City of Salem
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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 http://bit.ly/cos-strategic.

Oregon Pallet Fire Contained - 08/19/19

SALEM, ORE. — As of 8 a.m., the four-alarm fire at Oregon Pallet company in Salem is contained. Earlier this morning, firefighters from Salem, Woodburn, Silverton, Keizer, Marion County District 1, and Polk County Fire District 1 responded to the fire. Firefighters were able to save all the buildings and contain the blaze to avoid impacts to adjacent businesses in the industrial area. All manufacturing equipment within the structures was saved.

Fire crews remain on-site and are continuing to mop up hot spots. The cause of the blaze is unknown. When it is safe for investigators to begin their work, more information as to the cause of fire will be available. The Oregon Pallet company fire began at approximately 2:52 a.m. 

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City of Salem Reports Hydraulic Oil Release Into Pringle Creek - 08/18/19

The City of Salem reports that a hydraulic oil spill occurred on August 17, 2019 at approximately 4:00 p., into Pringle Creek near 315 Commercial Street SE. The release occurred when a contractor working for the City was in the process of demolishing old structures from the former Boise Cascade site as part of the City project. The project involves restoration of the Pringle creek to its original location and repairing its riparian corridor. 

An old elevator shaft with previously undiscovered hydraulic oil leaked when the contractor proceeded to remove a pipe from within the project site. The contractor immediately started addressing the release using onsite spill absorbent pads and booms. The contractor and the City inspector promptly informed the Oregon Emergency Reponse System of the release and had the City’s Environmental Services respond as the first responder to assist with containment. Approximately 40-50 gallons of hydraulic oil was spilled. Most of the free product was contained in an already isolated area however some hydraulic oil made its way through the stream gravel resulting in sheen in the Willamette Slough. Environmental Services staff immediately put multiple fuel absorbing booms to soak up the oil in Pringle Creek and Willamette Slough. The contractor contacted Northwest Firefighters Environmental Services for additional assistance. 

At the present time the contractor has managed to pump out the free product that had accumulated in the contained area and plans to further pump out any remaining hydraulic oil in the old elevator shaft today. The City will work with the Department of Environmental Quality and other regulatory agencies to coordinate any additional steps that may be needed.

School Zone Flashing Beacon Testing - 08/16/19

Salem, Ore. — On Tuesday, August 20, 2019 and Wednesday, August 21, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the City of Salem will be testing the operation of all school speed zone flashing beacons in Salem and Keizer.  The testing will be completed as follows:

Please remember to always follow the 20 mph speed limit when school zone flashing beacons are in operation.

Tamerhoulet receives state's top building official award (Photo) - 08/15/19

Salem, Ore. -- Rebai Tamerhoulet, Salem’s Building and Safety Division Manager, was named Oregon Building Official of the Year on August 1, at the Oregon Building Officials Association annual business meeting and conference.

“This is a proud day for the City,” said Norman Wright, Community Development Director. “Rebai has done terrific work for our community for many years and this award is richly deserved. We’re all proud of him.”

The award is the highest annual honor given by the Building Officials Association.

“Rebai has been a remarkable leader and mentor for the City of Salem, Building and Safety Division,” wrote Keith Sekishiro, Building & Safety Section Manager, who nominated Tamerhoulet for the award. “He consistently leads by example and never waivers with regard to providing excellent customer service to all; both internal and external.”

Tamerhoulet was instrumental in the transition to all-digital application and plan filing.

“Rebai has also established the Division’s robust quality management system, that he reviews regularly,” Sekishiro said.

The award follows successful accreditation renewal of the Building and Safety Division by International Accreditation Service (IAS) auditors, a process that involved the entire staff, and internal and external stakeholders.

These accomplishments come at a busy time in Building and Safety.

Between July 2018 and June 2019, there were more than 2,350 permits issued for projects with a total valuation of more than $467 million, according to Division records.  Among the developments moving forward were 317 multifamily units, 13 accessory dwelling units, and 547 single family or duplex homes.  More than 110 new commercial/industrial permits were issued during the 12-month period, totaling nearly $110 million in valuation.

The City of Salem is the only Building Department in Oregon to be accredited by International Accreditation Services, whose assessors ranked Salem one of the top three Building departments they have reviewed in their 20 years of experience auditing building departments for IAS.

 

Fire burn area
Fire burn area
Prescribed Wildland Training Burn Aug. 17 (Photo) - 08/15/19

Salem, Ore - On Sat., Aug. 17, 2019, area fire departments will be conducting a controlled training burn at the Mill Creek Corporate Center located between Mill Creek Dr SE, Turner Rd SE, and Kuebler Blvd SE. The opportunity for a training burn arose out of the City of Salem and Oregon Department of Administrative Services grading and wetland construction project presently underway. The training will be conducted as weather and site conditions allow. The purpose is to provide training and expertise in wildland firefighting under actual fire conditions and to help area fire departments better prepare for these types of incidents in the urban wildland interface. Such training is necessary to ensure firefighters can properly handle wildland fires in our area. Training will be completed by Saturday afternoon.

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Attached Media Files: Fire burn area
LUBA Returns Costco Decision for Salem Review - 08/14/19

Salem, Ore. — The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals issued an opinion today, remanding the City of Salem’s decision to reject a Costo Wholesale proposal to build a shopping hub on Kuebler Boulevard SE.

“The City is evaluating LUBA’s decision and the available options,” said Dan Atchison, Salem city attorney.

Unless the City, or one of the other parties, decide to seek judicial review of LUBA’s decision at the Court of Appeals, the matter will be returned to the City to address the issues raised by LUBA

Update: August 8, 2019 Fire at Salem Health Hospital - 08/09/19

Update:

Salem, Ore. – An investigation of the fire at Salem Health Hospital is still ongoing. Salem Fire investigators are working with Salem Health in this investigation.

The origin was confirmed to be in the south elevator of building B.

Further information will be provided at a later date.

There were no injuries reported from the fire. Salem Health is actively working to recover from the event to resume normal operations.

For information on scheduled appointments, especially those scheduled in building B, please contact Salem Health.

August Update on Salem's Drinking Water - 08/01/19

Salem, Ore. — Salem’s drinking water remains clean and safe to drink thanks to updates to water treatment equipment and processes made over the past year. Test data shows that the treatment system continues to reliably remove cyanotoxins from our drinking water. To learn more about how we are keeping your drinking water safe visit http://www.cityofsalem.net/drinking-water.

The City is also working with the U.S. Geological Survey to activate two additional water monitoring stations. The two new stations will provide additional water quality data for the City’s water monitoring program. 

If a drinking water emergency happens, the City will inform the public through its Community Alert System, notice to the media, the City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and on a webpage dedicated to drinking water information.

2019 Volunteer Recognition Ceremony - 07/26/19

On Monday, September 16, at 5:00 p.m., join Mayor Chuck Bennett and the Salem City Council at the annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration held at the Salem Public Library. Elected officials, along with the rest of the community, will celebrate the contributions of more than 9,000 volunteers who worked over 211,300 hours in 2018-19. Plan to attend this evening of entertainment, light refreshments, and recognition of distinguished volunteer service. All are welcome.

Each year Salem celebrates its community’s volunteers. Nominate an outstanding volunteer and save the date to be a part of this annual community celebration honoring the spirit of Salem volunteerism. Nominations need to be received by 5 p.m. August 13.

The September 16 community celebration recognizes significant volunteer contributions to our community from youth, our neighborhoods, or business groups. Honors will also be given to individuals and groups who have completed special projects and volunteers who have made our community a better place through their long-term service.

Entertainment and light refreshments will begin at 5:00 p.m. and the awards ceremony will commence at 6:00 p.m. Guests may park in the Salem Public Library Parkade and enter through the main entrance of the Library (south doors). Parking meters will not be enforced that evening. 

The City relies heavily on the skills, time, talent, and energy of residents who work with appointed officials, paid staff and elected representatives on issues of importance to the community. Please join us in honoring outstanding volunteer achievement and celebrating the service of these dedicated volunteers. 

Salem Community Gives Big Response to Survey on Future of Battle Creek Park - 07/26/19

Salem, Ore. — More than 800 Salem community members shared their thoughts on the future of Battle Creek Park via a survey sent out by park planners at the City of Salem. Most respondents want the park to have a mix of natural and recreational uses, and supported the idea of using the park to reduce flooding potential in the surrounding neighborhoods. Survey respondents also shared interest in the addition of a skate park, restoration of natural areas, walking and running trails, and disk golf features. 

“We are very excited that so many people took the first online survey for the Battle Creek Park master plan,” says Patricia Farrell, City of Salem Parks & Natural Resources Planning Manager. “There were clear themes in what residents want. The key is going to be finding a balance of uses and respecting the natural features of the site.”

Full survey results are available on the city’s website at http://bit.ly/battlecreek-mp

Battle Creek Park is a 56-acre undeveloped park in south Salem at the former Battle Creek Golf Course. Last spring, the City began the process to develop a master plan for the park. The survey came after a kick-off community open house on June 5. The feedback from the community survey and open houses will be used to create multiple alternatives for the Battle Creek Park Master Plan. These alternatives will be presented at the next community open house on September 11 at 6:30 p.m., at Battle Creek Elementary School, 1640 Waln Drive SE. A second survey asking for additional community feedback will follow soon afterward.