Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Open enrollment for health insurance begins Nov. 1

about 1 month ago

AGENDA: Marion County commissioners consider wildfire housing, contracts for storm debris removal

The Marion County building in downtown Salem (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider leasing property to provide short-term housing for people displaced by the Santiam Canyon Wildfires, purchasing opioid treatment medications and several contracts related to removing winter storm tree and vegetable debris.


The board will consider approving a county property lease for 2.06 acres of vacant land with one shop building to be used as short-term recovery housing for wildfire survivors "or for other uses as determined by [the] county," according to the item's agenda review form. The county will sublease to a third party to build tiny homes for short-term residents at 112 E. Central Ave in Gates, with the lease lasting through Oct. 31, 2023. The property lease rate would be $60,000 per year, with the total contract amount not exceeding $120,000.

Commissioners will also consider approving a contract where Marion County Health & Human Services' Alcohol and Drug Program would buy opioid treatment medications from health care company Cardinal Health. The yearly cost is estimated at no more than $500,000, with the total contract not exceeding $1.5 million for a three-year term.

They will consider approving the purchase of a 2022 Vactor 2100 Plus Flusher Vac Truck for Marion County Public Works to use for road maintenance. The truck, which costs $470,790, would replace one that has "surpassed its useful life span," the agenda review form said.

They will consider approving a $250,000 contract with CDR Maguire, Inc., a national firm that monitors debris removal and has expertise in Federal Emergency Management Agency documentation requirements. The firm's responsibilities would include assessing current county documentation practices, recommending improvements and monitoring debris removal contractors, according to the agenda review form.

They will also consider approving contracts with three companies - TFR Enterprises, Inc., Mountain View Tree Services LLC and O'Malley Brothers Corporation - to remove winter storm tree and vegetable debris through Sept. 30, 2022. Each contract is expected to cost $500,000.

Meeting details: The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Senator Hearing Room at 555 Court Street N.E. The meeting is streamed live on YouTube

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

about 1 month ago

UPDATE: Power restored at library, City Hall

Salem City Hall

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Power has been restored.

Original post below.

Salem City Hall and the Salem Public Library have been without power since 10:35 a.m.

The outage impacts about 2,500 people, according to a city of Salem Facebook post. Portland General Electric has estimated power will be restored by 1:45 p.m.

Computers at the library aren’t working and services that require them won’t be available. 

-Saphara Harrell

about 1 month ago

Oregonians who buy their own health insurance can start shopping for 2022

OregonHealthCare.gov is the state's website for buying health insurance coverage.

Oregonians buying their own health insurance for 2022 can now see which providers and facilities are covered under various plans as they search for options.

The state's OregonHealthCare.gov website is open for "window shopping," allowing consumers to compare plans before open enrollment begins on Nov. 1, the state's Department of Business and Consumer Services said in a news release.

Open enrollment, the period during which individual Oregonians can buy health insurance plans and may receive subsidies based on income, begins Nov. 1 and lasts until Jan. 15, 2022. People who want coverage beginning Jan. 1 must enroll by Dec. 15.

Most Oregonians who buy coverage through the marketplace qualify for subsidies to lower the cost of premiums.

The state is also for the first time offering its health insurance enrollment site in Spanish at CuidadoDeSalud.Oregon.gov but hasn't completed translation. It's expected to be ready by Nov. 1.

-Rachel Alexander

about 1 month ago

Gray-Belle Building wins Oregon Main Street award

The Gray Belle building which houses Fork Forty at 440 State Street won an award for historic preservation. (Courtesy/Fork Forty)

The historic Gray-Belle Building, which houses Fork Forty Food Hall, won an award for its benefit to downtown through the Oregon Main Street program.

The building was awarded “outstanding mixed use project” through the “Excellence on Main” awards earlier this month.

In addition to the food hall, there are apartments, an escape room and a room where you can break things.

The awards were created in 2010 to honor outstanding accomplishments, activities, and people making a difference in historic downtowns and traditional commercial neighborhoods across the state

Last month, the building was awarded the DeMuro Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation, the state’s highest honor for the preservation, reuse, and revitalization of architectural and cultural sites.

-Saphara Harrell