trying to keep the estimated 124-acre Vitae Springs Fire at bay, many approaching 48 hours on the job.

Evacuation orders remained in place as weather reports predicted shifting winds overnight. Level 3 (Go) evacuations affected 119 households, while 516 were at Level 2 (Get Set), in the area that could be affected if winds shift. About 40 pieces of equipment staffed by two to five people each were on the fire Saturday.

Primary objectives in fighting the fire were evacuation, containment, confinement and, ultimately, extinguishment, said Salem Deputy Chief Reed Godfrey. The challenges were great in a densely populated, heavily forested area of rugged terrain.

So far, no injuries or structure losses have been reported.

On-duty firefighters received additional support including: 

  • More than 20 agencies, mostly volunteers, responding to calls for mutual aid,
  • 19 off-duty Salem firefighters voluntarily responding to staff reserve apparatus in the event other fires emerged (which they did),
  • Three 20-person contract hand crews are expected to join the effort in the morning, hiking along cliffs and valleys of the containment zone to find and dig out fire spots.

Particularly vital to the fire-fighting operation was upstaffing of grass fire apparatus and planes through the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal, Godfrey said.

“Because of them, we were able to limit the size of the fire,” Godfrey said. 

The resources were particularly vital because of Red Flag Warning conditions. A Red Flag Warning means the combination of low relative humidity, dry conditions, high heat and high winds result in extreme fire danger. 

Red Flag conditions also mean the fire isn’t expected to allow recovery time overnight as typically happens when humidity rises and temperatures fall. Godfrey expected the fire would be staffed through tonight, tomorrow and the next day. 

Meanwhile, at about 1 a.m. Saturday, as Salem firefighters were fully engaged at Vitae Springs, a call came in about a multiple-alarm fire at 1802 Best Road NW. Two houses were fully involved in the fire, crews on reserve apparatus stopped the fire at a third house, where it had started to attack the garage, and protected three other houses from burning. 

Firefighters were called again today to a smaller fence fire in West Salem. 

“If we had regular staffing for the Fire Department, nobody would have been on that fire,” Godfrey said. “Instead, we had extra resources.”

Despite the extra staffing, most Salem crews have been up for 24 hours and some up to 48 hours, he added. 

“We’re up as long as we’re needed.”

Marion County Sheriff’s Office oversaw evacuation, while Salem Police used drones today to map the fire. 

Marion County Emergency Operations worked with community partners to activate resources Friday night, including a Red Cross shelter at Judson Middle School. In addition, two alpacas, four goats, two sheep, nine chickens, two ducks, and one horse are being sheltered at the Marion County Fairgrounds.

Willamette Valley Communications Center, working on short staff and long hours, dealt with the heavy fire call load in addition to the other needs of their three-county, 30-agency coverage area. The challenge was made even more complex because they had to patch together communications between mutual aid partners who don’t have the same 800-megahertz communications systems as Salem. 

 

City of Salem Honoring Civil Rights Icon by Renaming Salem Parkway - 09/10/22

Salem is renaming Salem Parkway (also known as State Highway 72) in honor of the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Oregon Department of Transportation will be changing 11 signs from Salem Parkway to the abbreviated Dr. MLK Jr Pkwy in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. beginning Friday, September 9. 

Salem Parkway was chosen to receive the new name due to its importance in the community and its visibility as a main arterial connection throughout the city. Renaming this roadway recognizes Salem’s diverse population and memorializes Dr. King’s legacy of peace, diversity, and inclusion for all Americans.

“I hope the future generations who travel in Salem will be reminded every day of the example set by Dr. King through his leadership and his legacy that brought more equality and peace to our nation,” says Mayor Chuck Bennett. “By naming the main arterial after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Salem will have a tangible, permanent reminder of the historical figure that championed equality for all.” 

The City of Salem is proud to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by naming a street in his honor. The Salem City Council unanimously directed staff to change the name on July 11, 2022, after receiving strong support from members of the public.

The City of Salem Issues Open Burning Ban Effective Thursday September 8, 2022 - 09/07/22

The City of Salem Issues Open Burning Ban Effective Thursday September 8, 2022

With the red flag weather forecast for the Willamette Valley showing high temperatures, low humidity and potential significant easterly winds, the City of Salem is issuing a burn ban on all burning until further notice. All outdoor burning, including ceremonial and recreational fires, will be prohibited within the City of Salem. This ban is based on weather conditions and community safety and will be re-evaluated after the weekend.

 

Cooking with propane grills is allowed during the ban, but always remember to follow safe grilling practices.

The Burn Ban includes the following open burning situations: 

 
1. Agricultural burning 
2. Land clearing or slash burning 
3. Recreational fires, including:
       a. Backyard fire pits.
       b. Outdoor fireplaces and portable fireplaces. 

4. Ceremonial Fires

Individuals found to be in violation of these requirements during the burn ban may be held liable for the cost of extinguishment and for any property damage resulting from an illegal fire. 

City Streamlines Building Permit Applications - 09/06/22

Salem, Ore. —  No photocopier required! Construction contractors and other people who regularly apply for building permits can now streamline the process with the online “Copy Permit” feature. Applicants can copy an existing online form and just change fields to show the new address.

The change is part of a year-long permitting improvement process designed to:

  • Provide accurate and consistent plan review,
  • Standardize the process, and
  • Improve timing and accountability.

Registered users with the City of Salem can log in to the PAC Portal to apply and save time over paper or PDF users. They’ll be able to immediately:

  • Get a permit number,
  • Pay application fees, and
  • Upload documents for plan review, if needed.

Users can also schedule pre-application conferences on the portal from a list of available appointments. 

A variety of permits are available, including:

More online applications will be introduced in coming months, including: 

  • Land use applications
  • Structural applications (residential/multifamily/commercial)
  • Lane closure application

Additional improvements are scheduled to take place this fall. 

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