City Bridges Masthead
News & Information from the City of Albany, Oregon
October 2013
Keep leaves out of storm drains

The early September thunderstorm that brought too much rain to Albany in too short a time is a reminder to keep streets and sidewalks clear of materials - even natural ones - that can clog storm drains and cause flooding and pollution and damage city streets.


City storm drain inundated with trash Although they are "natural," leaves not only clog drains, but also alter the ecosystems of local water bodies when dumped in larger amounts than what would naturally fall there.  Rainwater runoff flows into storm drains in streets and parking lots which flow directly into creeks and rivers.  Rainwater runoff can pick up harmful pollutants, such as grass clippings and sediment blown into a street, on its way to a storm drain.  Grass clippings carry excess nutrients (like fertilizers) that cause algae blooms. 


Sediment that settles on the river bottom smothers the eggs of salmon and steelhead.   Sediment suspended in water makes it more difficult for these types of juvenile fish to feed. 

  • Don't blow or hose grass clippings, leaves, sand, dirt, or mud into streets and storm drains.  (The only exception is during the annual fall leaf pickup.  Check the website later in October for this year's schedule and rules.)
  • Put grass clippings and leaves in yard debris bins or bags or a compost bin or haul them away for disposal. 
  • Sweep dirt into the yard or sweep it up and place it in the garbage bin.


Here are some recommendations for storm water-friendly fall lawn fertilizing, too:

  • If you fertilize more than once a year, consider cutting back just to September or October.
  • More is not always better.  Use only the amount directed.
  • Check the weather forecast and don't apply fertilizer when rain is predicted.
  • Clean up any spills by sweeping the product back onto the lawn.  Never sweep fertilizer toward a paved surface or a storm drain.


For more information about protecting rivers and streams in Albany, contact Kim Kagelaris, Environmental Services Technician, at 541-791-0087 or

In This Issue
General Information

Ward I Councilors

Ward II Councilors


Ward III Councilors



City Manager 
Lurch in to sign up for October 19 Zombie Chase

Registration is open for the 5-kilometer Zombie Chase fun run, scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2013. The brave and the undead will converge at Monteith Riverpark and the Dave Clark Path along the Willamette River.  Proceeds will support the living in programs at Maple Lawn Preschool.


Check-in begins at the park at 8:30 a.m. with the chase beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Racers will get a 90-second lead, and zombies along the route will attempt to infect humans to turn them into zombies as well. Awards will be given for best times and costumes.


Runners and zombies will be disqualified for punching, hitting, or otherwise trying to inflict injury.  No pets are allowed at the event.


Cost is $35 before October 4 or $40 before 9:00 a.m. on run day.  To register or for more information, call 541-917-7777 or visit

Garbage carts don't belong in bike lanes or on sidewalks

City Hall and Albany Police often get complaints about residents storing carts for garbage, recycling, and yard debris on sidewalks and streets or in bike lanes.  Those carts don't belong there.


Carts should never be placed in a location that blocks traffic, either on foot or on wheels.  Bikes are part of the City's surface transportation network and need to be kept clear just like the travel lanes used primarily by motor vehicles.  Sidewalks need to be clear for people on foot and those who need the assistance of a wheelchair or other mobility device.  On the street, carts should not block access to driveways or mail delivery.


Carts should be removed from sidewalks and streets as quickly as possible after they are emptied.  If someone is injured because your cart is where it doesn't belong, you could be held liable.


Republic Services provides solid waste disposal and recycling service in Albany.  Here are the company's recommendations for where to place carts for safe and efficient collection:

  •   Place carts at the curb by 6:00 a.m.
  •   Place with the handle toward the house so the cart opens toward the street 
  •   Place cart at least three feet from other carts and objects such as mail boxes, parked vehicles, and utility poles


For more information about solid waste disposal in Albany, contact Republic Services at 541-928-2551 or visit

Albany earns awards for financial reporting

The City of Albany received two national awards for financial reporting this summer.


The Government Finance Officers Association presented the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to Senior Accountant Mike Murzynsky for the City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal 2012.  The City's CAFR has received this certificate annually since 1984.


The CAFR draws upon the 500+ pages of the City Budget document to present fairly the financial position and results of operations of various funds of the City.  It is intended to enable its readers to understand the City's financial activities.


Also this year, Albany became the second Oregon city ever to receive a Certificate of Achievement for its first Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), compiled by Senior Accountant Anne Baker.  The PAFR boils down financial information from the nearly 200-page CAFR to 20 pages to make it easier to understand for Albany residents and others without a background in public finance.  Information is presented in text, charts, graphs, and photos with links to extended information online.


The awards were presented to Baker and Murzynsky at the August 28, 2013, City Council meeting by Michelle Hawkins, GFOA representative for the state of Oregon and Linn County Treasurer.


The CAFR, PAFR and City Budget documents are all available at  Hard copies of the PAFR are available at Albany City Hall and Albany Public Library.

Health Care Reform:  What does it mean for you?

Provided by Rick Rebel, AKT Benefit Advisors


The new health care reform law impacts people in many different ways, and it varies greatly depending on your age, who you work for, and many other factors.  What does it mean for the average person?  Read more...

A Pie A Day to Give Away

Some stories are too good not to share.  Some are so good you can almost taste them.  Like this one: Vickie Harden Woods has been baking a pie a day and giving it away every day since she retired July 1 from the City of Salem (her husband Bob Woods is Management Systems Director for the City of Albany).


Baking a pie a day hasn't been easy, but it has been and continues to be satisfying.  Read about Vickie's retirement project and follow along on her blog:

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