City News

YOUR GOVERNMENT: Salem City Council to hear Salem Public Library’s strategic plan

The Salem City Council meets Monday to hear the Salem Public Library’s strategic plan for the next five years, vote on whether to apply for a state grant for the fire department and consider a rent freeze for CC:Media.

AGENDA

Councilors will hear the library’s strategic plan for 2022 through 2027. Goals include improving community satisfaction rates from 51% to 80%. 

Other plans include recruiting and retaining a more culturally diverse staff and volunteers and reviewing existing policies for equity. They hope to use a broader range of tools and services to improve community outreach and make using the library easier.

They will also hear information about a merger between the Lansing Neighborhood Association and the North Lancaster Neighborhood Association, which the two have been discussing since this summer according to the agenda.

The two associations are in Northeast Salem, east of the State Fairgrounds and south of the Northgate Neighborhood Association. 

The council will vote on authorizing the City Manager to apply for the 2022 Oregon Fire Service Capacity Program Grant through the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The grant would provide three years of funding for a second program manager within the Salem Fire Department.

The state-funded grant aims to support permanent local firefighters and wildfire prevention positions. Over the three years, the city would gradually increase its contributing funds to the position. 

The grant requires a detailed budgeting for the position, and does not have a specific award amount listed. 

The council will also vote to amend its lease agreement with CC:Media to temporarily freeze rent obligations for a city-owned communications tower through April 30, 2024. The organization is a public access community media organization funded by the city and Comcast franchise fees.

CC:Media would instead satisfy the lease through its content creation services, radio broadcasting and from updating its notification information.

CC: Media pays a quarterly rental fee of $1,532.75 for use of a tower on Lowen Street N.W., according to the lease amendment. Under the amendment, regular rent obligations will resume in May of 2024.

In an August request to freeze the payments, CC:Media stated that it had fundraising challenges, but has made content improvements in recent years including its collaboration with Salem Reporter.

The city will also vote to annex a territory on 3821 Ibex St. N.E. to expand Fisher Road Park. The move would withdraw the 2-acre property from the Marion County Fire District #1 and East Salem Sewer and Drainage District.

There will be another vote on annexing a 0.83 acre space at 3880 Mahrt Avenue S.E. and designate it for retail commercial use. 

To participate: The meeting will be held virtually at 6 p.m., and will be streamed live on Capital Community Media’s YouTube channel. It is also available to Comcast Cable subscribers on CC: Media Channel 21.

Public comments are due by 5 p.m. Monday, to [email protected] To provide public comment and testimony during the meeting via zoom, pre-register before 2 p.m. here.

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.

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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.