City of Salem
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Starting a New Business? Local Startups to Benefit from Robust Mentor Program in Salem - 10/18/19

Salem, Ore. – Entrepreneurs within Salem’s growing startup business community, including its expanding creative design, technology, and food and beverage sectors, are benefitting from new startup business assistance programming made available through the City of Salem’s partnership with Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) and Launch Mid-Valley. This programming provides expertise and various resources entrepreneurs can use to help them be successful including mentoring, networking events, and soon will include startup challenge events and connections to investment opportunities.

Mentoring. The Mid-Valley’s new Venture Catalyst, Mike White, is mentoring local entrepreneurs in Salem and connecting them to people, programs, capital resources, and events.

Networking Events. Local small businesses and startups will have the opportunity to meet Mike, network with other entrepreneurs, and engage with a panel of speakers at Salem’s regular PubTalk events. The next PubTalk is Oct. 23, at 6:00 p.m., at Vagabond Brewing. More information about PubTalks and event registration is available online.

“OEN PubTalks provide excellent opportunities for us to learn from the experts and network with our Oregon peers. Whether the topic is funding, marketing, or retail strategies, the focus is always relevant to us as entrepreneurs since we tend to wear all the hats in our small business! We're seriously thrilled that the new venture catalyst Mike White is bringing more OEN events like PubTalks to Salem -- having them closer to home means we will be able to learn more, connect more, and grow more.” – Matt Kuerbis and Catharine Sutherland, Co-Owners of Hoss Soss.

Startup Challenges and Investment Opportunities. Our local Venture Catalyst is also working with partners to establish the Mid-Valley Angel Investment Fund, recruit angel investors, and soon kickoff a regular startup business challenge event.

Online Training. Online training is also available for Salem small businesses and startups. The Virtual Incubation Program (VIP), an online course that covers key entrepreneurship concepts and helps you prepare your business for growth.

More information regarding Salem’s economic development programs and business resources is available online.

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You Can Now Search Salem's Commercial and Industrial Land Online - 10/17/19

Salem, Ore. – The City of Salem’s new land search tool is now LIVE. This online tool has been designed for residents, developers, and realtors to use to find out about potential vacant or underdeveloped land in the City or specific neighborhoods. The City of Salem Site Selection and Real Estate page features the new application tool.

A geographical information system (GIS) application pulls public information into a user-friendly map of Salem. The map highlights industrial and commercial zoned buildable land that has a level of vacancy, or room to be further developed, based on the size of the building or buildings and the remaining property.

Salem’s new search tool is intended to highlight possible opportunities as a starting point of due diligence in the development site consideration process and illustrate potential development opportunities within the City limits. Interested parties must still use the City’s pre-application conference and permitting process to determine the true development viability of a site.

For more information on Salem’s new online land search tool, please contact Annie Gorski, Economic Development Manager, at"> or 5043-540-2480.

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Local Youth Committee is Ready to Help "Break the Stigma" - 10/11/19

Teens with ILEAD Youth Leadership Summit want peers to talk about mental health

SALEM, ORE. - The 11th annual ILEAD Youth Leadership Summit is set for Sat., Nov. 2, 2019. This free, one-day event is open to any high school-aged teen living in Marion County. The event will start at North Salem High School and end at the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties’ Wipper Teen Center.

The summit will empower and equip teens to be less afraid to talk about mental health with friends, family, school counselors, and in the community through guest speakers (including a youth panel), workshop breakout sessions, a documentary screening of “Screenagers:  Next Chapter”, and interactive games. 

“ILEAD 2019 is important because it’s an opportunity for students to become more exposed to the topic of mental health,” said summit youth committee member, Andrew Kalmen, a senior at McKay High School. “We need to break the stigma around mental health. ILEAD, for a second year in a row, will provide information that teens can use in their daily lives. This knowledge can help students better not only their own health but those around them.”

Registration closes Oct. 23, 2019. Application forms are posted on the event website and at many Marion County-area high schools. The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and includes fun activities, meals, an event t-shirt for all teen participants, and bus transportation at 11 high schools.

Coordinated by the City of Salem, ILEAD is produced each year by a youth committee, college student event staff, and a planning committee made up of local youth development, prevention, and workforce readiness professionals. Sponsors for the 2019 Summit include Salem Health, Marion County Health and Human Services, United Way, and Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties.

** For student interviews, email"> **

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Salem's Annual Stormwater Report Now Open for Public Comment - 10/11/19

The City of Salem invites the public to review and comment on the City’s Annual Storrmwater Report. The annual report provides an update on the status of stormwater-related activities completed during Fiscal Year 2018-19. Program activities include Clean Streams education and outreach, Watershed Protection and Preservation Grant, Street Sweeping, the Fall Leaf Haul event, summer stream cleaning, and water quality facility inspection and maintenance.

The public comment period is open for 14 days beginning on October 11, 2019, at 5 p.m., and closing on October 25, 2019, at 5 p.m. Comments will only be accepted in writing and may be submitted by email at"> Comments may also be mailed to Stormwater Services MS4 Comments, 1410 20th Street SE, Building 2, Salem, Oregon 97302.

The MS4 Permit, Stormwater Management Plan, and draft Annual Report can be found on the City’s website at the following address:

The report is a requirement of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. The NPDES MS4 Permit requires the City to implement an approved Stormwater Management Plan and report annually on the status of that plan. It also requires the City to report on progress made toward specific permit requirements.

Survey: Salem Residents Satisfied with Core Services, Concerned About Homelessness - 10/10/19

News Release from City of Salem

October 10, 2019

Homelessness and affordable housing are top concerns for Salem residents, according to the 2019 Community Satisfaction Survey, but they are generally satisfied with core City services.

Since 2016, the City has commissioned the Community Satisfaction Survey to better understand community priorities. Insights drawn from the survey and other outreach activities help City leaders plan for the future of Salem. Survey results are one input into the City Council Policy Agenda, the Council’s annual work plan, and direction to the organization. 


Consistent with responses since 2016, almost nine of 10 residents are generally satisfied with core City services including police and fire protection, parks and recreation, library, and water and sewer services.

Residents also expressed satisfaction with the City’s protection of our natural environment and support of arts and culture.

Compared with survey responses from 2016, there is a growing concern about whether residents feel their neighborhoods are getting a fair share of City resources. Overall, about four in 10 residents think the City is headed in the right direction.



Homelessness and affordable housing remain top concerns. More residents (41 percent) list these issues as most important for Salem.

Historically, Salem has provided services to those experiencing homelessness in our community through existing local social service providers with grants totaling $400,000 each year. Since 2017, we’ve increased investment in affordable housing, allowed for more housing types, and initiated the Homeless Rental Assistance Program (see Meeting Housing Needs). Since its inception, more than 240 people in our community have been served through the program.


Residents also see room for improvement in walking and biking safety, creating more job opportunities, and street maintenance. 

The City has focused on walking and cycling safety in recent years.  Adding lighting, pedestrian crossing improvements and new bike lands has helped. We’ve also made investments in off-street bicycle and pedestrian trails. For more details, see Biking and Walking Improvements.

In addition, a majority of residents with experience driving across town at peak traffic hours say it is difficult (82 percent). 

Residents also asked to hear from the City more often. The City produces a weekly email newsletter to help keep residents informed of policies and activities. It’s easy to sign up.

The 2019 Community Satisfaction Survey was conducted from September 4 to September 9, 2019 via cell and land-line telephone calls to both English and Spanish-speaking Salem residents. This year, survey respondents were offered an online option. Measures were taken to ensure that survey responses accurately represented all areas of the City and the diverse backgrounds of its residents. 

Twelve Candidates File for Vacant Ward 7 Seat - 10/10/19

Salem, Ore. - On Mon., Oct. 14, 2019, the Salem City Council is expected to move forward with filling the Ward 7 vacancy. The Council will consider a recommendation from its Boards and Commissions Appointment Committee to interview three candidates at a special City Council meeting on Oct. 21. At the same special meeting, the Committee is also recommending the City Council appoint one of the candidates to fulfill the remainder of the term, which expires Dec. 31, 2020.

The Ward 7 vacancy was created on Sept. 23, 2019 when Sally Cook, City Councilor representing Ward 7, announced her resignation effective Oct. 1, 2019.

Under the rules of the Salem City Charter, the Board and Commission Appointments Committee met to review applications today, Oct. 10, and provide their recommendation for City Council to consider at its Oct. 14 meeting. Of the 12 applicants, the Committee recommendation was unanimous to move forward Bonnie Heitsch, Vanessa Nordyke, and Reid Sund to interviews on Oct. 21. 

The 12 applicants considered by the Board and Commission Appointments Committee were:

  • Curtis Bartley
  • Narcissa Bartley
  • Warren Bednarz
  • John Brown
  • Bonnie Heitsch
  • Kaellen Hessel
  • Nancy MacMorris-Adix (withdrew)
  • Jerod Martin
  • Vanessa Nordyke
  • Kim Ogren
  • Reid Sund
  • Robert Thrasher

The Salem City Council is composed of one representative from each of Salem's 8 wards and the Mayor. All members of the City Council, including the Mayor, serve as unpaid volunteers. In addition to twice monthly City Council meetings, members of Council may participate in many community activities and meetings, including workshops, neighborhood association meetings, committee meetings, and other events.   

Find out what ward you live in.


Salem's Future Needs Citizen Input - 10/10/19

News Release from City of Salem

October 10, 2019

Salem residents have a chance to play a role in charting the community’s future.

“Help us shape the future of Salem,” said Eunice Kim, planner for the City of Salem. “Join us at Our Salem workshops this month, and share how you want Salem to grow and develop.”

Three workshops are planned as part of a longer community-wide process:

  • Wednesday, October 16, 6-8 p.m., Pringle Hall, 606 Church St. SE
  • Thursday, October 17, 6-8 p.m., Crossler Middle School, 1155 Davis Rd. S.
  • Friday, October 25 (in Spanish only in collaboration with Enlace), 6-8 p.m., Chemeketa Community College, Building 8, 4000 Lancaster Drive NE.

The interactive workshops are part of the community-wide visioning process that the City kicked off as part of the Our Salem project. This multi-year project will update the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan, which guides development in the Salem area. 

For those who cannot attend the workshops, there will be other opportunities to provide ideas and input online this month. Check for these and future opportunities to participate. 

Projections suggest the Salem area could see as many as 60,000 new residents by 2035. With this growth comes the chance to better plan for how and where we want to grow.


The Our Salem project started last year with a look at existing conditions and how Salem could grow under current policies. That first phase resulted in a report card that evaluated whether Salem is headed in the right direction. 

Boat Docks Removed Until Spring at Wallace Marine and Minto Island Parks - 10/08/19

The City of Salem will remove the floating boat docks at Wallace Marine Park and Minto-Brown Island Park on Thursday, October 10, 2019. The floating boat docks are removed in mid–to-late fall each year to prevent them from collecting debris, being damaged, or being carried away as river levels rise. They will be reinstalled when water levels recede in the spring.

River levels for the Willamette River near Salem are monitored to determine when the floating boat docks at the Wallace Marine Park and Minto-Brown Island Park boat ramps need to be removed for the fall and winter seasons.

Please contact the City of Salem Public Works at 503-588-6336 or"> for additional information.

Project SEARCH internship orientation with City of Salem.
Project SEARCH internship orientation with City of Salem.
Salem Launches Innovative Internship Program (Photo) - 09/30/19

The City of Salem is the first employer in Marion County to adopt the Project SEARCH Program, providing job-training opportunities for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Salem, Ore. – The City of Salem is excited to partner with Albertina Kerr to bring the Project SEARCH Program to our region. Project SEARCH is a nine-month internship for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities to gain real-life job skills training. The City of Salem is Kerr’s fourth Project SEARCH site in Oregon.

Today, eight individuals from our community began their internship, working alongside City of Salem employees who serve as skills trainers and mentors. While at the City of Salem, interns will learn key employability skills to ready them for the workforce and explore jobs in three City of Salem departments for 12 weeks each.

“City staff have truly embraced the program and the goal of fostering competitive, integrated employment for every program graduate. We are excited to extend our commitment to community service, learning, and working alongside our interns,” said Mina Hanssen, City of Salem Human Resources Director.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Salem so residents of Marion County can have access to this life-changing program,” said Jeff Carr, CEO of Albertina Kerr. “Together we are breaking the barriers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face when seeking employment and creating more inclusivity in the workplace.”

Kerr also operates nine Group Homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Marion County area. Project SEARCH is an internationally recognized program in nine countries and 45 states, with over 500 sites. This employer-driven model began in 1996 as a single program site at the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. Information about Albertina Kerr and Project SEARCH is available online.

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Addressing the Community's Affordable Housing Needs With a Five-Year Consolidated Plan - 09/27/19

Salem, Ore. – A planning effort to address affordable housing in our community has begun. For the next nine months, the City of Salem and the City of Keizer will assess community housing and development needs in order to create a Consolidated Plan that will target federal HOME Investment Partnership and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding resources for five years (2020-2024). The planning effort is built on feedback from community partners and community members.

How can you participate? Take our surveys and give input on community affordable housing needs, household needs to achieve self-sufficiency, and any experiences you have had with housing discrimination. The Housing & Community Development and Fair Housing surveys are available online. Surveys are available in English, Spanish, and Russian. The estimated time for each survey is 10 - 15 minutes.

Schedule a presentation for your community organization about the Consolidated Plan. To schedule a presentation, email Shelly Ehenger, Federal Programs Manager, at

Become a part of our email list. Follow the planning process. To get emails, sign up by emailing You may include your name, address, and if you are affiliated with a specific agency, neighborhood association or organization, in order to assist in the development of the plan.

The Consolidated Plan is a five-year housing and community development strategic plan based on data collection and community feedback (from county departments, city partners, state agencies, non-profit partners and community members) to inform how to best utilize the scarce federal resources over the five-year period.

The Analysis of Impediments uses collected data to identify and analyze impediments to fair housing choice and develop strategies to address those impediments. This also involves a comprehensive community engagement process. These two planning efforts will be undertaken beginning in August 2019 and continuing through April 2020.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that jurisdictions receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program funds conduct these planning efforts to address regulatory requirements.

More information about the Consolidated Plan process is available or by calling 503-588-6178.

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Front Street NE Closure for Railroad Improvements October 2-18, 2019 (D St. NE to Market St. NE) - 09/26/19

Salem, Ore. — Beginning Wednesday, October 2, 2019, Front Street NE between D St. NE and Market Street NE will be closed to all through traffic.  Local access will be maintained, and all area businesses will remain open.  Flaggers will be onsite to assist and direct local traffic. The closure will be in place 24 hours per day, for seven days a week, until the anticipated completion date of October 18, 2019.

The temporary closure of Front Street will allow Portland and Western (PNWR) Railroad to complete approximately 500 feet of railroad track repairs.  This is an ongoing project, and it is expected that additional track repairs along Front Street will occur over the next several years. City crews will repave each stretch of road following the track repairs.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact the City of Salem at 503-588-6211 or">  Additional information on current road conditions in the city can be found on the City of Salem website at the following location:

Salem City Councilor Sally Cook Announces Resignation - 09/24/19

Salem, Ore. — Sally Cook, Salem City Councilor representing Ward 7, announced her resignation on September 23, 2019, effective October 1, 2019. The Salem City Council will appoint a new councilor to fill the vacant position to fulfill the remainder of the term, which expires December 31, 2020. The new councilor will be chosen from a list of a recommendations made by the Board and Commissions Committee.

“We are grateful to Councilor Cook’s service to the community,” Said City of Salem Mayor, Chuck Bennett. “Her dedication and compassion brought an important perspective to Council discussions. She will be missed.”

Those interested in serving as Ward 7 City Councilor must:

The application is available on the City’s website, Residents should visit the website to find out what ward they live in.

The Salem City Council is composed of one representative from each of Salem’s 8 wards and the Mayor. All members of the City Council, including the Mayor, serve as unpaid volunteer. In addition to twice monthly City Council meetings, members of Council may participate in many community activities and meetings, including workshops, neighborhood association meetings, committee meetings, and other events.