Day: July 28, 2010

KNOW YOUR PARKS: Chalmers-Jones Park a great place to splash, skate or sit

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes In a nutshell: Chalmers-Jones Park is a well-manicured park on the civic center campus with some of the newest amenities, including a splash fountain and Carlson Skate Park. Budget cuts mean the splash park won’t run as often as planned this year, but it’s available on hot days. Not much for younger kids to do if the fountain is closed. Time visited: 1:30 p.m. on a Thursday Size: 2.9 acres, which includes the skate park. Who was there: A half-dozen or so children and their families were cooling off in the new splash fountain. Older kids were using the skate park. Where is it: Behind the Keizer Civic Center, with access from Rickman Drive NE and Chemawa Road NE. A separate parking area for the skate park is on Rickman Drive. [MAP: 6] Mowing level: Very good, although weed control was spotty around light posts. Dry grass indicates the park could use some irrigation or sprinklers. Lots of young trees and shrubs planted as part of civic center project; it is likely the most landscaped park in Keizer’s park system. What’s there: A brand new splash fountain opened this summer and will be open limited hours. Visit Keizer.org for the details. It’s free and open to the public. Water shoots up from fountains built into the concrete (it doesn’t have a pool where...

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Chamber lays out vision for freeway visitors center

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes A vision for a visitors center near Interstate 5 is becoming clearer. Top officials from the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, which acts as the tourism agency for the city, say it would dramatically increase visibility and aim to double visitors to Keizer if the facility is built. There’s been no decisions made, but some hope to establish a partnership with Salem-Keizer Transit, which plans to build a transit center on Lockhaven Drive at Keizer Station Boulevard. Any expansion would be contingent on funding. While no one’s sure yet where money for building would come from, officials believe grants from organizations like Travel Oregon and even contributions from youth sports groups could be used to operate it once it’s built. Transient occupancy taxes (TOT) could also come into the equation. The Chamber received $16,118 from the city of Keizer in TOT, more commonly known as a hotel/ motel tax, in 2008-09. Their proposal calls for hiring one more full-time employee, increasing fulltime staffing to three. The visitors center would serve to “promote Keizer as a destination to stay, play or shop … or to live and work,” it states. Christine Dieker, executive director of the chamber, acknowledged doubling tourism in three to five years is ambitious – but she thinks it’s doable. Chamber President Joe Egli said attracting more tourists – be it for...

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