Salem City Hall. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
The governing board for the city of Salem’s Urban Renewal Agency will meet Monday evening to consider bonds that’ll generate cash for six of its urban renewal areas.
Urban renewal is a tool Oregon cities can use to improve infrastructure and attract private investment. Cities can borrow against future property taxes generated in an urban renewal area. That money can be used to fix streetscapes, build affordable housing and improve pedestrian infrastructure.
Kristin Retherford, the city’s urban development director, said in an email that the agency usually does its short-term financing for projects in January after tax payments start coming in in November and December. She said the bond money will be used for projects already approved in each urban renewal area.
The board will consider the following:
A $900,000 short-term bond for the McGilchrist Urban Renewal Area. The 403-acre urban renewal area exists to enhance McGilchrist Street S.E. to improve mobility and spur private investment.
A $500,000 bond for the Mill Creek Industrial Park Urban Renewal Area. The 650-acre urban renewal area was created to build a corporate center in southeast Salem and has been used to improve roads and utilities in the area.
A $4.5 million bond for the North Gateway Urban Renewal Area. The 926-acre area exists to improve streets, rehabilitation of property and affordable housing projects.
A $6 million bond for the Riverfront - Downtown Urban Renewal Area. The 290-acre urban renewal area has been used to construct office buildings, rental housing and bike infrastructure, including the Peter Courtney pedestrian bridge.
A $500,000 bond for the South Waterfront Urban Renewal Area. The 370-acre area was created to help transition pedestrian infrastructure, including connections to the pedestrian and bike system on Minto Island and riverfront access.
A $2 million bond for the West Salem Urban Renewal Area. The 453-acre area exists to improve buildings and traffic circulation.