News & Information from the City of Albany, Oregon

It's the Party of a Century and a Half:
celebrate Albany's birthday October 11-12


Events celebrating the 150th anniversary of Albany's incorporation are scheduled Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12, 2014.


Albany Farmers' Market, which operates Saturday mornings from April through November in the City Hall parking lot, will start the celebration on October 11.  In addition to its regular sales of local agricultural products at that Saturday's Market:

  • Children of all ages will create birthday cards under the direction of art educator Ann Bose, who operates Art World Learning Center and Gallery in downtown Albany.  The Albany Arts Commission is contributing materials.
  • Opus Six, a jazz sextet, and the Santiam Brass Quintet will provide special music.
  • Karen Force of the Boston Mill Society will demonstrate grain grinding with a special traveling grinding stone.
  • Amanda Pool of the Monteith Historical Society will offer hands-on pioneer-era food-related activities for kids; and
  • The Antique Apple Orchard of Sweet Home will provide heirloom varieties of apples for tasting. Albany's Knox Butte area had a branch of a well-known settlement-era tree nursery; and in the early 20th century, Albany boosters hosted an elaborate Apple Fair.

Community volunteers are organizing activities at City Hall for Sunday, October 12, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

  • Albany historians Jerry Brenneman, Bill Maddy, and Evedene Bennett will speak about different aspects of local history.
  • Elementary and middle school-aged children will contribute contents to a time capsule.
  • Prizes will be awarded in four contests:  the oldest Albany resident attending; best party hat or period costume; longest beard; and best jack-o-lantern.
  • Live music from a previous century will be performed by Out of Compliance.
  • The Albany Trolley will take passengers along historic downtown routes of the Oregon Electric Railroad and a streetcar line.
  • Birthday cake, ice cream, pie, Novak's Hungarian pastries, Pepper Tree sausage, and local cheese.
  • Displays of photographs, poetry, pottery, fine art, and historic artifacts.

Party-goers and others are encouraged to put their love of Albany in writing.  Comments will be read aloud at the party and all comments will be collected in an archive of the occasion.  Click here for the form; e-mail completed forms to albany150birthday@gmail.com or drop them off at City Hall during business hours.


Volunteers are still needed for the Sunday activities.  Want to help?  E-mail albany150birthday@gmail.com.


Albany was officially incorporated as an Oregon city on October 14, 1864.

How might the new fire and police stations look?


Five design firms will present drawings and cost estimates for a new main fire station and a new police building in Albany at meetings in Albany City Hall in October 2014.


The presentations were requested by a 12-member citizen committee appointed in January to review the condition of Albany Fire Department Station 11 and the Albany Police Department building, consider whether either or both should be rebuilt or replaced, and if so, where new buildings should be located. After considerable research, the Public Safety Facilities Review Committee recommended that Station 11 be replaced on site and the police station be rebuilt at a site on Pacific Boulevard SW.


The Committee asked for drawings of new buildings so that Albany residents could get an idea of how they might look, along with estimated construction costs.  The design competition is the result.


The Committee is chaired by former state Senator Frank Morse and retired Linn County Sheriff Dave Burright and will make a formal recommendation to the Albany City Council in November.


The design firms will make presentations to selection committees reviewing their proposals.  The public is welcome to observe and can view displays of all of the materials, which may include building profiles, elevations, or scale models, at Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Avenue SE, afterward.


Presentations related to the replacement of Station 11 are scheduled on Monday, October 6, 2014:

  • 8:00 a.m. - Mackenzie
  • 11:00 a.m. - CBTwo Architecture
  • 2:00 p.m. - Peck Smiley Ettlin

Police building presentations are scheduled on Monday, October 20, 2014:

  • 8:00 a.m. - DLR Group
  • 11:00 a.m. - Mackenzie
  • 2:00 p.m. - Skylab Architecture

The selection committees will evaluate the proposals and submit their award recommendations to the City Council in mid-November.  The design firms selected in the review process will further develop their design and refine their cost estimates following the award recommendations.


For more information about the Public Safety Facilities Review Committee, contact Marilyn Smith, 541-917-7507.

Fire Department dedicates new fire truck


"September 11, 2001, was a bad day for the Fire Service...September 11, 2014, is a good day for the Albany Fire Department...." These words were spoken by Albany Fire Chief John Bradner on September 11, 2014, at a ceremony remembering the past and honoring the future while dedicating the City's newest firefighting vehicle and retiring another.


Approximately 60 people gathered at Albany Fire Station 13, 13 years post 9/11.  The crowd included Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa, Albany Public Safety Commission members, Albany Rural Fire District Board members, current and retired Albany firefighters, Albany Fire Department officers and staff, neighboring fire service officials, and vendors responsible for assisting the City in purchasing and equipping the new fire truck.


They listened as Chief Bradner described how the realization of the new truck started four years ago and became a reality today due to the generous financial contribution of the Albany Rural Fire District, the leadership of Battalion Chief Kevin Anderson, and the countless hours of the Fire Department's Fire Advisory members. He acknowledged the community support and expressed thanks to citizens "for providing for the ability of our firefighters to safely respond to their emergencies."


Chief Bradner spoke about fire service traditions saying, "At the Albany Fire Department, we value old and new traditions alike. Our fire engines are red, the front bumpers of our engines contain a bell, and we formalize the arrival of new emergency vehicles by holding a ceremony like this."  He went on to describe how traditions such as dedicating an emergency vehicle are a way to create a feeling of security and stability in a profession that is based on uncertainty.


"Firefighters never know what the next emergency will be or when it will occur, and traditions like this help hold us together through good times and bad."


The following was heard countywide as a Linn County 9-1-1 dispatcher announced over the air, "The City of Albany Fire Department would like to announce the retirement of Truck 151 and welcome Truck 153 to its fleet.  We would like to wish this truck and those assigned to it a safe journey and the skills necessary to provide the best possible service to our citizens and visitors.  Truck 153 is hereby placed in service this 11th day of September 2014."


Chief Bradner then asked the Station 13 truck crew to remove their gear and transfer it from Truck 151 to Truck 153, announcing, "Truck 153 is now officially in service and responding to calls to protect our community."

B Y O Boat to the Great Willamette River Cleanup October 4


The 6th annual Great Willamette River Cleanup happens along the length of the river on Saturday, October 4, 2014, including 13 miles between Michael's Landing in Corvallis and Albany's Bowman Park.  Volunteers are needed to help.


Registration is open at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/willamette-riverkeeper-1477897368.


Volunteers should report to the Bowman Park parking lot by 8:30 a.m. for shuttles to Michaels Landing.  The group will put in at Michael's Landing by 9:30 a.m. and take out at Bowman around 2:30 p.m.  Pack water, snacks, and a lunch.


Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will provide a jet boat for trash-hauling.


An optional post-cleanup gathering will begin at Calapooia Brewing Company after 2:30 p.m.


Albany Public Works Department is partnering with Willamette Riverkeeper for the event by sponsoring a dumpster at Bowman Park.


Willamette Riverkeeper is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting, restoring, and celebrating Oregon's great Willamette River.

Hydrant flushing:  
what happens and why


Albany's water distribution system includes approximately 290 miles of water mains of various sizes and types of pipe; 7,500 water valves; 2,000 fire hydrants; and 17,000 water service lines and meters.  Two water treatment plants provide high-quality water from the Santiam River.


Even with high-quality treatment, natural sediment and mineral deposits accumulate in the system over time.  If the deposits are not cleaned out, water quality can become degraded.  Accumulated sediment can cause discoloration, bad tastes, and odor.  In an effort to rid the water system of this sediment buildup and maintain high water quality, the City flushes the water distribution system.


Flushing also allows the City to test and record water quality parameters within the system, including flushing turbidity, pH, chlorine residual, and temperature; and allows field crews to check valves, hydrants, and water flow to ensure the system is in proper working order.


A well thought-out and executed flushing program saves water over the life of the program.  Less water is needed to remove sediment and achieve flushing velocities if flushing is performed on a regular basis.


Since Albany's flushing program began in 2000, the City has been able to maintain better water quality through proactive capital pipe replacement.  This reduces the time needed for flushing water mains to meet water quality standards.  In the last five years, Albany has been able to cut the amount of water flushed and time needed for flushing by about 50 percent (from 3 million gallons per year to 1.5 million gallons last year).  Last year, Albany produced 2.3 billion gallons of water; the flushing program accounts for less than 0.07 percent of the water that passes through the system each year.


Flushed water is dechlorinated and allowed to go into the city's storm drain system to reenter creeks and rivers.  It has not proven to be economically feasible to use flushed water for other uses.


Water distribution crews flush water mains in neighborhoods on a regular annual rotation in late spring and summer.  However, depending on needs, system flushing can occur at any time.  Signs are posted in areas prior to flushing.  Crews flush water through fire hydrants and dead-end flushing valves.


If you see a flushing crew working in your neighborhood:

  • Please drive carefully and avoid driving into the water.  Flushing water is returned to the river and should remain as clean as possible.
  • Avoid running tap water and using the washing machine or dishwasher until the flushing is completed to avoid drawing discolored water into your home plumbing.
  • Do not use hot water when flushing is being performed.  Using hot water could draw discolored water into your water heater.  Discolored water in your water heater could allow discolored water to persist for long periods of time in your home.

When flushing is completed:

  • Turn on the cold water tap first.  If you see discolored water, shut the water off, wait several minutes, then check again by running cold water for several minutes.  Running the cold tap water will allow new water from the main to replace the discolored water in your plumbing.  The water can remain slightly discolored for up to a few hours.

Questions?  Contact Karen Kelley, Water Superintendent, at karen.kelley@cityofalbany.net

History of Albany
coming in November

By Cathy Ingalls, Albany Regional Museum volunteer



Years of research, writing, and editing are finally over for Albany author Edward Loy, whose detailed book on the history of Albany will be available in early November, just in time for holiday gift giving.


Loy crafted his history by talking to descendants of early pioneers, relying on primary sources, such as letters and diaries, scouring newspaper articles and visiting the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, the state archives in Salem, the Clackamas County Museum in Oregon City, and the Knight Library in Eugene.


Gem of the Valley, a History of Albany opens with the story of the Kalapuya Indians and then the arrival of white settlers, who included the Hacklemans, Monteiths, Burkharts, Millars, McFarlands, and Hills.


Many early arrivals were farmers; and according to the 1850 census, Loy says there were 172 households in Linn County, and all but 34 were farm families.  In 1851, seven families called the Albany area home.


Loy also discusses the ramifications of the American Civil War on Albany residents, and he recounts how school boys often took out their sectional rivalries fighting with each other.


Loy relates national and international topics to Albany, including the Industrial Age, particularly the railroad; World War I; Prohibition; the Great Depression; politics; World War II; and the beginning of the rare metals industry.


He chronicles Albany's rich and famous along with those who could barely eke out a living.  He offers details on the strenuous life of farmers, the building of churches, the public school system, the importance of steamboats, women's suffrage, and the original purpose of the Santiam-Albany Canal.


The book is jammed with maps, drawings, and photographs and costs $24.95 at the Albany Regional Museum, 136 Lyon Street SE.  Museum members get a ten percent discount.


The soft-cover book printed in a 7x10-inch format is expected to contain about 400 pages, but the exact number will depend on the final design, said Sheridan McCarthy of Meadowlark Publishing Services in Corvallis, which is handling publication.


The history of Albany isn't Loy's first book.  He spent more than a year and 600-plus hours writing and selecting photographs for "Tim Burr," an illustrated history of the defunct Albany Timber Carnival. Copies of that book also are available at the museum.


Loy has lived in Albany since he was four years old, when his family moved here from Weed, California, in 1945.  He retired from Lemons Millworks as an estimator and salesman and prior to that he was a secondary educator.


The museum will host a book-signing party for the author sometime in early November.


For more information about Loy's books, call the museum at 541-967-7122. 

Marys Peak from Scravel Hill Road,
Michael Moore, pastel

Arts Commissioners, past and present, display in November


Albany Arts Commissioner Billie Moore and former members Marsha Meidinger and Michael Moore will display their work at Albany City Hall during the month of November.


Michael Moore has been drawing and "painting" since 1991.  He uses hard to buttery-soft dry pastel sticks to apply color to various paper surfaces; sandpaper is his favorite.  He likes strong contrasts between light and dark areas and blends with his fingers to achieve a watercolor-like quality.  Most of his works are landscapes and seascapes.


Michael Moore has participated in live drawing demonstrations at the Northwest Art & Air Festival, at Samaritan hospitals in Albany and Lebanon, and at various locations on the Albany Master Gardeners Tour.


Billie Moore is self-taught and has explored many art forms: sketching portraits, stained glass, beading, crochet, knitting, and clothing design.  She has also taught high school drawing and oil painting, sciences, and health careers classes.


Oil painting is Billie Moore's enduring passion and is inspired by her cats, gardens, and the Oregon countryside.  She likes lots of color and prefers working on canvas or gesso.


With her husband Michael, Billie Moore has shown at many locations in the Willamette Valley, including Benton County Historical Museum, LaSells Stewart Center, Albany Public Library, Albany City Hall, Spring Hill Country Club, Timberhill Athletic Club, and numerous businesses and restaurants in Albany and Corvallis.


Meidinger is a retired teacher who paints with watercolor.


Art displays are open to the public during regular City Hall business hours, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, and some evenings when public meetings are scheduled.


Previous issues of City Bridges are available at:
General Information: 541-917-7500
Mayor Sharon Konopa: 541-791-0300
City Manager
Wes Hare:  
Ward I Councilors:
Dick Olsen,

Floyd Collins,

Ward II Councilors:
Bill Coburn,

Ray Kopczynski,

Ward III Councilors:
Bessie Johnson,

Rich Kellum,

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City of Albany, Oregon