City of Salem
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Traffic Signal Out at Cordon Rd SE / Keubler Blvd. SE (Lancaster Dr. / Aumsville Hwy) - 10/15/18

The traffic signal at intersection of Cordon Rd SE / Keubler Blvd. SE (Lancaster Dr. / Aumsville Hwy) has been damaged. This intersection is being temporarily controlled by a stop sign and traffic is proceeding slowly. Please use extra caution and treat this intersection as 4-way stop.  If possible, please choose an alternate route until the repairs can be completed. Repairs are expected to be completed later this evening.

Annual Stormwater Report Posted for Public Comment - 10/10/18

The public is invited to review and comment on the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Annual Report. This report documents the City’s efforts in reducing stormwater pollution into Salem streams, and provides an update on the status of stormwater-related activities completed during Fiscal Year 2017-18. The public comment period is open for a 14-day period beginning on October 10, 2018, at 5 p.m. through October 24, 2018, at 5 p.m. Written comments may be submitted via email, fax, or mail to one of the following:

Stormwater Services - MS4 Comments 
1410 20th St. SE, Building #2 
Salem, OR 97302

The Stormwater Management Plan and Annual Report are requirements of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) MS4 Permit.  This Permit requires the City to implement an approved Plan and report annually on the status of that plan. It also requires the City to report on progress made toward specific permit requirements. The City manages a variety of stormwater services including drainage systems, flooding response, regulatory compliance, capital improvements, street sweeping, and much more.

Salem Issues First-Ever Annual Community Report - 10/10/18

Salem, Ore. – On Tues., Oct. 9, 2018, the City of Salem issued its first-ever annual community report on its progress to implement the City Council and Salem community priorities outlined in the Salem Strategic Plan. You can read the report and learn more about the Strategic Plan and the 2018 Annual Policy Agenda at bit.ly/salem-strategic-plan. You are also invited to learn more by attending the Town Hall on Wed., Oct. 24 at Broadway Commons, 1300 Broadway Street NE, from 6 to 8 p.m. Those unable to participate in person can take an online survey to let Council know what work they think the City should prioritize in the next one to two years: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Salem2019Priorities

What is in the Annual Report?

The 2018 Annual Report is an update on the City’s progress toward achieving Strategic Plan priorities, as articulated in the 2017 Strategic Plan and the City Council’s annual work plan, or the 2018 City Council Policy Agenda. The report is organized around the community and Council expectations of service and desired results from the City, or result areas. The six result areas are based in the Strategic Plan’s vision, mission and values:

  • Safe Community;
  • Welcoming and Livable Community;
  • Strong and Diverse Economy;
  • Safe, Reliable and Efficient Infrastructure;
  • Natural Environment Stewardship;
  • Good Governance.

What is Salem's Strategic Plan?

Salem's Strategic Plan describes the City’s guiding vision, mission, and values. It also identifies goals and actions the City may take in the next three-to-five years. The City Council will use the Strategic Plan to track progress and revisit goals, updating it periodically.

Priorities - in Context

The City’s ability to sustain services is at risk, despite recent economic growth. The cost to provide City services is growing faster than the revenue the City receives from property taxes and fees. The Council's Policy Agenda is a way to prioritize services and staff resources for the upcoming budget. 

In addition to day-to-day emergency response, parks maintenance, police patrol and investigations, planning and code enforcement, economic development, library services, and multi-generational recreation opportunities, staff continue to work on 2018 Policy Agenda priorities, including: 

  • Developing more affordable housing;
  • Opening a sobering center;
  • Beginning an update to the Comprehensive Plan;
  • Hiring and training firefighters to re-open Station 11 in West Salem;
  • Beginning construction of a new Police Station and Library Renovation project;
  • Testing the market for high speed internet downtown. 

The City continues to make use of available resources according to Council and community priorities, learn about revenue options, and plan for future infrastructure needs. 

Salem Community Works to Provide Homelessness Solutions - 10/01/18

Salem, Ore. – Homelessness is a critical problem affecting cities along the West Coast, including Salem. In 2018, the Salem City Council made reducing it a priority. The City of Salem and its partners are working to lessen the hardships that lead to homelessness of residents and families with children, and to increase access to affordable housing. Salem is taking a collaborative approach and adapting best practices to fit our community.

“We have built a strong foundation to address homelessness,” said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett, “But we need more individuals in the community to step up and join the effort. We are thankful to everyone who is already chipping in.”

The City is actively helping the homeless and working to reduce homelessness in Salem through the following programs:

Homeless Rental Assistance Program (HRAP)

Launched in July 2017, the City of Salem, through the Salem Housing Authority, committed $1.4 million dollars to launch the Homeless Rental Assistance Program, the largest housing-first initiative in Oregon. It saw tremendous success in its first year by helping 71 homeless individuals get off the street and enrolled 121 people in the program. In addition to housing, the program focuses on the most vulnerable, hardest to house individuals in the homeless population and provides, intensive case management, and other resources to reduce barriers to success. Read the 2017-18 Homeless Rental Assistance Program report to learn more and see how you can contribute to its continued success: http://bit.ly/hrap-2018-report.

Downtown Homelessness Task Force

The Task Force worked with individuals with many experiences and roles in the community to identify specific, measurable, time-bound solutions that will make downtown Salem inviting and welcoming to all Salem residents and visitors.  The group including City leaders, business owners, service providers, property owners, residents, and advocates for the homeless. Salem Task Force recommended solutions include:

  • Provide public toilet facilities that are available 24/7.
  • Support the development of additional storage for homeless individuals in need of a safe place to store their possessions during the day.
  • Support alternative ways of giving.
  • Pursue options for expanding downtown cleaning services.

Read the full list of proposed solutions on the City’s website: http://bit.ly/dhstf-rec.

Affordable Housing

The lack of affordable housing is part of the homelessness problem. The Salem Housing Authority is developing 86 units of low-income housing and works with developers to encourage construction of affordable housing.

Through urban renewal funds, the City supported the construction of 188 affordable apartments on Portland Road.

Finally, the City Council created a tax incentive for qualifying nonprofit owners of low-income housing.

Sobering Center

The City of Salem is one of several agencies developing a safe, clean, and supervised space to become sober and connect to further treatment. The Oregon legislature and governor have provided start-up funding for a sobering center in Salem to relieve some of the burden on the area’s regional hospital and jail, and to connect individuals with treatment resources. The sobering center will open by early 2019, and will receive ongoing funding from the City of Salem, Marion County, and Salem Health.

Police Behavioral Health Detachments

The Salem Police Department has officers who are specially trained to help people experiencing a mental health crisis. These officers also work with agencies in both Marion and Polk Counties.

Regional Coordination

Following the recommendation of the Mid-Valley Homeless Initiative, the City of Salem contributed $45,000 toward the hiring of a regional coordinator at the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments. Under the direction of Mid-Willamette Homeless Initiative leadership, this person researches best practices and coordinates homelessness reduction efforts with the region’s city, county and other local governments.

Low-Income Assistance

The City of Salem partners with the City of Keizer to receive and distribute federal grants that fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership. These grants also provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. The City of Salem has programs to assist with utility and sewer bills, and awards roughly $400,000 each year in grants to local nonprofits that provide emergency or essential services to the most vulnerable populations with the highest need. Salem’s low-income assistance programs are aligned with the City’s priorities.

100-Day Youth Challenge

The City participated in the 100-day Youth Challenge and contributed $12,000 toward this program to reduce youth homelessness in the community.

Community Support and Partnership is Critical

Homelessness in Salem is a complex problem that requires long-term, committed partnerships with public and non-profit agencies and organizations across the City, Marion County, and Polk County. Many nonprofit, private, and government organizations have joined together in seeking proactive solutions.

The Salem community’s support is critical to helping the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. Please donate to non-profit organizations, provide space for services, serve on volunteer boards, volunteer, invest in affordable housing, or rent an apartment to an at-risk tenant. Your help is vital and greatly appreciated. For more information on how you can join the effort to reduce homelessness in Salem, please contact Ali Treichel, Mid-Willamette Homeless Initiative Program Coordinator at 503-540-1625, or email atreichel@mwvcog.org.

Section of Front Street NE Closed October 1--14 for Railroad Improvements - 09/28/18

Salem, Ore. — Beginning Monday, October 1, 2018, Front Street NE between the Front Street Bypass and Market Street NE will be closed to all through traffic. Local access will be maintained from Market Street NE and D Street NE., and all area businesses will remain open. Flaggers will be onsite to assist and direct local traffic. The closure will be in place until the anticipated completion date of October 14, 2018.

The temporary closure of Front Street will allow Portland and Western 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 licworks@cityofsalem.net">publicworks@cityofsalem.net. Additional information on current road conditions in the city can be found on the City of Salem website at the following location: http://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/current-road-conditions.aspx

 

Survey Says: Salem Residents Remain Satisfied with City Services - 09/27/18

Salem, Ore. — According to the annual Residential Satisfaction Survey, Salem residents expressed satisfaction with core City services such as emergency response, parks, and street lighting. Consistent with responses since 2016, nine out of ten residents are generally satisfied with the services the City provides. Residents also expressed satisfaction with the city’s cultural offerings and most think their neighborhoods are getting a fair share of City resources. More than half of residents think the City is headed in the right direction, despite decreased confidence in that direction since the December 2017 survey.

Resident voiced concerns about homelessness and City infrastructure. While homelessness was a top concern in both 2017 (26%) and 2016 (17%), more residents (33%) list it as the most important issue for Salem to do something about in 2018. Roads, potholes and other infrastructure were also noted by residents as needing improvement. A majority of residents with experience driving across town during peak traffic hours say it is difficult (73%). Nearly half of those surveyed listed building and making major repairs to streets, bridges and sidewalks as their highest priority for future investments. According to the survey results, residents feel that most everyday tasks are easy in Salem, particularly walking or biking, getting a permit or paying a bill, operating a business, and finding information on how decisions are made or solving City issues.

The Salem City Council commissioned the Residential Satisfaction Survey to better understand residents’ priorities. The insights drawn from the survey and other outreach activities helps City leaders plan for the future of Salem. Residential Satisfaction Survey results are one input into the City Council’s annual work plan and direction to the organization, the City Council Policy Agenda. For more on the survey, the City’s Strategic Plan, and the City Council’s Policy Agenda, see: bit.ly/salem-strategic-plan.

The 2018 Residential Satisfaction Survey was conducted from September 8 to September 10, 2018 via telephone calls to both English and Spanish-speaking Salem residents. Measures were taken to ensure that survey responses accurately represented all areas of the City and the diverse backgrounds of its residents.