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News Releases
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Court_Street_Large_Closure1024_1.jpg
A Portion of Court Street Closed Saturday, July 4, 2020 (Photo) - 07/02/20

Salem, Ore. — On Saturday, July 4, 2020, beginning at 11:00 a.m., a Black Lives Matter Solidarity Rally is scheduled. A portion of Court Street will be closed as a result.

The event, coordinated by Salem Community Organizers, is expected to draw up to 1,000 people. They plan to gather on the State Capitol steps and begin with speakers and performances at noon. The group does not plan to march on city streets and has reserved the State Capitol steps and Capitol Mall through Oregon Legislative staff and Oregon State Parks respectively.

Vehicles will be prohibited on Court Street from 12th Street to Cottage Street during the planned event.  Court Street is expected to reopen by 5:00 p.m.

Please see the Road Closure Map attached for a visual representation of the planned Salem area street closure.  Drivers are encouraged to avoid this area and to find alternate routes. 

A new amphitheater with a covered stage, more parking and a new plaza are some of the new features planned for Riverfront Park. Amphitheater ground work gets under way July 6. City of Salem graphic
A new amphitheater with a covered stage, more parking and a new plaza are some of the new features planned for Riverfront Park. Amphitheater ground work gets under way July 6. City of Salem graphic
Amphitheater Ground Work Starts July 6 (Photo) - 07/01/20

Salem, Ore. — Construction is set to begin Monday, July 6, 2020, on ground work for the new Gerry Frank | Rotary Amphitheater and Stage.

Emery and Sons Construction, a Salem firm, is the general contractor on the project.

The projects are Phase 1 of improvements outlined in the Salem Riverfront Park  Master Plan that describes the addition of new amenities to the 26-acre downtown park residents describe as “Salem’s Living Room.”

The plan guides management and development of the urban park for the next 20 years. Development of the plan occurred over several years and included open houses and outreach efforts to get input and feedback from the community.

Park improvements

An 8-unit restroom between the North Meadow and the existing Rotary Pavilion is under way and scheduled for completion in October.

Ground work for the amphitheater will continue through October and includes:

  • Grading the ground for the amphitheater and stage,
  • 55 added parking spaces
  • A new entry plaza at the south end of the park.

The amphitheater work will be on 3.8 acres of park property acquired from Boise Cascade at the south end of Riverfront Park.  Construction of the amphitheater stage and cover by the Salem Rotary will follow in November after completion of the City’s ground work project. 

A project long in the planning

“This has been a collaborative effort over the last three years to get this going,” said Aaron Kimsey, City Project Manager on the project.

Originally, Salem Rotary had planned to have the facility open this summer, but issues in design and Riverfront Park master planning made that impossible.

“The end result is fantastic,” Kimsey said. “We’ll have a new plaza entry, a new event area, food truck hook-ups and 55 additional parking spaces. There’s a huge positive to this. We’ve just got to get through the next three to four months of construction impacts.”

Park Visitor Impact

Some impact at Riverfront Park is unavoidable, but efforts are being made to limit those impacts whenever possible:

  • Visitors can expect most of the south parking lot near the carousel to be open Fridays through Sundays to make room for weekend activities, but closed Monday through Thursday for construction.
  • The north parking lot will remain open and we will provide a golf cart to help shuttle people with mobility issues from the north lot to the carousel.

Estimated Costs

North Meadow Restroom: $846,690

Amphitheater Ground Work: $3.8 million

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Fourth of July Fireworks Presentation Canceled at Riverfront Park - 06/30/20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, JUNE 30, 2020

Fourth of July Fireworks Presentation Canceled at Riverfront Park

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem wants to wish our community a safe and happy holiday weekend. As a reminder, our Fourth of July fireworks presentation at Riverfront Park has been canceled this year.  Phase 2 guidance continues to require limits to outdoor gatherings to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. 

Please continue the safe and responsible use of our public parks. This includes maintaining adequate social distance, refraining from smoking, and keeping pets on their leash. All City parks close at dark and the use of fireworks is prohibited anywhere on park grounds.  

We encourage Salem families and friends to celebrate safely. Please visit the State Fire Marshall webpage for updated tips on firework safety and regulations, and always remember to:

  • Store fireworks out of children’s reach
  • Keep pets safe indoors
  • Soak used fireworks in a bucket of water
  • Properly dispose of soaked fireworks in the trash

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City Releases After Action Report Detailing Recent Protest Events   - 06/29/20

Salem, Ore. — City Manager Steve Powers has released Police Chief Jerry Moore's report regarding the actions taken by the Salem Police Department to maintain public safety during recent demonstrations. 

The 10- page report provides details on events from May 30, 2020, to June 1, 2020, and why decisions were made by Salem police officers. The published report is an essential, transparent step in the City's commitment to understanding and improving police services.   

“Salem police officers are trained to evaluate each unique situation and respond with the least force necessary to maintain our community's safety,” said Salem City Manager Steve Powers in a recent letter introducing the report to City Council and Mayor Bennett.  “If errors or lapses in judgment are made, we have a rigorous internal affairs process and Community Police Review Board standing ready to investigate these concerns and act as justified by the evidence.”  

The after-action report contextualizes events and decisions made by Salem police during demonstrations that were unlike any other in Salem’s recent past. For the first time, a curfew was enacted to protect the community. For the first time, peaceful assemblies were paired with individuals who sought to harm police officers and damage public and private property. 

Salem Residents may review the full report here  

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City of Salem: Roadmap for Limited Re-Opening of In-Person Services (Photo) - 06/29/20

While the City is preparing to reopen some offices that have been closed to in-person service, we’re mindful of the guidance from public health agencies about slowing the spread of the virus by maintaining social distancing, frequent cleaning of shared surfaces, and wearing masks.  To keep track of Oregon Health Authority and Governor’s guidance on re-opening, see: https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19

Many City services were unchanged by COVID-19, keeping our community healthy, safe and clean.  City parks remained open.  Police and Fire responded to calls.  Public Works maintained streets, kept our drinking water flowing, and made sure our toilets flushed.  About two thirds of our employees kept serving our community in-person. 

For services impacted by COVID-19 and Stay Home, Save Lives executive orders, the City quickly improved our on-line services and telework capacity.  We knew customers needed to do business with the City regardless of whether or not an office was open.  On-line building permits, bill paying, and other applications have all kept going at high levels.   The Library introduced curbside pick-ups in late May.

What is the City’s plan for reopening?

For some residents, on-line services are not a choice.  Our plan is to slowly re-open in-person services to protect our community by limiting the spread of the Coronavirus.  We’re starting with our highest-volume in-person services at the Civic Center

Beginning July 6, we will open in-person cashier windows for bill payment, permit application center, and parks reservations service. 

How will public health be protected as the City reopens?

Our primary concern is the health and safety of our community and of our employees.  The City of Salem’s plan to reopen City offices and facilities centers on the Governor’s public health framework for reopening Oregon.  The State’s Re-Opening Framework uses robust testing and contact tracing, considers healthcare system capacity, and plans for health and safety. 

Our customer-facing spaces now have barriers to reduce the transmission of COVID19.  Customers will be asked to maintain social distancing.  Masks will be required when conducting business indoors.  We’ll ask for your name so we can help with contact tracing should anyone else who visits the Civic Center that day become ill or come into contact with anyone who may be ill with the virus.  We’ll be doing voluntary self-checks, wearing gloves if we’re handling cash, and cleaning shared surfaces frequently.

What comes next?

The City’s next group of services with in-person customers and high volumes of interaction are Municipal Court and the Police Department’s lobby. Both will reopen sometime after our primary customer serving operations.

Because Center 50+ and the Library serve populations vulnerable to COVID-19 and the spaces present challenges for social distancing, we don’t have a specific reopen date for Center 50+ and the Library.  We understand the importance of both in our community.  Please visit Center 50+ and the Library virtually.  Center 50+ has remote bingo, online fitness, online computer, music, history, and arts and craft classes.  While in-person services and spaces are not available, Salem Public Library offers Virtual Library services, available 24/7 from wherever you are. You can download free ebooks, audiobooks, stream movies, do research, find information, study, and more.

 

What services are available on-line?

Get information about accessing the following City services online:

Go to the City’s webpage and the COVID-19 banner for information on how to sign up for on-line services.

What happens if the number of cases increases and emergency measures are re-introduced for our counties by the State of Oregon?

Along with public health agencies, we will be monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases in our region.  If the public health agencies determine more restrictive measures are needed to ensure our safety, should another outbreak occur, we will respond to their direction to limit exposure and reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.  Stay up to date on the status of City services and programs on our home page at cityofsalem.net. 

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City Continues Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Improvements in Downtown Salem - 06/29/20

On Mon., Jul. 6, 2020, the City of Salem will begin work on constructing a curb extension at the southwest corner of Ferry Street SE at Liberty Street SE and removing the second right turn lanes from Court Street NE to Liberty Street and from Liberty Street NE to Center Street NE.  This is one of several Traffic Safety Improvement Projects underway this summer in Salem.  Pedestrians and motorists are asked to use caution and plan for some delays during the construction. All improvements are anticipated to be complete by the end of July 2020.

There will be intermittent closures of far-left lanes on Liberty Street SE and Ferry Street SE during the construction of the curb extension between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, with occasional weekend work.

The removal of the second right turn lanes will occur at night between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.  Residents and businesses within the area will be able to access their properties from the side streets.

These improvements are part of the Central Salem Mobility Study approved by City Council in 2013 to improve travel, safety, and accessibility in Downtown Salem. The project budget is funded through the City of Salem’s Urban Renewal Agency.

Additional information and maps of the summer construction projects across Salem can be found online on the City’s new Construction Season 2020 hub.  Please contact James Suing, Program Coordinator at Jjsuing@cityofsalem.net or 503-588-6211 for additional information.

Front Street NE Closure for Railroad Repairs Jun. 26-28, 2020 (Market St. NE South St.) - 06/24/20

Beginning Fri., Jun. 26, 2020, at 7 a.m., Front Street NE will close to all traffic from Market Street NE to South Street through the weekend. Local access will be maintained from Front Street Bypass to Market Street from the south, and from Pine Street to South Street from the north. The closure is necessary for Portland and Western Railroad to replace a section of damaged track and associated pavement due to a recent derailment. Front Street NE is expected to be open by Mon., Jun. 29.  Please drive carefully through this area through the weekend and use an alternate route if possible.

The  Current Road Conditions Map on the City of Salem website provides up to date information on scheduled or emergency road closures in Salem.  For additional information, please contact the City of Salem at 503-588-6311 or vice@cityofsalem.net">service@cityofsalem.net.

Rosemont Avenue NW Sidewalk Repairs - 06/22/20

On Mon., Jun. 29, 2020, the City of Salem will begin construction of improvements on Rosemont Avenue NW between 8th Street NW and Cascade Drive NW.  The project will replace the retaining wall, asphalt pavement, curb, sidewalk, and railing on the east side of Rosemont Avenue NW.  Pedestrians and motorists are asked to use caution and plan for some delays during the road construction. All improvements are anticipated to be complete by mid-September 2020.

 

Rosemont Avenue NW between 8th Street NW and Cascade Drive NW will be closed to through traffic for the duration of construction.  During this closure period, signed detour routes will be in place to direct traffic around the closure area (see Detour Map attached). This closure is necessary to replace the asphalt road surface safely and efficiently.  Residents within the closure area will be able to access their properties.

 

These improvements will improve travel, safety, and accessibility on Rosemont Avenue NW.   The project is funded through the City of Salem’s 2008 Keep Salem Moving! Streets and Bridges Bond savings. 

 

Please contact James Suing, Program Coordinator at jsuing@cityofsalem.net or 503-588-6211 for additional information.

 

 

 

Attached Media Files: Rosemont Detour Map
Capitol Area Street Closures for Saturday, June 20th - 06/19/20

On Saturday, June 20, 2020, beginning at 12:00 p.m., streets near the State Capitol will be closed for a Rally and March. 

At 12:00 p.m., the following street segment will close:

  • Court Street NE between 12th Street NE and Church Street NE

At 1:30 p.m., the following street segments will close:

  • Church Street NE between State Street NE and Center Street NE
  • Center Street NE will be reduced to one lane of travel between Church Street NE and Capitol Street NE

A march from the Capitol to City Hall will begin at 1:45 p.m. and move as follows:

  1. Begin on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol Building
  2. Move west on Court Street NE to Church Street NE
  3. Turn north on Church Street NE to Center Street NE
  4. Head east on Center Street NE and back to the Capitol Mall

Please see the Current Road Conditions Map for additional information on Salem area street closures.  Drivers are encouraged to avoid this area and to find alternate routes.  Streets are expected to reopen by 5:00 p.m.

 

Attached Media Files: June 20 Road Closures
Salem Playgrounds and Park Facilities Begin to Open (Large Events and Movies in the Park Cancelled) - 06/18/20

Marion and Polk County have been approved to enter Phase 2.  On Friday, June 19, and just in time for summer, Salem playgrounds and park facilities will begin to re-open.  This process will begin with the opening of restrooms and drinking fountains in the most popular parks (Riverfront Park, Wallace Marine, Minto-Brown Island Park). 

The City’s Public Works Department will then evaluate the staffing levels needed to sanitize playground equipment, bathrooms, and to reopen other additional park facilities according to public health guidelines.  Dog parks and tennis courts are already open for public use.  The City will continue to follow the Governor’s executive orders and remains committed to making public health and safety a top priority in this process. 

Phase 2 Guidance continues to require limits to outdoor gatherings in order to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.  In response, the City has made the difficult decision to cancel annual 4th of July Event at Riverfront Park, Movies in the Park, and to keep our park spray fountains closed until further notice. 

We encourage Salem families and friends to celebrate safely.  Please visit the State Fire Marshall webpage for updated tips on firework safety and regulations, and always remember to:

  • Store fireworks out of children reach
  • Keep pets safe indoors
  • Soak used fireworks in a bucket of water
  • Properly dispose of soaked fireworks in the trash

Please visit the City’s COVID-19 webpage for up to date information on Park and other City openings.  If you have any questions, please contact the City of Salem at licworks@cityofsalem.net">publicworks@cityofsalem.net  or 503-588-6211.

Welcome Back to Downtown Salem; Enjoy Expanded Outdoor Dining and Retail - 06/18/20

Support local businesses and enjoy outdoor dining and retail.

Salem, Ore. –Beginning Jun. 20, 2020, the City of Salem is launching a pilot program to expand outdoor dining and retail options for downtown businesses. We’re opening Salem’s streets to more restaurant seating and retail. Like many cities across the nation, Salem is working to create adaptive solutions to assist local businesses as they re-open and work with restrictions imposed due to the virus.

The pilot program was initiated by Salem’s City Council to assist businesses as they reopen with pandemic restrictions. “I’m proud of the partnership and work that’s been done quickly over the last couple of weeks in helping our restaurants and retail businesses downtown weather this pandemic,” said City Councilor Cara Kaser.

The pilot program kicks off this weekend on Sat., Jun. 20 – 21, 2020. State Street will be open to restaurant seating between Commercial Street and Liberty Street. The south side of the street will be closed to vehicle traffic and parking for one week (and may be extended through September to accommodate the new program). Vehicle traffic and parking spaces will be open on the north side of State Street to allow alley and emergency vehicle access, and for traffic safety. Parkades throughout downtown are also open for convenient and free parking.

Beginning Sat., Jun. 27, sections of Court Street will also be closed to allow for additional dining options so our local retail and restaurants can offer more customers a safe place to dine and shop.

The City will continue to explore including additional downtown for expanded retail and outdoor seating July through September.

For more information on the expanded retail and outdoor seating pilot program for Summer 2020, please refer to the City website.

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Graduating high school senior Lyssa Ibarra, Blanchet Catholic School, wears her Service Honors pin for her service over multiple years with One Thousand Soles.
Graduating high school senior Lyssa Ibarra, Blanchet Catholic School, wears her Service Honors pin for her service over multiple years with One Thousand Soles.
Thirty High School Seniors Awarded Service Honors (Photo) - 06/16/20

SALEM, Ore. – The City of Salem’s Youth Development Services has released the list of 2020 Service Honorees to area high schools. Thirty 12th grade students representing six local campuses will receive the award this month.

Graduating seniors who have contributed a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer time and training to the City of Salem during their high school careers have earned a commemorative graduation sash pin and congratulatory letter from Mayor Chuck Bennett. This is the 3rd year the Youth Development Services’ Teen Action Team (TAT) Initiative has sponsored the award.

High Schools represented include:  Blanchet Catholic, North Salem, McKay, McNary, Salem Academy, South Salem, Sprague, and West Salem. 

Teen volunteer time was devoted to one or more of the following City programs and events:

Salem Public Library, COUNTRY Financial Kids Relays Event, ILEAD Youth Leadership Summit, Human Rights Commission, Center 50+, One Thousand Soles Shoe Drive for Youth In-Need, Salem Police Cadet Program, TAT Service Leadership Clubs, Salem Riverfront Park Holiday Tree Lighting, and the CAREcorps program.

The TAT Initiative seeks to empower and equip young community members to partner with their peers, schools, businesses, nonprofits, and local government to create a more positive and healthy community while developing into service leaders.

For student interviews, email Laurie Shaw Casarez, Youth Outreach and Education Coordinator.

For more information on how to volunteer with the City of Salem, go to

https://www.cityofsalem.net/volunteer.

2020 City of Salem Service Honors Recipients

 

Blanchet Catholic High School

Lyssa Ibarra

 

McKay High School

Andrew Kalmen

Ashley Flores Guzman

Carmen Martinez

Consuelo Martinez

Esther Rendon

Gabby Chavez

Ismael Hernandez

Jessica Garibay

Joshua Arce

Katia Rodriguez

Lucia Saldaña

Madison Bellman

Marlen Garcia

Raquel Marquez

Thuy-Tien Nguyen

 
 

McNary High School

Zahvia Stokes

 

North Salem High School

Ambar Ramirez Melendez

 

Salem Academy

Jordyn Bobbitt

 

South Salem High School

Angelo Arredondo Baca

David Alvarez

Emma Langford

Georgia McClorey

Mariana Barcenas Castillo

Rohan Seshardi

Tulsi Patel

 

Sprague High School

Talia Ruehr

 

West Salem High School

Camille Blake

Sam Toledo

Kevin Garcia

Saturday, June 13th Street Closures in Downtown Salem - 06/12/20

UPDATE: Correction to march directions and addition of Street Closures map

..................................................................................................................................................................................................

On Saturday, June 13, 2020, beginning at 10 a.m., the following streets in downtown Salem and around the State Capitol will be closed for a Rally and March that will begin at the Capitol. 

At 10 a.m., the following street segment will close:

  • Court Street NE between 12th Street NE and Cottage Street NE

At 2 p.m., the following street segments will close:

  • State Street NE between Commercial Street NE and High Street NE
  • Front/Trade Street between Commercial Street NE and Winter Street NE
  • Pringle Parkway/Ferry Street between Commercial Street NE and Winter Street NE
  • Liberty Street NE between Mission Street and Court Street NE

A march from the Capitol to City Hall will begin at 2:00 p.m. and move as follows:

  1. Begin on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol Building
  2. Move west on Court Street NE to Liberty Street NE
  3. Turn south on Liberty Street NE toward City Hall
  4. Upon arrival to City Hall there will be speakers followed by 9 minutes of silence
  5. Return to the Capitol Mall

Drivers are encouraged to avoid these areas and to find alternate routes.  Streets are expected to reopen by 5:30 p.m.

Attached Media Files: 6-13-2020_Street_Closures.pdf