Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Salem City Council, county commissioners meet Monday for housing work session

April 18, 2022 at 4:06pm

Salem-area businesses can get grants for hiring teens

A 'now hiring' sign outside of a Burger King on Lancaster Drive in Salem (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Small businesses in the mid-Willamette Valley can get a portion of wages reimbursed for hiring teens who have never had a job before.

The Willamette Workforce Partnership is awarding grants to businesses in Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties who hire a teen between 14 and 17 who is a resident of those counties.

The grant will reimburse eligible employers up to $6,000 for work performed by up to four teen workers between April 1 and Sept. 30, 2022. The reimbursement is $5 per hour per worker.

Businesses must have no more than 35 employees to be eligible.

More information is available via the Workforce Partnership's grant application.

-Rachel Alexander

April 18, 2022 at 1:50pm

Salem Convention Center hosts exhibition celebrating new artwork

Robert Bibler's "Mystére Ontologique" oil painting was recently acquired by the Salem Convention Center for display.

Salem residents can enjoy new artwork on display downtown at the convention center at an evening reception this week.

The "ART Party" at the center, 200 Commercial St. S.E., runs from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday and features a reception for the new exhibit by west Salem artist Kristin Kuhns, "Woven Journals."

The reception also celebrates two new artworks the convention center recently acquired for display: “Home Pool”, a 78” x 108” oil painting by Oregon artist Richard Thompson, and "Mystére Ontologique," a 36" x 48" oil painting by Salem artist Robert Bibler.

New work on loan from the Hallie Ford Museum of Art will also be on display, according to a Facebook event.

Light hors d'oeuvres will be provided, with beer and wine available for purchase.

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees should RSVP to [email protected]

-Rachel Alexander

April 18, 2022 at 10:04am

AGENDA: Salem City Council hosts work session Monday on Salem's housing needs

Ridgeland Apartments on Center Street Northeast on Jan. 12. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The Salem City Council meets Monday evening for a work session with county, school district and transit officials to discuss housing needs in Salem.

AGENDA

Joining councilors for the 6 p.m. work session are Marion County Commissioners, Polk County Commissioner Jeremy Gordon, the Salem Area Mass Transit Board of Directors and Salem-Keizer School District board members.

Councilors are holding the work session to comply with House Bill 4006, which requires some cities including Salem to hold public meetings to discuss causes, barriers and potential solutions to local rent burdens, according to the agenda item. Panelists will share their experience developing subsidized, affordable, and market-rate housing in Salem as well as what impacts their affordability.

The state's Housing and Community Services department informed the city of Salem on April 1 that it had designated the city as being "severely rent burdened," the agenda item said. That means of the nearly 27,000 households renting housing, more than 25% spend over half of their income on rent. In Salem, that figure is 25.85% based on 2020 Census data.

As required by House Bill 2003 for cities with populations over 10,000, Salem city staff will begin working on a Housing Production Strategy. The report, due in 2025, will list actions and policies the city plans to take to address the need for housing, produce it and "achieve fair and equitable housing outcomes," according to the agenda item.

City officials are also working to designate more land for multi-family housing and offering incentives to close gaps in financing them, intended to provide affordable housing for people at risk of becoming homeless.

City staff also invited local housing and service providers to livestream the work session, including the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, the city's Planning Commission, neighborhood associations in Salem, urban renewal advisory boards; PacificSource and the Mid-Valley Homeless Alliance. 

How to participate: View the meeting on YouTube or watch on CC:Media Channel 21.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian