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January 2013 Issue
City of Albany, Oregon
333 Broadalbin Street SW
Albany, Oregon 97321
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Sharon Konopa

Ward I Councilors
Dick Olsen
Floyd Collins

Ward II Councilors
Bill Coburn
Ray Kopczynski

Ward III Councilors
Bessie Johnson
Rich Kellum
(effective 1/1/13)

City Manager
Wes Hare

General Information

Building Inspection




Fire (Non-Emergency)

541-917-7580 (Main)
541-917-7585 (Carnegie)

Municipal Court


Parks & Recreation




Police (Non-Emergency)


Public Works Operations




Utility Billing


Meet Ward III Councilor
Rich Kellum


Rich Kellum, owner of Willamette Welding, was elected in November to a four-year term on the Albany City Council representing Ward III.


Kellum has worked in Albany since 1974. His business has been here since 1993, and he has lived in Albany since 1999. He decided to run for office when he made a comment about something "government" had done and a friend told him he should stop complaining and do something about it, he said.


"A friend told me, well, Rich, your business is mature, you have served on boards of directors all over the place, you are smart, you now have the time to spend," Kellum said.  "So I set about thinking of what I could do." When he heard that two-term Councilor Jeff Christman was not seeking reelection, he decided to make a run.


Kellum said his top priorities for his first year in office are to:

  • Learn the job
  • Equalize representation among the Council wards on the Central Albany Revitalization Advisory Board; and
  • Increase safety on Goldfish Farm Road.

"I will represent all the people in Ward III, not just the ones who voted for me," he said. "I come up with unique solutions to problems and am unafraid to ask the tough questions."

Residents can contact Kellum at

ODOT hosts Albany open house January 16 on passenger rail


The Oregon Department of Transportation is studying ways to improve intercity passenger rail service between Eugene and Portland. The study will help decide on a general passenger rail route and evaluate options for train frequency, trip time, and improving on-time performance.


In the summer and fall of 2012, ODOT asked the public to weigh in on the topic and received more than 800 comments. Based on this input, ODOT drafted project goals and objectives and identified a range of route options between Eugene and Portland.


An open house will be held at the Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Avenue SE, Wednesday, January 16, 2013, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. for those who want to learn more about the Oregon Passenger Rail Project and comment on what the future of rail service should be in the Willamette Valley. Those who want to attend can drop in any time during the two hours.


Those who can*t attend the open house but want more information or want to comment can visit the project website,, January 8-25; send e-mail to; or contact Jyll Smith, ODOT Stakeholder Engagement Strategist, at 503*986-3985.

Creek, floodplain restoration projects underway



The Calapooia Watershed Council is moving forward with two restoration projects near the City of Albany*s Talking Water Gardens. The Cox Creek Dam will be removed in summer 2013 and nonnative vegetation in the area is being replaced with native plants.


The dam is being removed to improve fish passage and should benefit a wide variety of aquatic species. Fish in Cox Creek include Chinook salmon, winter steelhead, lamprey, dace, sand roller, large-scale sucker, northern pike minnow, redside shiners, and sculpin. Cox Creek is well connected to its floodplain, where the creek and the Willamette River meet and a related system of oxbow lakes. These connected areas are very important and rare habitat where fish can take refuge from the high, strong winter flows of the mainstem Willamette to rest, forage, and spawn. They also serve as nurseries for juvenile fish.


The dam site is owned by ATI; Talking Water Gardens, owned by the City, is adjacent to it. The dam was originally built to impound water for the former Nebergall meat-packing plant.   

The confluence area*s floodplain allows water to flow overland several times each winter. Vegetation there is dominated by nonnative species such as reed canary grass, Himalayan blackberry, and English ivy. The area was cleared with flail mowing in late summer, and native species will be planted this winter, including Oregon ash, Oregon grape, ninebark, cottonwood, swamp rose, spirea, and snowberry. The plants will be continually maintained to make sure they survive and thrive.


The restoration projects are listed as high priorities in the 2011 Calapooia-Albany Assessment and Project Implementation Plan, developed with input from the City of Albany, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of East Thornton Lake Natural Area, Greenbelt Land Trust, ATI, and private landowners. Calapooia Watershed Council facilitated the effort.


Updates on these and other Calapooia Watershed Council projects and information about how to get involved are at More information about the Willamette River is at

Fire Department hires eight Firefighter/Paramedics



Due to several retirements and a nearly $1.2 million federal grant, the Albany Fire Department hired eight new firefighter/paramedics on November 1. All have now completed training and begun work providing emergency fire and medical services.


Six positions are funded for two years with a U.S. Department of Homeland Security SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant. Funding beyond the two-year grant is uncertain. Three replace firefighter/paramedic positions that were previously lost through attrition, and three positions are new. The six are distributed evenly among the Fire Department*s three 24-hour shifts.


Fire Chief John Bradner said he is excited to see the passion and enthusiasm these firefighters bring to the Fire Department and is confident they will provide compassionate, quality service. He is thankful for the opportunity provided by the SAFER grant to enhance community safety and is hopeful that the Department can maintain the positions when the grant ends.


What drew these firefighters to their new career?

  • "I thoroughly enjoy being able to make a difference in a profession where the positive effects are instantly visible." Greg Sipe
  • "My favorite aspect of being a firefighter is being able to positively help the citizens of Albany on many different levels." Matt DeFrancisco
  • "Being able to have a positive impact on an individual, and those in their lives, during time of need or distress. I also enjoy playing an active role in the community as a public servant." Carly Shears
  • "Being afforded the opportunity to help and find solutions for members of my community." Tim Verdun
  • "I enjoy having the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of the people in the community. I also enjoy the everyday challenges of the job." Adam Bird
  • "I love feeling accomplished at the end of my shift and being able to work and contribute back to the community I grew up in." Chad Jones
  • "Growing up, there was an auto crash in front of my house. I remember feeling helpless and wanted to do anything that I could to help. At that time I realized what career field I wanted to get in to." Tommy Byrd
  • "I want to be able to help the community with the skills and training that I have learned over the years." Brandon Hausmann

For more information about Albany Fire Department, visit and click on the link to the 2011-2012 Annual Report.

Current building activity

The Building Division reports this sampling of construction projects now underway or coming soon:

  • Fred Meyer, 2500 Santiam Highway SE, has submitted plans for a complete remodel of the Albany store, including fire sprinklers and an extensive remodel of interior shopping areas.
  • Napa Auto Parts is building a new store on the site of the former Hereford Steer building, 2780 Pacific Boulevard SE.
  • A new restaurant with four additional tenant spaces is being constructed at 2734 Pacific Boulevard SE on the site of the former China One Buffet, which was destroyed by arson in December 2010.
  • Triumph Northwest, a manufacturing company, is constructing a new building on 34th Avenue.
  • W.R. Grace (formerly Synthetec) is building an addition to its chemical plant, 1290 Industrial Way SW.
  • Wynwood of Albany assisted living facility. 2445 Geary Street SE, is expanding.
  • The Boys & Girls Club of Albany is constructing a new gym and indoor soccer space and remodeling the Club building at 1215 Hill Street SE.
  • The new Mid-Willamette Family YMCA facilities, 3311 Pacific Boulevard SW, will include two pools, two gyms, and additional parking.
  • Samaritan Albany General Hospital, 1046 Sixth Avenue SW, is remodeling third-floor office space.
  • G&E Electric, 1116 Commercial Way SE, is constructing a new building on 41st Avenue SE.

For more information about building activity in Albany, contact the Building Division at 541-917-7553 or e-mail

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