City of Salem
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Salem cultural, historic attractions and events grants available - 09/18/19

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 $2,000 are available for small events and up to $10,000 for large events hosted by nonprofit 501(c) organizations listed with the Internal Revenue Service. All events must take place within Salem city limits, be open to the public, and occur between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. 

The grants are funded by the Transient Occupancy Tax, also known as a hotel tax. The grants 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 for applying:

Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Library Anderson Room B
585 Liberty Street SE, Salem, OR 97301

Thursday, October 10, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Pringle Hall
606 Church St SE, Salem, OR 97301

Applications will be available beginning October 10, 2019 both online at and by contacting the City of Salem at (503) 540-2361. Applications will be due November 15, 2019

For more information about Transient Occupancy Tax grants, please contact the City of Salem at (503)-540-2361.

Salem Splash Fountains Are Closed for the Season - 09/10/19

As of Friday, September 13, 2019, all park splash fountains will be closed for the season. These include Wes Bennett Park, Northgate Park, West Salem Park, Fairmount Park, River Road Park, Englewood Park, and Riverfront Park splash fountains.

For additional information, please contact the Parks Operations office by phone at 503-588-6336, or by email at">

Road Closures for Sunday, September 15, 2019 Rotary Multi-Sport Riverfest - 09/10/19

The following road closures will be in effect on Sunday, September 15, between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to accommodate the 2019 Salem Rotary Multisport Riverfest:

  • Commercial Street SE between Trade Street SE and Owens Street S
    • (right-most southbound lane of Commercial Street SE
  • Front Street SE between Center Street NE and Commercial Street SE
    • (right-most southbound lane of Front Street SE)
  • Owens Street S between Saginaw Street S and River Road S
    • (one of two eastbound lanes on Owens Street S)
  • Owens Street S between Commercial Street SE and River Road S
    • (westbound lane of Owens Street S)
  • River Road S between Fairmont Avenue S and Minto Island Road SW

Also closed during this period:

  • Entrance to the Riverfront Park Carousel on State Street
  • Entrance to Minto-Brown Island Park
    • (will be only open for northbound traffic on River Road S)

Cyclists and motorist will be sharing the road on River Road South between the entrance to Minto Brown Island Park and the Independence Bridge.  The bike course for the triathlon starts riders at Wallace Marine Park, takes them over the Union Street Railroad Bridge, across the top of Riverfront Park, and eventually down River Road S. Olympic distance triathletes will cycle as far as the Independence Bridge before returning to Riverfront Park to compete in the running leg of the event.

The Salem Rotary Multisport Riverfest is a community event jointly presented each year by the Rotary Clubs of Salem and South Salem. Events include Triathlons (Swim/Bike/Run), Duathlons (Run/Bike/Run), 5k/10k Runs, and a Family Fun Run. The start line for the Triathlon and Duathlon are near the boat ramp of Wallace Marine Park. The start line for the running events and the finish line for all events are in Riverfront Park.

The first events of the 2019 Salem Rotary Multisport Riverfest will start at 8:00 a.m.

Registration is still open. Additional information is available at

Attached Media Files: Salem Triathlon Road Closure Map
Wallace Marine Boat Ramp Closed Sunday, September 15, 2019 for Rotary Multi-Sport Riverfest - 09/09/19

The Wallace Marine Park Boat Ramp will be closed from 7:00 a.m. through 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 15.  This closure is needed to accommodate the annual Rotary Multi-Sport Riverfest event.

This year’s event will include Triathlon (Olympic and Sprint), Duathlon (Olympic and Sprint), 5k/10k Runs, Half Marathon, and Family Fun Run. A party will be held in Riverfront Park at the end of the event.

Give Feedback on Battle Creek Park Master Plan Options - 09/04/19

Salem, Ore. — On Wednesday, September 11, the City will unveil three conceptual site plans for the Battle Creek Park Master Plan at a community open house. Attendees will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the options. The meeting will take place at Battle Creek Elementary School, 1640 Waln Drive SE, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m.

These three options were created from feedback from over 800 survey responses and the first open house.

An online survey will provide another opportunity to give input on the Battle Creek Park options. The survey will be available following the open house and will run through October 2, 2019.

Community input will be used to prepare a preferred option for the park master plan. The preferred park master plan option will be presented at a third public open house on November 13, 2019.

Battle Creek Park is a 56-acre undeveloped park in south Salem at the former Battle Creek Golf Course. The master plan is needed to coordinate multiple park uses, including recreation and flood mitigation. More information about project is available on the city’s website.


Salem's Volunteers Honored at Ceremony on September 16 - 09/03/19

Salem, Ore. — On Monday, September 16, the City of Salem will celebrate the contributions of more than 9,000 volunteers at the annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration held at the Salem Public Library. Please plan to attend this evening of entertainment, light refreshments and recognition of distinguished volunteer service.

Entertainment and light refreshments begin at 5:00 p.m. The awards ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Please park in the Salem Public Library Parkade. Parking meters will not be enforced this evening. Please enter through the front entrance of the library.

We all benefit from the time and talent of residents who work with appointed officials, paid staff, and elected representatives on issues of importance to the community. Please join us in saying thank you and share in the uplifting stories planned.

In the past five years, Salem volunteers have donated more than 1 million hours of service to their community. To find volunteer opportunities with the City of Salem, please visit:

More Safety Measures for Salem's Streets and Intersections - 08/30/19

Salem, Ore. — As part of a long-standing effort to make it safer to drive, bike, and walk in our community, the City of Salem will add a new safety feature at high volume intersections.

New Intersection Safety Measures. Beginning September 1, motorists who exceed the speed limit while driving through high-volume intersections may be captured on camera and issued tickets. These new safety measures are designed to reduce crashes in and around intersections by encouraging drivers to slow down. Initially, Fisher Rd NE and Silverton Rd NE will have the new technology activated with other locations to be added at a later date.

“Speed plays a major role in motor vehicle crashes, especially those resulting in serious injuries,” says Steve Powers, Salem City Manager. “Our goal is to improve driver behavior and safety for everyone at high volume intersections. Changing driver habits will make Salem’s roads safer for everyone who uses them.”

To discourage drivers from entering intersections on red lights, Salem added photo enforcement cameras to three intersections in 2008. Since they were installed, Salem has seen a 92 percent decrease in traffic crashes at those locations. Later this year, the City will also add photo red-light cameras at Commercial and Madrona Ave. SE, Commercial Blvd. and Kuebler Blvd., and Center St and Hawthorne Ave NE.

School Zone Safety. September signals the beginning of a new school year and an increase in the number of drivers, cyclist and pedestrians trying to safely get to and from school. To prepare for students returning to Salem-Keizer schools, we’re reminding everyone that school speed zone beacons will be flashing in your neighborhoods to help kids get to school and return home safely. Please remember to travel at no more than 20 miles per hour when in a school zone with flashing beacons so that you can react quickly if a child makes an unexpected move in your lane of travel.

Safe Passage and Crossings for Bikers and Walkers. Salem will continue building bike lanes and pathways, adding and improving sidewalks, and installing flashing lights at crosswalks to make riders and pedestrians more easily seen. In the past several years, the City has also added crosswalks and pedestrian crossing islands, made improvements to intersections and installed speed humps throughout Salem to be a more biking and walking friendly city.

In September, we’ll also open a new pedestrian crossing at Commercial and Royvonne with a striped crosswalk, American with Disabilities Act compliant curb ramps, a median island, and rapid flashing lights to alert drivers. This is one of several pedestrian and bicycle safety improvement projects that have been prioritized for funding in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan based on recommendations of the 2018 City of Salem Pedestrian Safety Study.

The Pedestrian Safety Study looked at crash data, police reports, and field observations across the city of Salem. The recommendations include safety measures for certain intersections and corridors, strategies for citywide application, and suggested policy updates. The development of a “Safer Crossings Program” that is now nearing completion and will provide Salem residents a clear process to request pedestrian improvements and track the status of requested projects.

Other pedestrian and bicycle safety improvement projects recently completed or under construction include:

  • Stop signs and radar speed signs along Fisher Rd NE;
  • Ryan Drive SE Pedestrian Safety Improvements;
  • Improvements to the sidewalks and street lighting on portions of 12th St SE;
  • Rapid-flashing beacons and sidewalk improvements on Portland Rd;
  • Completion of the Winter-Maple Family Friendly Bikeway;
  • 22nd Street SE Pedestrian Island and crossing;
  • Church Street Pedestrian Bridge Replacement

Learn more about improvements planned in your neighborhood. Here are a few more ways you can help keep Salem’s streets safer for all:

Community Forums Focus on Salem's Proposed Sidewalk Behavior Ordinance - 08/29/19

City of Salem’s proposed sidewalk behavior ordinance is the subject of two public forums planned for September. The goal of the forums is to share information about the proposed ordinance, answer questions, and listen to comments from the public.

Union Gospel Mission will host the first forum on Wed, Sept. 4, at 345 Commercial St. NE. It will start with mission tours from 5 to 5:30 p.m., followed by the forum from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Union Gospel Mission is not taking a position on the proposed ordinance, but is hosting the forum at the shelter so those who would be most impacted by the ordinance have access to the information and an opportunity to ask questions and make comments.

The second forum will be Fri., Sept. 13, from noon-1:30 p.m. in the Loucks Auditorium, at the Salem Main Library, 585 Liberty St. SE.

Panelists for the forums will include representatives from:

  • Union Gospel Mission (first forum only)
  • Salem Urban Development Department
  • Salem Housing Authority
  • Salem Police Department
  • Salem City Attorney’s Office

Learn more about the proposed ordinance online at



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Salem Plastic Bag Restrictions Affect Small Retailers September 1, 2019 - 08/27/19

Salem, Ore. — To protect the environment and encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags, plastic carryout bags will no longer be offered by Salem retailers at checkout.


Beginning Sept. 1, new requirements that impacted large retailers on April 1 will also affect small retailers under 10,000 square feet.


All retail businesses, including grocery and convenience stores, apparel and department stores, and local markets are impacted. Restaurants and prepared food providers can still distribute plastic carryout bags.


The City law will remain in effect until January 2020, when statewide bag restrictions take effect under Oregon House Bill 2509.


The City of Salem website offers a number of different resources to help businesses and their customers implement the new rules to Reduce the Use of Plastic Carryout Bags, including:


  • Signs of different sizes
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Tips About Using Reusable Bags


As an alternative to plastic carryout bags, retailers can provide recyclable paper bags at checkout, charging a fee of not less than 5 cents per bag.


Any plastic bag without handles provided for use within a retail establishment to get products to the point of sale is still allowed. Examples include bags to:


  • Transport produce, meat, baked goods, and bulk items to the point of sale
  • Contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness is a concern
  • Segregate food or merchandise that could damage or contaminate other items


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Salem Stream Temperature Annual Report Available For Public Comment - 08/26/19

Salem, Ore. - The community is invited to review and comment on the City of Salem’s report of efforts to address warm stream temperatures.

The Temperature Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Plan’s Annual Report provides an update on activities undertaken by the City during Fiscal Year 2018-19. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality requires the annual report.

The public comment period on the report is open for 14 days, beginning Mon., Aug.  26, 2019 at 5 p.m., and closing Mon., Sept. 9, 2019, at 5 p.m. Comments will only be received in writing and may be submitted via email to Deborah Topp at, or submitted by fax to 503-588-6480. Comments may also be mailed to Stormwater Services MS4 Comments, 1410 20th  Street SE, Building No. 2, Salem, Ore. 97302.

The Temperature TMDL Plan, Stormwater Management Plan, and draft fiscal year 2018-19 annual report can be found at

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City of Salem Joins Portland General Electric's Green Future Program - 08/22/19

Salem, Ore. —The energy that powers the City of Salem is going to get greener in a big way.

This summer, the City of Salem joined Portland General Electric’s Green Future Impact program that, once implemented, will boost the City’s use of renewable energy by 60 percent. This means that by the end of 2021, 80 percent of the energy that powers the City’s operations will come from renewable sources.

"We are proud to partner with Portland General Electric and join their Green Future Impact program,” said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett. “This is a win for everyone.”

The City of Salem has a long history of responsible energy use. One example is Salem’s Willow Lake Wastewater Treatment Facility, which has generated a significant portion of its power from naturally produced biogas for more than 50 years. Cogeneration at Willow Lake is currently undergoing an upgrade process that will greatly increase its energy output. The City also already participates in PGE’s Clean Wind program. The Green Future Impact program adds Oregon-produced solar and/or wind power to the City’s energy portfolio.

Protecting Salem’s natural environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are part of the City Council’s Strategic Plan and fit with the City’s longstanding approach to responsible environmental stewardship. Learn more at