City of Salem
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News Releases
Salem Welcomes Athletes for IRONMAN 70.3 Oregon - 07/19/21

More than 2,000 athletes and their supporters from around the world are heading to Salem for IRONMAN’s latest endurance competition.

IRONMAN 70.3 Oregon will take place on Sunday, July 25, 2021, beginning at 6 a.m. in Riverfront Park.

The areas surrounding the more than 70-mile race course will remain open to the public but significant crowds and limited parking should be expected. Several road closures are planned around Minto-Brown Island Park, Riverfront Park, and River Rd. S. Signs are posted in these areas warning drivers of the traffic impacts that may occur throughout the day.

For decades, IRONMAN events have attracted athletes to compete against each other and the grueling course itself. This year’s IRONMAN 70.3 Oregon consists of a 1.2-mile swim down the Willamette River from Minto-Brown Island Park to Riverfront Park, followed by a 56-mile bike ride South on River Rd. S. towards the Ankeny Natural Wildlife Refuge, and finishes with a 13.1-mile run from Riverfront Park through Minto-Brown Island Park and back.

The City and their partners in tourism, including Travel Salem, are proud to host IRONMAN 70.3 Oregon, which is expected to generate approximately $11 million in economic impact for the Salem region. Details about the course, including maps and information about park and street impacts, can be found at Ironman 70.3 Oregon.

Partners Needed Immediately for Limited Duration Women's Shelter in Salem - 07/13/21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Partners Needed Immediately for Limited Duration Women’s Shelter in Salem

July 13, 2021 Salem, Ore., The City of Salem is asking land and business owners in Salem to partner in providing temporary shelter space for women experiencing homelessness. Stipends are available for business partners who have at least 2,500 square feet of indoor space with bathrooms and ADA accessibility. Buildings must pass safety and fire inspections and business partners must be willing to enter a memorandum of understanding with the City.

Business partners do not need to provide the City with shelter management or operational support, as careful coordination and a shelter management agreement is already in place with a local non-profit organization, providing sleeping mats or beds, 24-7 guest supervision and direct access to support services.  

Timeliness of this ask is imperative, as ODOT has set a schedule to move the Market Street and Salem Parkway encampments July 19, 2021 before new permanent shelter sites are scheduled to open for women and children.

While the new UGM men’s shelter is on track to open by the end of July and provide 284 beds, shelter options for unsheltered women in Salem will be limited until the City can open their next indoor and outdoor shelter site on Portland Road, expected before the end of October.

Individuals who are interested in partnering or would like to share suggestions should contact the City’s Human Rights and Federal Compliance Manager, Gretchen Bennett by email at ennett@cityofsalem.net">gbennett@cityofsalem.net

For more information about upcoming projects related to homelessness, including the city’s recent allocation of $8.1 million to support sheltering and social service providers in 2021, visit the City’s public website.

Salem Earns 2021 Public Works Project of the Year Award - 07/08/21

The City of Salem’s Public Works Department has earned The American Public Works Association’s (APWA) 2021 Public Works Project of the Year Award for their efforts in restoring Pringle Creek in downtown Salem.

For decades, Pringle Creek had been shaded by the concrete remnants of the old Boise Cascade paper mill. The project focused on rehabilitating the stream bed flowing under a section of downtown Salem by removing concrete pylons, enhancing the green space along the water, and restoring the beauty of the creek. Since completion, the project has enhanced stream flows, improved fish habitat in the creek, and increased the plant and animal diversity found in the area. This award recognizes the cooperative achievements between the City of Salem, the contractors at Suulutaaq Inc., and consultants at Otak Inc.

The American Public Works Association is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 30,000 members involved in the field of public works. APWA serves its members by promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy, and the exchange of knowledge. Salem’s Public Works Department earned their 2021 Public Works Project of the Year Award in the Environmental category for projects under $5-million.

“APWA is honored to celebrate the 2021 Projects of the Year award with the residents of Salem.” said APWA President Mary Joyce Ivers, CPFP, PWLF. “I am proud and inspired by all of our public works members who continue to deliver outstanding, selfless services to their communities, even in times of a pandemic and emergencies.”

For more information about the APWA awards program, please contact APWA Awards and Chapter Relations Associate Rhonda Wilhite at wilhite@apwa.net">rwilhite@apwa.net or by phone at (816) 595-5299.

In-Person Services Resume at the City of Salem - 07/07/21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 7, 2021 Salem, Ore. With Oregon’s recent announcement lifting all Coronavirus restrictions, the City of Salem will open all in-person services July 19, 2021.  City buildings, previously closed or modified, will re-open to the public on or before July 19, 2021, including Salem’s Civic Center, Municipal Court lobby, Salem Police Department lobby, Center 50 + and the Salem Public Library.

Per the Governor’s executive order rescinding the wearing of masks and social distancing, all City employees and guests, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, are free to remove their facial coverings in City buildings. Hand sanitizer will be available. Employees and guests should continue to self-monitor regularly for signs of illness. While several City departments, including, Public Works, Fire, and Public Safety continued to provide in-person services throughout the pandemic, other staff and programs transformed their schedules and duty stations to deliver services from virtually.

“Looking back, it is remarkable to see the strides our City departments made, switching to hybrid workstations, implementing virtual public meetings, and developing digital communication strategies to streamline our services,” said City Manager Steve Powers. “After 15 months of demonstrated adaptability and commitment, it is my pleasure to welcome everyone back to City Hall on-site and in-person.”

As a result of the success of online capabilities during the pandemic, Salem will continue to maintain online access to information and services, modernizing the City’s business operations and future workforce.

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City Owned Parking Lot Shifts from Employee Use to Managed Safe Parking Shelter for Unhoused - 06/30/21

June 30, 2021 Salem, Ore., The City of Salem amended Resolution No. 2020-49 to authorize more managed Safe Parking Shelter Sites, allowing those who are unhoused to park and live in their RV or car legally and safely.

While no one should have to live in a car, this approach to sheltering can help families and individuals get connected to services in a secure environment with consistent access to onsite toilets, storage, garbage removal, laundry, showers, and around -the- clock security assistance.

Already, there are several host sites across Salem where individuals who are homeless are permitted to temporarily park their vehicles for sleeping and living. Now, the City - in partnership with shelter management, Church at the Park - can offer safe vehicle parking for more than one night at a time.

Advocates report vehicle residency is one of the fastest growing forms of homelessness in our area. Like nearly all urban cities in Washington, Oregon, and California, Salem supports some form of vehicle camping as a means of providing safety to those whose vehicle doubles as their home. According to Church at the Park shelter management, more than 40 people are currently on a waiting list for a safe park reservation in Salem.

“With a shelter crisis like this, we have to look for both short-term and long-term solutions to help people stabilize,” said City Manager Steve Powers. “We are thankful for additional State and Federal funds that along with City funds and community partners will increase shelter capacity, launch a navigation center, mobile crisis response unit, and expand affordable supportive housing developments.”

For more information about upcoming city projects and programs in response to Salem’s shelter crisis, visit www.cityofsalem.net/housing.

New Managed Shelter Sites
Address: 500 Block Commercial Street SE Salem, Oregon 97301
Parking Spaces: 16
Registration: Priority for families who are unsheltered with dependents
Services: Secure perimeter, electricity, toilets, potable water, case management, laundry, showers, storage.
Shelter Management: Church at the Park with 27- 7 on site staff.
Address: 3737 Portland Road NE -Salem, Oregon 97301
Parking Spaces: 8
Registration: Adults who are unsheltered
Services: Secure perimeter, electricity, toilets, potable water, case management, laundry, showers, storage.
Shelter Management: Church at the Park with 27- 7 on site staff

Due to Extreme Heat Forecast -- All Outdoor Youth Recreation Programs Canceled - 06/27/21

The City of Salem is canceling all outdoor youth recreation programs scheduled for Monday, June 28, 2021, due to extreme hot weather. Participants have been contacted by email concerning this cancelation. Information about a potential make-up day of program activities will be shared with program participants as soon as possible. At this time, evening practices for adult softball are still on schedule, however, players should check with their team manager as temperatures may still be too hot for exercise.

The City is urging the community to stay safe during this unprecedented hot weather. The City has posted cooling tips and a list of sites for respite from the hot temperatures. Updates to this announcement will be made on the City’s social media channels and the City’s public website.