City Manager Updates

Here’s what’s been going on this week ending 9-25-20.

Community Development Department:

  • We received a building permit application for The 7-11 convenience store in Area D of Keizer Station.
  • Representatives of Area D have inquired about possibly amending the site plan in Area D again to accommodate a prospective tenant. 
  • A floodplain development permit has been received for a new home on Alder Drive.
  • Staff has been working with business grant applicants to navigate the Business Oregon requirements and get money out to some of our small businesses. We are fast approaching the Business Oregon deadline and still have monies available, but it has proven a challenge for several businesses to qualify for the program. Many businesses that have inquired have already accessed COVID/CARES Act funds through other revenue streams and requirements for businesses to provide profit and loss statements have also created some barriers. 
  • Staff met with the consultant regarding the Cost of Growth Impacts on the Transportation System Study. We are planning to present the results of the study to Planning Commission and City Council in October.
  • Staff worked with the legal department to submit testimony on proposed draft rule making on HB2001 (Middle Housing) to express the City’s desire to allow more flexibility at the local level for implementation. Specifically, staff has concerns relating to mandated minimum lot sizes, setbacks, and parking requirements in the draft OARs.

Public Works Department:

Parks & Facilities Division:

  • A replacement for the slide in the Tot Lot area of the Big Toy has been ordered and will be installed soon after we receive it.
  • The shade sails at the Big Toy will be taken down for the year next week.
  • An Eagle Scout will be working on a project this weekend at Keizer Rapids Park. They will be spreading chips on pathways in the wooded portion of the park.

Environmental & Technical Division:

  • We received the final report from DEQ after the remote inspection on the status of our compliance with the Phase II permit. The report summary states that Keizer has a very comprehensive and effective MS4 program in place and we are on target to meet all of the permit requirements coming in the years ahead!

Street/Stormwater Operations Division:

  • The kickoff meeting for the Wheatland Road Multi Modal study was held on Thursday. The consultant, DKS Associates, will be performing traffic counts next Tuesday and Wednesday to obtain some baseline data for the project. They will be using tube counters as well as video counters for the data collection.
  • The contractor for the Shoreline Drive storm drain project has replaced the ADA ramp at the northwest corner of Shoreline and Cummings. This did not correct the drainage problem. They are working with staff to determine a fix for the problem.

Staff was contacted by a resident on Rivercrest Drive regarding debris build up along the river and concerns about the debris catching on fire. I informed them that allowing burning of debris would require an amendment to Ordinance 2001-440 and would need City Council action. The current Ordinance has an allowance for burning debris due to a calamity such as a flood but all other burning is prohibited.


League of Oregon Cities Weekly Statewide Disaster Conference Call:

Governor’s Office:  COVID19 is spiking right now similar to other areas in the country due to Labor Day perhaps.  Governor is significantly concerned about rising case load.  Small businesses are having a hard time qualifying for new round of CARES money due to restrictions about previous funding received.  They are thinking about relooking at this restriction.  Universities are going back to school in person very soon so the State will be watching cases very carefully.  Wildfires are still being monitored very closely.  Governor will be convening a statewide council on wildfire recovery.  Trying to provide resources for a statewide approach to rebuilding after this disaster.  FEMA is taking disaster assistance applications at the Salem Conference Center. 

Oregon Health Authority:  Increased COVID19 cases across Oregon.  Testing is also up but not enough to account for the caseload.  Mainly long-term care facilities and workplaces.  The wildfires have made tracking difficult.  Also, cases in those schools that have started in-person classes are seeing cases rise.  Long-term care facilities were required to do comprehensive baseline testing and there will be a continuing effort on keeping testing regular and current in those facilities.  Department of Corrections has two facilities with continuing cases of COVID19, so those released are required to quarantine for 2-weeks before dispersing into communities.  It’s likely that masking and physical distancing are going to be requirements for the foreseeable future.

Oregon Emergency Management:  Only 2-new fires over the last 24-hours but they were very small at less than an acre each.  22-states have increases in COVID19 and 21-states have a downward trend, having already peaked.  The devastation that Oregon has seen in the last two weeks on top of a pandemic has been of historic proportions.  The fires that we saw were not wildfires…they were firestorms.  FEMA has deployed and responded at an unprecedented speed.  Usually takes 20-days for all declarations to be signed and approved and for FEMA to get on site.  FEMA was wheels down in Oregon in 36-hours.  Joint preliminary damage assessment has been expedited and will begin early next week.  Once complete, this will open up even more resources as a comprehensive picture will now exist of the damage.  It will include resources for public infrastructure like roads, water systems, sewer systems, etc.  300-FEMA employees are deployed to Oregon and have created a joint field office for with State and local agencies that will likely be in existence for 2+ years to get through rebuilding.   

National League of Cities:  New Coronavirus relief package is being prepared for release by House majority of about $2.5T.  There is hope that a vote could happen next week, though there is little belief that the Senate will be on board with the package.  A bill has been approved to avert a Federal Government shutdown until after the election. 

League of Oregon Cities Advocacy:  State has opened a COVID19 homeowner’s relief fund to help those who have fallen behind on their mortgages due to the pandemic.  OSHA is significantly revising their proposed COVID19 workplace rules due to significant comments and questions about their potential effect and the agency’s legal authority to create a new leave bank for employees.  New rules could be out as early as later today.

Past updates are listed below: