Don't store your trailer or boat on the street; it's the law

Camping and outdoor recreation season has begun. Here's a reminder to Albany residents and visitors of laws that apply to where recreational vehicles or travel trailers may be parked.

City ordinances allow motor homes, travel trailers, boats, fifth-wheel trailers, and other recreational vehicles to be parked on public rights-of-way for up to 48 hours with the consent of the adjacent property owner. Without that permission, vehicles may not be stored on the street for more than 24 hours.

Any vehicle or combination of vehicles more than 23 feet long or eight feet wide cannot be parked on a street, alley, public parking lot, or parking strip between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays or all day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. Vehicles must not block traffic signs or a driver's clear view at intersections.

Albany ordinances allow camping in recreational vehicles on a front yard setback for up to 48 hours with the consent of the property owner. A residential property owner may allow someone to camp in a recreational vehicle on their property for up to seven days in a 90-day period.

Vehicles found parked illegally will be marked by Albany police and must be moved within 72 hours. If the vehicle is not moved, police will contact the registered owner by mail. The penalty for the violation is $100.

Vehicles that are not registered, have expired registrations, or are stored on a street may be tagged as abandoned and could be towed. The owners are charged for the towing bill and vehicle storage fee along with the civil penalty.

The rules for RV parking are in the Albany Municipal Code 13.21.030(12) and 13.36.180(4) and on-line at www.cityofalbany.net/municipal_code.

If you see vehicles parked in violation of these rules or have related questions, call the Albany Police Department, 541-917-7680.  

Forms on-line for Albany police programs, services

Albany residents can now go to http://www.cityofalbany.net/departments/police/forms to complete on-line forms including: 

  • Patrol Observation (ride-along program)
  • Neighborhood Speed Watch (radar trailer request)
  • Citizen Academy application
  • National Night Out application
  • Dog permits

For more information, contact Sandy Roberts at 541-917-3206 or sandy.roberts@cityofalbany.net.

New truck jet-cleans Albany pipes, vacuums storm drains

Albany Public Works Department put a new Vac Con combination jet-vacuum sewer cleaner truck in service in February 2014. The big rig uses high-pressure water jets to scour sewer and storm lines clean; debris, roots, and other blockages vacuumed into the truck's debris tank for disposal. The cleaned lines are later televised with other equipment to look for underground problems in the storm and sanitary sewer systems. In calendar 2013, City staff cleaned 115 miles of sewer pipe and 2,438 storm catch basins. Sticker price was about $355,000, but the City's 12-year-old trade-in cut the price to about $300,000. 

9th annual Teen Art Show at City Hall during May 2014


Local calligraphers show their works at Albany City Hall, 333 Broadlabin Street SW, through the month of April 2014.  Participating artists are Nancy Anderson, Penny White, Susan Wickes, Sandi Cormier, and Laura Drager.  Media includes a variety of inks, watercolor, acrylics, resists, and cut paper.Artwork in many media and dimensions by Albany-area teens will be displayed at City Hall during the month of May in the 9th annual Teen Art Show, sponsored by the Albany Arts Commission.

The show is open to all youth who are 8th graders or high school age and who reside in the Greater Albany Public School District. Each young artist can submit up to three pieces which will be juried before being selected for display.

A public reception for the artists is planned at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 8, with awards presented at 6:15 p.m.

For more information, contact Debbie Little, Albany Parks & Recreation Department liaison to the Albany Arts Commission, at 541-917-7778.

Albany Farmers' Market open Saturdays at City Hall

Albany Farmers' Market opened for the growing and harvest season on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in the City Hall parking lot on Ellsworth Street and adjacent Fourth Avenue SW. The market continues Saturday mornings weekly through November 22, 2014. For more information, visit www.locallygrown.org.

Celebrate National Preservation Month in May

May is National Preservation Month. This year's theme is "New Age of Preservation: Embark, Inspire, Engage."

Each May, the City of Albany Landmarks Advisory Commission and area agencies sponsor activities to celebrate, inspire, and engage the community in experiences that build appreciation for the rich collection of history that help to make Albany a special place. Events include walking tours, preservation awards, and workshops.

To find out more about this year's events, visit www.cityofalbany.net.

National Night Out

On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, neighborhoods throughout the city of Albany are invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the "31st Annual National Night Out" (NNO) crime and drug prevention event. National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and cosponsored by local law enforcement agencies and ADT, will involve over 35 million people from all 50 states in "America's Night Out Against Crime."

National Night Out is designed to: (1) heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; (3) strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

From 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on August 5, residents in neighborhoods are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights, and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police. Many neighborhoods will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, flashlight walks, contests, youth activities, and anticrime rallies. This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety, and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation. Albany Police Department asks you to join them in "Giving Crime and Drugs A Going Away Party."

If you would like to organize a Neighborhood Watch group or simply support local crime prevention efforts and participate in National Night Out, this is an excellent opportunity to organize your neighborhood to reduce crime, get to know your neighbors and host a neighborhood celebration. If you live within the city of Albany and want more information regarding National Night Out, Neighborhood Watch, or to register your neighborhood event, contact Sandy Roberts, Albany Police Department, 541-917-3206 or register on-line at http://www.cityofalbany.net/departments/police/support-division/community-resource-unit-cru/crime-prevention/national-night-out. Please register by June 20, 2014. Registered neighborhoods are eligible for goodies for the kids and visits from law enforcement personnel.

Previous issues of City Bridges are available at:
Albany: Where the town cows roamed

By Cathy Ingalls, Albany Regional Museum volunteer

Shoppers and anyone in business in Downtown Albany in the mid-to-late 1800s would not have been surprised to meet up with milk cows strolling the city's streets and sidewalks.

The wandering "town cows" were there in part to enjoy the produce that Francis M. Redfield kept in bins outside his grocery store.

That is what author Ed Loy discovered researching the book he is writing on aspects of Albany's history, from the Kalapuya Indians to the 1980s.

From grocer Redfield's notes, Loy learned that the cows would get up on their hind legs, rest on their forelegs on parked wagons, and peer into the beds looking for hay, lettuce, or cabbages.

Robert L. Burkhart estimated 75 to 100 town cows strolled downtown at large on any given day.

Some early residents came to Albany with cows but could not afford to build barns or fences, Loy said; the only way to contain the animals was to stake or tether them, primarily during evenings and milking times. He believes the cows were allowed to roam free to graze, often finding their way downtown.

The animals probably belonged to residents outside the boundaries of First and Fourth Avenues and from Washington to Baker or Montgomery Streets. Homes beyond that area were spaced apart with plenty of pasture. The cows' primary job was to provide milk and butter for their owners; anything extra could be sold.

Though some complained, the town cows appear to have been a fixture until the 1890s, when pastures gave way to new homes.

The 1878 Albany City Directory, the first year it was published, included ordinances to deal with loose dogs, hogs, and horses but not cows.

Dog owners were required to register their pets and pay a yearly $1 fee. Payment information was retained by the city recorder and forwarded to the town marshal who could determine if a loose dog's owner had paid the fee.

It was against the law to let a dog run at large without a collar, part of which had to be metal so the name of the animal's owner could be marked or stamped on it. If a dog was found without a collar and no owner came forward to pay a fine, the dog could be put down.

Loose hogs would be penned and, if not claimed, sold at auction.

The city marshal was authorized to secure an at large horse in a safe place, then post a notice with the animal's description. If it wasn't claimed within ten days, it could be disposed of according to state law.

Loy's yet-to-be titled paperback will contain 300+ pages and be available in 2015 at the Albany Regional Museum. 
General Information
Sharon Konopa

Ward I Councilors
Dick Olsen
Floyd Collins

Ward II Councilors
Bill Coburn
Ray Kopczynski

Ward III Councilors
Bessie Johnson
Rich Kellum

City Manager
Wes Hare