ODOT Schedules Online Open House For Safety Improvements At OR 551 and Ehlen Road.

Construction to begin in spring of 2021

AURORA— An online open house is currently being held for a project that will improve the safety and operations at OR 551 (Wilsonville-Hubbard Highway) and Ehlen Road located between Interstate 5 and Aurora in Marion County.

Construction is expected to begin in spring of 2021. We encourage you to find out more about the project and its construction impacts by visiting the online open house athttp://oregonevents.org/openhouse/or-551-at-ehlen-road. The online open house will be available until August 31.

The OR 551 at Ehlen Road Safety Project includes:

  • Building signalized left-turn lanes on each side of Ehlen Road at the intersection with OR 551.
  • Installing a concrete traffic separator on the west side of Ehlen Road to restrict left turns from Boones Ferry Road to OR 551.
  • Building a new county connector road between Boones Ferry Road and OR 551.
  • Constructing dedicated right-turn lanes off of OR 551 onto the new Julia Road NE.

The Oregon Department of Transportation and Marion County have been working together to improve the safety and operations in the area where both Ehlen and Boones Ferry Roads closely intersect OR 551 causing both safety and operational issues.

Access for pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will be available and identified through or around the work zones.

Oregon Marine Board Denies Petition To Remove Towed Watersports On The Willamette River In The Newberg Pool.

The Oregon State Marine Board held a virtual work session on July 22 and their quarterly Board meeting on July 23, live streamed from the agency’s Salem office.   At the meeting, the Board considered a petition which proposed the removal of towed watersports zones in the Newberg Pool on the Willamette River to allow all water activities and require wake surfing to occur in the middle of the river in an upstream direction only. The Board had previously denied a petition with the same language at their May meeting, citing conflict with a rulemaking process already open in the same area.

The Board denied the petition again at the July 23 meeting, citing the recent adoption of new rules for the area which went into effect July 1, 2020. The Board wants to gauge the effectiveness of education and increased awareness around compliance with these rules. The Board also gave the agency Director the authority to deny petitions related to the Newberg Pool on the Willamette River in the immediate future,with the condition that the Director inform the Board of any rejected petitions in the quarterly Board report.

Staff Report Released For Proposed Donald “Agri-Hood”

The City of Donald has released the staff report to the City Council related to the proposed Agri-Hood development.  The City Council will conduct a public hearing on the proposal on June 9th at 6:45.

A copy of the staff report is available here:  agrihood staff report

For more information, visit the City of Donald web page at https://www.donaldoregon.gov/council-meetings

Oregon State Fire Marshal Extends Self Serve Gas In Oregon

Press release: April 24, 2020

Office of the State Fire Marshal Extends Rules Allowing for Self-Serve Gas to May 11, 2020

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is extending a temporary rule change that allows Oregon gas stations to provide self-service on a voluntary basis, in order to address shortages of workers experienced by gas retailers statewide.
The rules change was first announced on March 28 and then extended on April 11 to April 25. Today, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker extended the deadline another two weeks, through May 9.

“We want to thank Oregonians and Oregon businesses for being flexible during these challenging times,” said Walker. “As we continue to monitor this ongoing situation, we feel it is best to extend this option for an additional two weeks.”

The extension of the change will still allow station attendants to help customers while avoiding face-to-face and hand-to-hand contact. It also continues to ensure physical distancing measures are in place. Attendants will continue to sanitize station equipment and fuel nozzles and assist customers with their refueling as needed.

Self-service is not mandatory. This option allows some fueling stations to maintain their operations with fewer workers and lets Oregonians, particularly essential workers who must travel, still commute without the uncertainty of not being able to find open gas stations. Unattended self-service is permitted when a gas station owner exhausts all staffing options. Stations that do not have an attendant on duty are still required to post safety signs for physical distancing and instructions showing customers how to operate a fuel pump correctly.

This extension of the self-service rules change has not affected areas of the state that were already authorized for self-service refueling under state law.

Information about the extended rules change for self-service gasoline can be found on the OSFM website.

Scammers Want Your Stimulus Payment. Here’s How To Ensure You Receive It.

As the IRS begins to issue Stimulus Payments this week, scammers are salivating over the billions of dollars that will be distributed.

The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money. Remember, the IRS will not call, text you, email you or contact you on social media  asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.

The IRS is launching a website mid-April that will allow you to:

  • Check your payment status.
  • Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check.
  • Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS does not have your direct deposit information and hasn’t sent your payment yet.

STATE AGENCIES ASK OREGONIANS TO VOLUNTARILY REFRAIN FROM OUTDOOR BURNING WHILE COMMUNITIES RESPOND TO COVID-19

Press Release from Oregon Emergency Management Division tonight:

(SALEM, Ore.) — In response to the “Stay Home, Save Lives” Executive Order to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 virus, a coalition of Oregon state agencies are asking Oregonians to voluntarily refrain from conducting outdoor burning. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office (OSFM), Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recognize that many Oregonians use fire as a necessary tool to manage their lands, including industrial forest landowners, farmers, small woodland owners, and rural residents. However, it’s important to weigh possible effects on the wider community before choosing to burn. Please be a good neighbor. Smoke from fires during the current pandemic may result in the following negative consequences for the public and first responders:

  • Smoke inhalation can cause upper respiratory symptoms, which could be incorrectly attributed to COVID-19, leading to unnecessary testing or self-isolation.
  • Exposure to smoke and other forms of air pollution can increase the risk of contracting infectious respiratory disease such as COVID-19, increase the severity of existing respiratory infections, and worsen underlying chronic respiratory conditions.
  • There is a severe shortage of personal protective equipment to reduce smoke exposure at this time.
  • First responders and other emergency services are operating at a reduced capacity and have limited resources to respond to out-of-control burns.

COVID-19 affects the respiratory system. Fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms. While some people with COVID-19 are hospitalized, most patients recover at home, where smoke from a nearby outdoor burn could worsen their condition. To avoid additional health impacts, all people in Oregon are asked to voluntarily refrain from conducting outdoor burning activities until further notice.

Burning that can be delayed includes:

  • Debris burning around one’s property
  • Burn barrels
  • Industrial burning
  • Slash and forest burning
  • Agricultural burning that would impact neighbors and can be delayed

Local officials may already have prohibited outdoor burning in your area. If you must conduct outdoor burning, please first check with your local fire agency to see if outdoor burning is still allowed. If it is, please follow best burn practices, which can be found on the website of the Office of the State Fire Marshall.

DEQ, ODF, OSFM, and ODA encourage the public to use the following alternatives to burning when available:

  • Recycle paper products when possible
  • Compost or chip yard debris on site
  • Haul to a yard debris composting or recycling site
  • Reuse old lumber

For more information, visit:

ODF – https://www.oregon.gov/odf/Fire/pages/Burn.aspx

DEQ – https://www.oregon.gov/deq/aq/Pages/Burning.aspx

ODA – https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/NaturalResources/Pages/Burning.aspx

OHA COVID-19 website – https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19

This is a rapidly evolving situation. The latest COVID-19 response and protocols information is available at the Oregon Health Authority | COVID 19 Updates webpage. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

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IRS Answers Questions On The Stimulus Payment With Easy To Read FAQ.

Everyone seems to have questions about the upcoming stimulus program and payment, and the Internal Revenue Service has created a webpage to answer them.  It’s easy to read and updated almost daily.

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (ODOE) Provides CLARIFICATION ON TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF OREGON’S BAN ON SELF-SERVICE GAS STATIONS

Oregon’s COVID-19 Statewide Joint Information Center and the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) are
providing additional clarification related to yesterday’s announcement from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, which temporarily suspended Oregon’s ban on self-service gas stations.

This temporary suspension does not make self-service mandatory. The intention is to ensure fuel is available to essential personnel who need to travel. The Oregon Fuels Association (OFA) states, “This change allows gas station attendants to help these customers while avoiding face-to-face, hand-to- hand contact and apply social distancing practices. Attendants will sanitize equipment and
fuel nozzles and assist customers with refueling as needed.”

ODOE is responsible for maintaining a reliable source of fuel for Oregonians. The gas station workforce has recently reduced by as much as 50 percent due to illness, childcare issues and safety concerns according to the fuel industry. Self-service allows some gas stations to continue operations with fewer staff and ensures Oregonians can refuel their vehicles.

OFA adds, “Unattended self-service will only happen if and when a gas station owner exhausts all staffing options.” Those stations that do not have an attendant on hand are required to post safety signs for social distancing as well as instructions for how to operate a fuel pump.

This temporary suspension is currently in effect through April 11, 2020, and may be extended by the Oregon State Fire Marshal. Amidst the COVID-19, the goal of this change is to make refueling safer for both customers and service station attendants, while keeping stations open.

This does not affect existing areas of the state already authorized for self-service refueling under Oregon law.

Oregon Health Authority Addresses COVID-19 Drinking Water Concerns.

In response to public concern about the safety of drinking water during the virus epidemic, the Oregon Health Authority has published a fact sheet.

The most common question is whether or not COVID-19 can be transmitted in drinking water. According to the OHA, the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. If a water supplier is meeting all current standards it is considered safe to drink.

Download the full fact sheet here:

FAQ-COVID19

Oregon State Fire Marshal Temporarily Allows Self Serve Retail Fuel.

In response to the impacts of COVID-19 on Oregon, the Office of State Fire Marshal is suspending regulations over self-service stations and implementing measures to ensure the health and safety of gas retailers.

“During this unprecedented time of state emergency, we need to ensure that critical supply lines for fuels and other basic services remain uninterrupted,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker.

A. Effective immediately today, until April 11 (two weeks from effective date), retail facilities of Class 1 flammable liquid transportation fuels prohibited from offering self-service refueling shall:

  1. Prepare, implement and enforce social distancing policies consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority,
  2. Require an attendant to be on duty to supervise self-service refueling consistent with the social distancing policies and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through sanitization measures, and
  3. Designate an employee at each station to implement and enforce the social distancing policies.

B. For retail facilities of Class 1 flammable liquid transportation fuels compliant with paragraph A, the State Fire Marshal’s office shall not enforce the self-service prohibition under ORS 480.310 through ORS 480.385.

C. Notwithstanding (A2), a station owner may only offer self-service without an attendant if:

  1. The owner retains documentation that there are no employees available to work as an attendant, including documentation for absences and employee hiring and retention efforts;
  2. The owner is subject to State Fire Marshal audit and has posted safety signs for how to safely operate a fuel pump; and
  3. The hours of operation under this subsection do not exceed 10 consecutive hours.

Station owners who need help finding employees to cover shifts should contact Miriam Nolte (Miriam.l.nolte@oregon.gov; 503-612-4252) for help finding workers.

For questions about the change, visit the Fire Marshal website.