Amended Community Improvement Bond Heads to Voters

Posted on June 29, 2022

City of Salem – 06/28/22 4:00 PM

Salem, Ore. – A $300 million Community Improvement Bond is headed to Salem voters on the November 8, 2022, general election ballot. Salem City Council approved the package of improvements at their June 27 meeting.

“We’ve heard from a lot of people in our community about where improvements are needed and it really shows in this plan,” said Mayor Chuck Bennett. “A great deal of thought and deliberation has gone into tailoring the bond proposal to be cost-effective while yielding the most community benefit possible — all without raising the City tax rate.”

If approved by voters, the bond will provide for investment in streets, sidewalks, parks and public safety without increasing the City’s property tax rate. Several previous bond measures will be paid off over the next decade, which will allow the tax rate to remain steady.

City Councilors Vanessa Nordyke and Virginia Stapleton proposed changes to the recommendation made by the Council’s bond subcommittee, which were approved by the full City Council before the bond plan was passed. These changes added a $7.6 million urban upgrade for Davis Road South, from Skyline Road to Liberty Street, and restored $700,000 to fully fund Peace Plaza improvements, which the bond subcommittee recommendation had allocated to the Union Street family-friendly bikeway project. The Union Street project will remain funded through cost reductions to other projects.

Funding for these projects was pulled together through careful trimming from other projects, including:

  • $1.1 million by eliminating right turn lanes from the State Street Project
  • $450,000 by eliminating railing replacement from the 15th Street Bridge improvement (structural improvements will continue at $460,000)
  • $1.5 million from sidewalk infill
  • $1.29 million from sidewalk replacement
  • $3.96 million from Safe Pedestrian Crossings

Seven of the crossings originally planned for funding through the Safe Pedestrian Crossings project are included in cost estimates for planned street upgrade projects and will be completed using other funds. In addition, new grant programs for pedestrian crossings have become available since this project was first proposed. The City will pursue these resources.

Read detailed information about the Salem Community Improvement Bond.

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