City of Salem
Emergency Messages as of 1:29 pm, Sat. Mar. 28
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Stay home, stay healthy and stay connected, Salem - 03/23/20

Salem, Ore. -- At the City of Salem, we take seriously direction from our Governor and public health agencies. Together, with everyone doing their part, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the severity of risk to everyone in our community. We ask your patience and cooperation as measures are put in place to protect you and the entire community.

The Centers for Disease Control and the Oregon Health Authority continue to advise that we should stay home to stay healthy. If you must go out, to pick up food from a grocery store or local restaurant, maintain necessary social distancing of six or more feet.

You can count on us. Our City will continue to provide emergency response, public safety and other essential services, including water service to all customers. We’re making provisions for employees to provide service to our community by working remotely where possible, and if needed, in offices with appropriate social distancing and separation. To help keep our community safe and continue sharing critical information to our community, we are re-purposing our staff and resources to essential services where possible. 

For the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 virus and how to protect your health, please visit Oregon Health Authority. For health-related questions, contact 2-1-1.

Changes to City services and programs. To do our part in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce opportunities for continued transmission of the virus, we are making changes to some of our programs and services including:

  • Civic Center. Our administrative offices are closed as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020. You can contact us with questions. Many City services are available to the community via our website. Building permits and land use applications may be submitted online. Utility billsparking tickets, and other business with the City may also be conducted online.
  • City Council meetings. The City Council put temporary public meeting procedures in place, to ensure continuation of necessary City business while complying with social distancing guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Meetings are limited to fewer than 25 people, including members of the governing body, the public and staff. Real-time remote viewing of these meetings is available online on the City of Salem Facebook page, Comcast Cable CCTV Channel 21, or on the CCTVSalem YouTube channel. In-person public comment is suspended at meetings. Public testimony may be provided in advance of the meeting by email to cityrecorder@cityofsalem.net.
  • Parks and Public Spaces. Playground equipment, restroom facilities, sports courts, skate parks, drinking fountains and splash fountains in Salem’s parks are closed effective immediately until further notice. All dog parks are also closed. Picnic tables are being removed from shelters and pavilions. No group gatherings are allowed. Where it is possible to maintain social distancing, pathways and open spaces in our parks are open. If everyone does their part, together we can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk to everyone in our community. New local use restrictions are in place through April 28, 2020.

    Portable toilets, which are seen as a safer option for social distancing, will be available at Marion Square Park during daylight hours, and 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Wallace Marine Park and Cascades Gateway Park. These facilities are being made available to support the unsheltered population that is in habiting these parks, and to avoid a greater sanitation problem. The parks will continue to be maintained with appropriate landscape maintenance, repairs, garbage removal and safety inspections. Salem Parks asks for patience as signs and closures are implemented at the city’s 91 park properties.

See COVID-19, Your City and You for a more complete list of City measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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City Parks Change Service During COVID-19 Outbreak - 03/20/20

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce opportunities for continued transmission of the virus, we are making changes to some of our programs and services.

Park restrooms will remain closed

All but the following park restrooms and chemical toilets will remain closed until further notice:

Bush’s Pasture Park

Geer Community Park – Baseball Fields

River Road Park

Woodmansee Park

Cascades Gateway Park

McKay Park

Minto-Brown Island Park

Orchard Heights Park

Wallace Marine Park

Riverfront Park

Park freestanding drinking fountains will remain closed and opening of splash fountains will be delayed.

Contact the Public Works Parks Operations office by phone at 503-588-6336 for more information.

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State Street Closure Starts March 25 for Railroad Repairs - 03/20/20

Salem, Ore. — Beginning at 7:00 am on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, State Street between 12th and 13th Streets will be temporarily closed to all through traffic. The closure will remain in effect through 12:00 pm on Saturday, March 28, 2020. 

The closure is due to Union Pacific Railroad performing extensive repairs.  

There will be no local access and neighboring businesses will be notified of the closure. Variable Message Sign boards providing traffic closure information to motorists will be in place on Friday, March 20, 2020. 

Additional information on current road closures in the city can be found on the City of Salem website. 

 

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Salem City Council to Consider Withdrawing Employee Payroll Tax Measure on May 2020 Ballot - 03/19/20

Salem, Ore. — At their Monday, March 23, 2020, the Salem City Council will consider withdrawing the employee-paid payroll tax measure from the May 2020 ballot.  The decision will come to the City Council in the form of a resolution ratifying the action.

“We don’t yet know how severe an impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our local economy,” said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett.  “We do know it will take all of us, working together, to help local businesses, employees and residents recover.  We’re doing our part by withdrawing this ballot measure.”

Late last year, following recommendations from a citizen task force and public testimony, the Salem City Council referred an employee-paid payroll tax proposal to Salem voters at the May 19, 2020, primary election.  The employee-paid payroll tax was intended to help keep pace with our community’s growing public safety needs. 

“Given the current unprecedented situation we are all experiencing, I asked that we remove the employee-paid payroll tax from the upcoming ballot,” said Salem City Council President Chris Hoy. “Despite the City’s need for additional operating revenue to keep pace with our growing population, I don’t believe that putting an additional burden on workers is the right thing to do at this time.”

The City of Salem has taken other measures to reduce the financial strain experienced by residents, businesses, and utility customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For example, the City will not shut-off water service to customers if payment cannot be made.  For more information about changes to City services and programs during this emergency, see the COVID-19 page on the City’s website at cityofsalem.net.

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'To Go' 15-Minute Parking spaces now available in downtown Salem - 03/19/20

Salem, Ore. – In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and restaurant limitations, the City of Salem has temporarily converted several downtown parking spaces to 15-minute ‘ToGo’ spaces to allow downtown restaurant patrons to pick up food and beverages.

Please continue to support small businesses in downtown! The ‘ToGo’ spaces will be available Mar. 18, 2020 through May 31, 2020. 15-minute parking signs have been installed throughout downtown.  

More information about parking in Downtown Salem is available online or by calling 503-588-6178. Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta información, por favor llame 503-588-6178.

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City declares emergency, limits public gatherings, opens limited camping - 03/18/20

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is asking all residents to work together to help slow the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the March 17 joint meeting of the Salem City Council, Urban Renewal Agency and Salem Housing Authority, two actions were taken designed to ensure social distancing precautions in public settings. These new rules include maintaining social distance (six feet or more) in public settings in accordance with recent orders from Governor Kate Brown and recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority and the Centers for Disease Control.

“We understand some of the actions to stem the local impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will pose a hardship for people in our community. Protecting the health of the community is a central task of the City Council. We believe the Council’s unanimous action last night is necessary if we are going to have a positive impact on the virus,” said Mayor Chuck Bennett.

Limits on meeting attendance

The City Council put temporary public meeting procedures in place through April 28, 2020, to ensure continuation of necessary City business while complying with guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Salem City Council, Urban Renewal Agency Board and Salem Housing Commission meetings will be limited to fewer than 25 people, including members of the governing body, the public and staff.

In-person public comment will be temporarily suspended at meetings. Public testimony may be provided in advance of the meeting via email to ecorder@cityofalem.net">cityrecorder@cityofalem.net.

Real time remote viewing of these meetings is available online on the City of Salem Facebook page, Comcast Cable CCTV Channel 21, or on the CCTVSalem YouTube channel.

Emergency declaration

The Salem City Council declared a state of emergency that allows them to take rapid action in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of its spread throughout the community. The declaration cites threats to the health and safety of unsheltered residents of the city and increased risk to vulnerable populations of contracting COVID-19 through public gatherings.

The emergency declaration includes provisions for temporary limits on public gatherings and repeal of the camping ban in two specific locations. The declaration took effect immediately. Its rules, listed below, will terminate on April 28, 2020, unless extended by the Salem City Council.

Limit on public gatherings

Under the emergency declaration, gatherings of two or more people are banned in or on any public space within the city of Salem, unless a permit for a public gathering has been issued by the Salem Chief of Police. Loitering on public sidewalks and landscape strips is prohibited. Use of public space, including sidewalks, landscape strips, and City parks is limited to active pedestrian use including walking or other human-powered transportation, such as bicycling.

Exceptions include:

  • Individuals experiencing a medical emergency
  • Individuals, as a result of physical disability, who use a wheelchair, walker or similar movement-supporting device for mobility purposes, and their companions or caregivers
  • A child in a stroller or similar movement-supporting device
  • Sitting on a fixed chair or bench on a public sidewalk or in a park
  • Sitting on a public sidewalk at a marked bus stop while waiting for public or private transportation
  • Public safety personnel performing work in the course of their duties
  • People involved in a City-approved or permitted activity

Salem Housing Authority, along with ARCHES and Salem Police were downtown this morning, contacting unsheltered groups to inform them of the risks of COVID-19 and the benefits of social distancing. They are also being informed that they can no longer loiter in public spaces, as defined by the emergency declaration.

Police will continue to direct people to resources such as Salem Housing and ARCHES and inform them where the camping restrictions have been temporarily lifted.’

Lifting of camping ban in Wallace Marine and Cascades Gateway parks

To reduce the impact of the public gathering ban, the City Council has suspended the ban on maintaining a campsite in all unimproved areas of Wallace Marine and Cascades Gateway parks, with the following rules:

  • Individuals and groups of less than 10 people can maintain campsites, but remain subject to all other laws and City park rules.
  • Campsites must be separated by at least 50 feet and must be at least 50 feet from any improved area of the park and from other abutting properties.

Hardships

We encourage anyone experiencing hardships as a result of COVID-19 prevention rules to seek help through local helping organizations. The 211 directory is a good source of information on those resources.

Ongoing prevention

The City of Salem continues to coordinate with the Oregon Health Authority and Marion County Public Health on COVID-19 policies. They are the public health authorities for our area. COVID-19 resources:

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Salem City Council holds emergency meeting on COVID-19 issues - 03/17/20

Salem, Ore. -- City of Salem will hold a joint emergency meeting of the Salem City Council, Salem Housing Authority, and Urban Renewal Agency, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 6 p.m. You can watch the meeting live right here at City of Salem, on Comcast Cable CCTV Channel 21, or on the CCTVSalem YouTube channel. The purpose of the meeting is to consider City actions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. To provide testimony in advance of the meeting, email: citycouncil@cityofsalem.net

We encourage the public to make use of remote viewing opportunities as much as possible to reduce risks of COVID-19 transmission.

More Changes to City Programs Following State Guidance Related to COVID-19 - 03/16/20

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is following Governor Brown's guidance and new rules addressing large gatherings and social distancing designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce opportunities for continued transmission of the virus, we are making changes to some of our programs and services. Through April 9, 2020, the City will suspend advisory board and commission meetings, and community events and activities including fire station tours, police ride-alongs, and Citizen Police Academy.

The City will continue to provide emergency response, public safety and other essential services, including water service to all customers. Through April 9, 2020, the City will not shut-off water service to customers due to non-payment to ensure residents can wash frequently in accordance with the Center for Disease Control’s recommended sanitation practices while at home. 

Other services and programs will be impacted, including:

  • Salem Public Library.  Salem Public Library will close temporarily its physical locations beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 and remain closed through April 9, 2020.  The decision to temporarily close Library locations has been made because attempts to redistribute furniture have not resulted in recommended social distancing and we have new information about how long the virus may be able to persist on inanimate surfaces.  We are asking patrons to keep materials at home until they reopen. Staff will remain available via phone, provide virtual reference and information services with those using our online resources (e-books, movies, etc.) for the first-time, reader advisory and other engagement and learning videos. 
  • Center 50+. Because Center 50+ serves a population considered to be at higher risk for contracting the virus, serves more than 250 people each day, for whom we cannot guarantee social distancing, Center 50+ will close effective Monday, March 16, 2020, for the next 30 days. Congregate meals offered Monday through Friday at Center 50+ will continue through a drive-up option. Follow https://www.facebook.com/center50plus/ for virtual program offerings during this time.
  • Salem Municipal Court. All violation trials, including parking ticket trials, scheduled to occur on or before April 30, 2020 will be continued to a future date to be set by the Court.  If you have concerns about potential exposure even though you are not ill, contact the Municipal Court to request a reset of your appearance.  City of Salem Municipal Court is urging anyone who is sick and experiencing flu-like symptoms to request a reset of their scheduled appearance by calling 503-588-6146 or faxing 503-588-6441. Those represented by an attorney should call their attorney to make arrangements. All jury trials   All jury trials currently scheduled between now and the end of April will be reset to a future date.

Our administrative offices will remain open. We are also encouraging those who can accomplish City business without coming to City offices to do so. You can contact us with questions.  Many City services are available to the community via our website. Building permits may be submitted online. Utility bills, parking tickets, and other business with the City may also be conducted online. If you come to a City office, lobbies will remain open to visitors and you can expect we have increased the frequency of cleaning at each publicly facing space.

The City of Salem has been coordinating with the Oregon Health Authority and Marion County Public Health for several weeks on our preparations for and response to COVID 19. They are the public health authorities for our area. We continue to rely on their guidance and direction, referring the public to these authoritative sources and providing links to them, the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities on the www.cityofsalem.net home page. For more information and questions about COVID-19, please refer to the following resources:

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Salem Library Announces Temporary Closure to Help Slow Spread of COVID-19 - 03/16/20

In the interest of public health, both Salem Public Library locations--Salem Public Library at Broadway and the West Salem Library Branch--will temporarily close to the public beginning March 16 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Attempts to redistribute furniture have not resulted in recommended social distancing and we have new information about how long the virus may be able to persist on inanimate surfaces and regulations from the CDC.  We’ve also been in consultation about closure with public health officials. 

The closure will remain in effect until at least March 31. We will continue to consult with County Health Departments, Oregon Health Authority, and the Centers for Disease Control for guidance about when and how we can safely reopen. 

 Please do not return library materials during the closure. You will not be charged for late items

 While in-person services and spaces are not available, Library staff will continue to serve you through our Virtual Library services, available 24/7 from where you are. Learn more about how to download free ebooks, eaudiobooks, and movies, do research, find information, study, and live chat with librarians at: http://bit.ly/VirtualSPL 

“Salem Public Library is incredibly grateful for your continued support and patience as we’ve worked to evaluate and adjust our operations because of the COVID-19 outbreak.The decision to close the buildings has been difficult and will have an impact on people who benefit from our services,” said City Librarian Sarah Strahl. “We also understand that by closing, we can be part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Please watch our website (www.cityofsalem.net/library), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other outlets for further news and updates.To connect with a librarian, email: rary@cityofsalem.net&phone=true&mailing=true&attachment=true&subject=Contact+Salem+Public+Library+at+Broadway">library@cityofsalem.net, dial: 503-588-6315, or use this on-line chat tool. 

Salem Fire Department taking extra precautions to ensure safety amid Coronavirus outbreak - 03/13/20

SALEM, OR — The Salem Fire Department wants to assure our community and the greater community we serve that the level of service Salem Fire provide has not changed due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Salem Firefighters will continue to respond to all emergencies. However, beginning March 12, the department is limiting access to the fire stations to outside visitors for events such as ride along, fire station tours and public education events. For business needs, please call the business line 503-588-6245 prior to visiting the administration building located on 370 E. Trade Street SE.

In an effort to reduce non-essential public interactions, and until further notice, the Fire and Life Safety division of the Salem Fire Department will discontinue facility inspections for state licensure and unscheduled business inspections. The division will continue building permit inspection (s) for existing building and new construction. Complaint inspections will be evaluated on a case by case basis. In all cases, the inspector will consider the occupant load of the facility when deciding if an inspection can occur. If you have questions, please contact the Fire Department at (503) 588-6245.

This proactive decision limits both the inadvertent contamination of a fire station and limits the potential for transmission of infectious material to visitors. Salem Firefighters are being diligent in cleaning fire apparatus and equipment, as well as wearing appropriate protective equipment as needed when seeing patients.

This change in our daily operations is based on best practices to ensure the ability of our firefighters to provide and maintain essential services, respond to emergencies and effectively serve our community’s public safety needs.

As pictured, each fire station has a notification posted on the door for the steps to take if a member of the public needs to speak to a firefighter at one of the stations. Salem Fire is requesting the public to stand six feet away from the door once they ring the bell to provide appropriate social distancing. When the firefighter comes to the door, they ask the public to notify them if they have a fever, cough or are suffering from other respiratory distress. This will allow them to provide better care to the patient while ensuring they are wearing the proper protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and masks.

This change in practice allows for the Salem Fire Department to continue to provide the services the public expects while protecting the health and wellbeing of the department members, their families, and the community they serve.

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City Announces Changes to Programs and Community Events Following State COVID-19 Guidance - 03/13/20

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is following Governor Brown’s guidance and new rules addressing large gatherings and social distancing designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce opportunities for continued transmission of the virus, we are making changes to some of our programs and services. Through April 9, 2020, the City will be suspending advisory board and commission meetings, and community events and activities including Fire Station tours, Police ride-alongs, and Citizen Police Academy, and Library programs like story times. In addition, previously scheduled community events such as the March 14 opening event at the temporary location at the Salem Public Library and March 16-17 Our Salem Workshops have been postponed.

The City will continue to provide emergency response, public safety and other essential services, including water service to all customers.

Other services and programs will be impacted, including:

  • Center 50+. Because Center 50+ serves a population considered to be at higher risk for contracting the virus, serves more than 250 people each day, for whom we cannot guarantee social distancing, Center 50+ will close effective Monday, March 16, 2020, for the next 30 days. Congregate meals offered Monday through Friday at Center 50+ will continue through a drive-up option. Follow https://www.facebook.com/center50plus/ for virtual program offerings during this time.
  • Salem Municipal Court. City of Salem Municipal Court is urging anyone who is sick and experiencing flu-like symptoms to request a reset of their scheduled appearance by calling 503-588-6146 or faxing 503-588-6441. Those represented by an attorney should call their attorney to make arrangements. Potential jurors who are feeling sick or at higher risk, should contact the Court to reschedule their jury service.

Our offices will remain open. We are also encouraging those who can accomplish City business without coming to City offices to do so. Many City services are available to the community via our website. Building permits may be submitted online. Utility bills, parking tickets, and other business with the City may also be conducted online. You can also contact us with questions.

If you come to a City office, you can expect we have increased the frequency of cleaning at each publicly facing space. The Library also remains open at this time, but many services are available for downloading and streaming online. Follow https://www.facebook.com/spl.oregon for virtual program offerings and updates.

The City of Salem has been coordinating with the Oregon Health Authority and Marion County Public Health for several weeks on our preparations for and response to COVID 19. They are the public health authorities for our area. We continue to rely on their guidance and direction, referring the public to these authoritative sources and providing links to them, the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities on the www.cityofsalem.net home page. For more information and questions about COVID-19, please refer to the following resources:

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Salem Follows State Guidance Related to COVID-19 - 03/12/20

The City of Salem is following Governor Brown’s guidance and new rules addressing large gatherings and social distancing designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The City is taking the following actions:

  • Center 50+.  Because Center 50+ serves population considered to be at higher risk for contracting the virus, serves more than 250 people each day, and we cannot guarantee social distancing, Center 50+ will close effective Monday, March 16, 2020, for the next 30 days.  Congregate meals offered Monday through Friday at Center 50+ will continue through a drive-up option.  Follow https://www.facebook.com/center50plus/ for virtual program offerings during this time.  
  • Opening Event at Salem Public Library temporary location is canceled.  Because the community-wide invitation may result in more than 250 people gathering at the opening event and social distancing cannot be guaranteed, Saturday’s opening event at the temporary location for the Salem Public Library is canceled.  The Library remains open at this time and many services are available for downloading and streaming on-line.  Follow https://www.facebook.com/spl.oregon for virtual program offerings and updates. 
  • Our Salem Workshops to be rescheduled. The City is offering an on-line survey opportunity to provide input, rather than the planned community-wide workshops.  Follow the Our Salem project to share your ideas on options for future growth.
  • Salem Municipal Court.  City of Salem Municipal Court is urging anyone who is sick and experiencing flu-like symptoms to request a reset of their scheduled appearance by calling 503-588-6146 or faxing 503-588-6441.  Those represented by an attorney should call their attorney to make arrangements.  Potential jurors who are feeling sick or at higher risk, should contact the Court to reschedule their jury service.

 

The City of Salem has been coordinating with the Oregon Health Authority and Marion County Public Health for several weeks on our preparations for and response to COVID 19.  They are thepublic health authorities for our area/ We continue to rely on their guidance and direction, referring the public to these authoritative sources and providing links to them, the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities on the www.cityofsalem.net home page.   

 

Our focus has been on high-engagement and customer traffic areas in our facilities.  At each publicly facing space, we have increased the frequency of cleaning.  In addition, many City services are available to the community via our website.  Building permits may be submitted on-line.  Utility bills, parking tickets, and other business with the City may also be conducted on-line.

 

For more information and questions about COVID-19, please refer to the following resources:  

Vehicle Camping Program Open to Property Owners - 03/12/20

The City of Salem launched a pilot vehicle camping program in January. 

Non-profit, public, or commercial entities are welcome to apply to host a vehicle camping location. The camp will need to be on a paved parking lot, and away from existing residential zones.

While the upper limit on vehicles is six per camp, organizations considering applying are encouraged to start with one or two vehicles to see how things work out for them. Organizations may withdraw their registration at any time.  While all vehicle camping locations need to be registered with the City, there is no cost to do so.

Please contact the City if you are considering being a host or have questions about how things will work.  To register your location, print and submit this application.  

The City both needs and appreciates organizations willing to step up and help our community deal with our homeless population. 

Property owners hosting vehicle camping do so at their own risk and expense.  Participating in this program does not include funding from the City of Salem.  For a chance to do more , learn about requirements of property owners hosting vehicle camping. 

Application: https://bit.ly/39MMwjP

Requirements: https://bit.ly/2WiGQKL