City of Salem
Emergency Messages as of 12:00 pm, Mon. Sep. 24
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from City of Salem. Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Primary email address for a new account:

Emergency Alerts News Releases  

Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Riverfront Dock and Wallace Marine Boat Ramp Closed September 22-23, 2018 for Rotary Multi-Sport Riverfest - 09/18/18

Salem, Ore. — Beginning September 22, 2018, the following boat ramp and dock closures will be in effect:

  • Wallace Marine Park Boat Ramp/Launch – a portion of the boat ramp parking lot will be closed from 4:00 p.m. Saturday, September 22 through Noon on Sunday, September 23.  The boat ramp/launch will be closed to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 23.
  • Riverfront Park Boat Dock – closed from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 23.

These closures are needed to accommodate the annual Rotary Multi-Sport Riverfest event (Rotary Triathlon in 2017). This event will include a Triathlon (Olympic and Sprint), Duathlon (Olympic and Sprint), 5k/10k Runs, Half Marathon, and a Kid’s Run. A party will be held in Riverfront Park at the end of the event.

Community Invited to Participate in Upcoming 'Safer Crossings Program' Development - 09/17/18

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem continues to focus on making it safer and easier to bike, walk or drive in Salem. In late September 2018, the City will seek community input and participation from Salem’s 18 neighborhood associations in a Project Advisory Committee to help develop a Safer Crossings Program. The committee will consist of community members and City staff who will work together to provide final program recommendations to City Council by Spring 2020.

Once complete, the Safer Crossings Program will allow community members to:

  • Formally identify pedestrian safety needs;
  • Request projects to address those needs, such as installation or improvement of crosswalks, rapid-flashing beacons, or radar signs;
  • Easily see the criteria that are used to prioritize pedestrian safety projects and track project status.

The Safer Crossings Program is one of the recommendations from the Pedestrian Safety Study completed in March 2018. The study looked at a combination of crash data, police reports, and field observations to find ways to make it safer for everyone who drives, walks, or bikes in Salem. Other recommendations include upgrading certain traffic intersections and corridors, strategies for citywide application, and specific policy updates. 

In addition to police enforcement, since January 2018, the City has also improved pedestrian safety in multiple areas around the city, including:

Those interested in learning more about the Safer Crossings Program, other transportation improvement projects, or the Pedestrian Safety Study can call 503-588-6211 or email"> All Salem residents automatically belong to a neighborhood association. To learn more about neighborhood associations, go to

3rd Annual City of Salem Urban Streams Symposium -- September 18th - 09/17/18

On Tuesday September 18, 2018, the 3rd Annual Urban Streams Symposium will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Loucks Auditorium at the Salem Public Library.  Salem residents are invited to attend the evening symposium to learn how the City of Salem actively manages stormwater and the urban streams that flow through Salem.  The Urban Streams Symposium will provide information on:

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the presentations will start at 7 p.m.  After the presentation attendees are encouraged to tour posters and displays.  Staff will be available to answer questions and provide additional information. CCTV will be recording the event and a closed captioned recording will be posted on the City of Salem YouTube channel. Reasonable accommodation and accessibility services will be provided upon request.

Water Advisory Report Suggests Specific Improvements to Salem Emergency Preparedness and Communications - 09/14/18

Salem, Ore. —A frank assessment of the City’s performance during the two water advisories this summer is now available at The third-party report gives a timeline of events, an assessment of what worked well, what did not, and lessons learned. It also includes recommendations such as bolstering communications resources and emergency preparedness operations.

“It important for us to share what we’ve learned and what we are doing about it,” said Salem City Manager Steve Powers. “We have made, and continue to make, improvements to those things we can control, such as water treatment and testing processes, emergency communications, and operations.”

The City hired a national firm, Novak Consulting, to conduct the thorough and broad after-action review following the drinking water advisories. Novak specializes in helping local governments learn from critical incidents.

Specific improvements the City has made, or is in the process of making, to ensure safe water and transparent access to water information include:

  • Establishing a laboratory with the necessary water testing equipment so tests results are received within a matter of hours rather than days, dramatically increasing the speed decision-making information is available;
  • Creating a web page where community members can view the most current water quality test results:;
  • Developing a powdered activated carbon system used to protect Salem’s drinking water during periods when cyanotoxins may be present in Detroit Reservoir and the North Santiam River;
  • A commitment to make communications resources more readily available during emergencies;
  • Purchasing water distribution equipment so water is more quickly available in emergencies;
  • Working with federal, state, and private landowners to reduce the impact of land-use activities on Salem’s water source;

The report also underscores the need for city, county, and state agencies to work together to meet the emergency preparedness, response, and recovery needs for the region.

“The City is grateful to the agencies and individuals who came to the City’s aid during the water advisory,” added Powers.

The City of Salem experienced two water advisories this year when cyanotoxins present in the North Santiam River were detected to be above advisory levels in city drinking water. The first advisory was issued on May 29, 2018 and was lifted on June 2, 2018. The advisory was reissued on June 6, 2018 after toxins in drinking water were again detected at above advisory levels. The City lifted the second water advisory on July 3, 2018.

Cyanotoxins in Salem’s drinking water have been below detectable levels since June 21.

City of Salem Burn Ban Lifted - 09/13/18

SALEM — On September 13, 2018, the burn ban implemented on July 24, 2018 has been lifted. The burn ban was issued due to dry conditions and forecasted high temperature. Please contact the Salem Fire Department at 503-588-6245 for questions.

Riverfront Park Master Plan Update - Community Meeting #3 - 09/12/18

On Tuesday, September 18, from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at Pringle Community Hall, 606 Church Street SE, City staff and project consultants will present the draft master plan for Riverfront Park.  Community input from two previous public meetings and over 1,600 online survey responses have identified the importance of keeping open spaces, natural features, and views at the park. Concepts included in the draft plan will enhance river access, restore the river bank, maintain the openness of the meadow and views of the bridge, provide new bathrooms, add parking, and create a new performance area with a covered stage and amphitheater.

To view the proposed master plan or for more information about this project, please visit the City of Salem website:

Comments continue to be welcomed, and may lead to changes to the proposed plan. Comments and questions can be sent to:

City of Salem Public Works Department

555 Liberty St SE, Suite 325

Salem, OR 97301-3515

Phone: 503-588-6211


Reasonable accommodation and accessibility services will be provided upon request.

Attached Media Files: Riverfront Park Master Plan
City Council to Hold Public Hearing on Single-Use Plastic Bags on September 10 - 08/28/18

Salem, Ore. — At the August 27 City Council meeting, the Salem City Council voted to hold a public hearing on September 10, at 6 p.m. on an ordinance to reduce single-use plastic bags. Residents are welcome to provide comments during the meeting, or to submit their testimony in writing by emailing"> Residents who aren’t able to attend the meeting in person can watch the meeting live online on the City of Salem’s Facebook Page (, or on the Capital Community Television YouTube Channel ( The meeting will also be broadcast on cable channel 21.

What is Being Proposed?

  • Retailers would be prohibited from providing plastic bags at checkout. Most retailers would be required to charge at least five cents per recyclable paper bag and note the charge on the transaction receipt.
  • Retailers with 10 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees may charge for provided paper bags but are not required to do so. If they do charge for paper bags, they are exempt from the requirement to note the pass-through cost on receipts.
  • Retailers would not be required to charge this fee if the customer is low-income and receives government assistance in the form of WIC, or receives benefits as part of the SNAP program, such as Oregon Trail cards.
  • Retailers will be encouraged to promote the use of recyclable and reusable bags. The new rule would not affect bags for:
    • Bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or small hardware items;
    • Wrapping flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness is a problem;
    • Pharmacy prescriptions;
    • Laundry dry-cleaning, or bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended to be used for home food storage, garbage waste, pet waste, or yard waste; and
    • Prepared take-out foods, produce, and meats.


  • An ordinance to prohibit single-use plastic bags was introduced at the August 27 City Council meeting.
    • Council voted to hold a public hearing on September 10. After the hearing, Council may choose to hold a final vote at a later date.
    • If the ordinance is ultimately approved, a phased implementation would be proposed with larger retailers complying by April 1, 2019 and all other retail establishments by September 1, 2019.
    • To read the staff report and ordinance visit:

Background and Purpose

  • At the May 14, 2018 City Council meeting, staff was directed to research and prepare an ordinance to prohibit single-use plastic bags for carryout purchases.
  • Eight cities in Oregon already have similar ordinances in place:
    • Ashland (since 2014)
    • Corvallis (since 2013)
    • Eugene (since 2013)
    • Forest Grove (since 2016)
    • Hood River (since 2017)
    • Manzanita (since 2017)
    • McMinnville (since 2017)
    • Portland (since 2011)
  • The goal of the rule is to protect the environment, animal and human health, and to reduce litter.