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How will Housing and Urban Development Funds Assist Low Income, Homeless, and Persons with Special Needs in Our Community? - 03/15/18

Salem, Ore. -- The City of Salem annually receives HOME Investment Partnerships and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Annual Action Plan describes how the City of Salem and the Salem/Keizer Consor¬tium will spend 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 draft 2018-2019 Plan and Amendments (2014, 2015, 2016) will be available for review beginning Mar. 21. Salem-area residents are invited to review the draft and submit written comment.

The Annual Action Plan determines how the funds will be used to meet the following goals: Promote Economic Development; End Homelessness; Expanding Affordable Housing; and Neighborhood Revitalization. Some of the proposed projects for the 2018-2019 program year include: new construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing, social services, microenterprise development, job creation, and rental assistance.

The draft Action Plan and Amendments are available to review from Mar. 21 -- Apr. 20, 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

There will be two public comment opportunities at meetings in the Urban Development office on Mon., Apr. 2 at 9 a.m. and Wed., Apr. 11 at 3 p.m.

All written comments should be submitted to the Salem City Recorder at 550 Liberty Street, SE, Room 205, Salem, or email by 5 p.m. Apr. 20, 2018.

The Salem City Council will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m., Mon., May 14, 2018, in the City Council Chambers to receive testimony on the Action Plan.

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

Local Business Invests in Downtown Salem; Restores Vacant Office Space and Moves 22 Employees to New Location - 03/13/18

Pacific Office Automation utilizes City grant program, renovates downtown building; relocates staff.

Salem, Ore. -- Pacific Office Automation, an Oregon-headquartered company and the largest office equipment dealer in the U.S., invested $1.3M to renovate a vacant building in Downtown Salem. The company has relocated 22 employees to the new location.

In 2016, Pacific Office Automation purchased 260 Liberty Street NE, a prominent downtown building that had been vacant for more than eight years, and began significant interior and exterior renovations. Renovations included a new storefront façade, an elevator, ADA/seismic upgrades, electrical upgrades, and a sprinkler system. Renovations are now complete and the company has moved their show room and staff to the downtown space and has plans to lease out the remaining unoccupied space in the building to other users.

"We are extremely happy that Pacific Office Automation has chosen to make such a large investment in Downtown Salem," said Kristin Retherford, Urban Development Director. "Their building improvements and employees are a welcome addition that will add to the vitality of our Downtown."

The company utilized Salem's Urban Development Department's Capital Improvement Program to help partially fund the renovations. They also received assistance through Urban Development's Site Reuse and Revitalization Program for the building's Phase 1 Environmental Assessment.

"Pacific Office is excited about being a part of the revitalization and renewal of Downtown Salem. As a local company, with local roots, it is an honor to contribute to the growth of Downtown," said Doug Pitassi, President, Pacific Office Automation.

Pacific Office Automation started in 1976 in Portland, Oregon, selling copy machines. Forty years later, they are a recognized leader in office management solutions, offering state-of-the-art technology and award-winning customer service that has helped them grow to 25 offices throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado.

For specific questions regarding investment in downtown, please contact Sheri Wahrgren at or 503-540-2495. For information regarding the City's grants and loan programs, go to Si necesita ayunda para comprender esta información, por favor llame 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 City's Urban Renewal Areas (URAs) 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.

Second Downtown Homelessness Solutions Task Force Meeting March 6 - 03/05/18

Salem, Ore. -- On Tuesday, March 6, at 6 p.m. in the Anderson Room at the Salem Public Library, the Downtown Homelessness Solutions Task Force will hold its second public meeting. They will briefly revisit the issues identified in the first meeting and then discuss who is impacted and their experiences. They will also identify who needs to be involved in the process. The meeting is open to the public and written comments will be accepted. The agenda does not include time for oral comments. Comments and questions can be submitted to City of Salem Urban Development Director, Kristin Retherford at

The City's first Downtown Homelessness Task Force Meeting was held on February 6, and more than 100 people attended. The Task Force discussed a range of issues from trash and hygiene, to safety and lack of affordable housing. They also expressed interest in broader issues contributing to homelessness including the lack of funding for mental health, drug and alcohol addiction resources.

Established by Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett, the Downtown Homelessness Task Force is chaired by Ward 1 City Councilor Cara Kaser. The Task Force comprises individuals with a breadth of experiences and roles in the community, including City leaders, business owners, service providers, property owners, residents, and advocates for the homeless. Together they are working toward identifying specific, measurable, and time-bound solutions that will make downtown Salem inviting and welcoming to all Salem residents and visitors. Learn more about the Downtown Homelessness Solutions Task Force, and see meeting agendas and minutes by visiting:

City of Salem Survey Asks Residents for Their Ideas to Reduce Traffic Congestion in West Salem and Downtown - 02/26/18

Salem, Ore. -- The Salem City Council Congestion Relief Task Force is asking the community for input and ideas to relieve traffic and congestion in west Salem and downtown through a short online survey. The survey closes on March 10, 2018. The results of the survey will be used to inform recommended solutions to relieve traffic congestion in the near term, and will be published in April on the Task Force project page:

Community members who want to share their opinions and ideas with the task force should take the survey linked below.

Survey link:

Salem is experiencing rapid growth. According to the U.S. Census, the City of Salem added 8.2 percent to its population between 2010 to 2016, a rate that exceeds Oregon's overall population growth of roughly 6.8 percent for the same time period. This growth has brought increased traffic to the area.

The Salem City Council created the Congestion Relief Task Force in November 2017 to find ways to alleviate traffic congestion in the downtown project area.

2017 McKay High School Champions
2017 McKay High School Champions
5th Annual Shoe Battle of the Schools; Teens invite public to show some love, share their soles (Photo) - 02/22/18

Salem, Ore. -- The 2018 Shoe Battle of the Schools kicks-off Monday, February 26 and runs through Friday, March 9. Now in its fifth year, the Shoe Battle of the Schools asks high school classes and clubs to form teams to collect new and gently-used shoes for local homeless youth, students in-need, and young athletes. The school that collects the most shoes gets to host the traveling Shoe Battle trophy awarded by the City of Salem and receives other prizes.

The theme for the 2018 Shoe Battle is "Show some love. Share your soles." It welcomes eight participating high schools: Blanchet Catholic High School, Early College High School, North Salem High School, McKay High School, McNary High School, South Salem High School, Sprague High School and West Salem High School.

All sizes and styles of shoes are accepted at drop-off locations inside the front lobbies of participating high schools. Additional collection sites include feeder elementary and middle schools, as well as the businesses and churches listed on the One Thousand Soles Facebook page.

In the 2017 Shoe Battle, students combined efforts far surpassed the 1,000 mark bringing in 3,947 pairs of shoes. With strong partnerships from Adam Stephens Middle School and Kaiser Permanente, McKay High School secured more than one thousand pairs of shoes and took home the coveted trophy. This year teens hope to again break their record while also collecting new socks and laces which count towards school collection totals.

The drive benefits youth in the Salem Keizer School District, HOME Youth and Resource Center, HOST Youth Shelter, COUNTRY Financial Kids Relays, Bridgeway Recovery Services, local sports club programs, and other youth organizations and programs.

To set up student interviews, email Laurie Shaw Casarez, Youth Development Coordinator.
For more information on One Thousand Soles go to

Attached Media Files: 2017 McKay High School Champions
Snow Expected Tuesday Evening; City Encourages Motorists to Exercise Caution - 02/20/18

Weather forecasts predict 2" to 5" of snowfall in Salem and the surrounding Willamette Valley this evening. Current snowfall is expected to increase in intensity around 3 p.m. today. City of Salem Public Works staff are working extended shifts for the duration of the snow event and have been applying additional deicer to keep our roadways as clear as possible. Please use extra caution and allow for additional travel time during the late afternoon and evening commute.

The City will continue to monitor the weather and provide updates on its website (, Facebook, and Twitter.

Twitter: .

Emergency Warming Center Opening Extended and Location Change - 02/20/18

The Emergency Warming Center will be open tonight, Tuesday, February 20 at First Congregational Church located at 700 Marion St. NE. The Center is open 8:00 pm -- 6:30 am for guests.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 the Emergency Warming Center will open at First Christian Church located at 685 Marion St. NE. Current operations have been extended through Thursday, February 22. We continue to monitor the weather with the Community Action Agency. The operations will be extended if weather conditions persist.

Volunteers Needed: If you have volunteered and/or have been to volunteer training in 2017 and wish to volunteer, please sign up at

For more information contact Amy Schroeder at