Amid dissent, Salem development gets school tax exemption

Tax exemptions for multiple-unit housing as approved by the Salem City Council received approval of the Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday.

Parke 325, LLC, has applied to the council to convert a 32,257-square-foot mixed-use building containing 30 residential rental units and two commercial units. The council has asked the other taxing districts in the area to join it in the tax exemption.

The project is within the Riverfront Downtown Urban Renewal Area.

Two board members, Jesse Lippold and Paul Kyllo, voted against the exemption. They have contended that all businesses in that area should be taxed the same.

In other business, the board heard administrators report on the Student Investment Account, which includes dedicated funds for career-technical programs, dropout prevention, supports for students who have disabilities and increased access to preschool programs. A task force has been formed to meet regularly to recommend funding priorities.

The board also had first reading of a revised set of governance policies for itself. One proposed change is for the board to review the policies in each non-election year; it has been reviewing them annually.

In the Spotlight on Success portion of the meeting, Magda Romero, principal of Cummings Elementary School, honored Dr. Jennifer Frankel, a Keizer dentist, as Business Partner of the Month. In Frankel’s absence, her husband Jonathon Thompson, accepted the certificate.

Frankel and her team, Romero said, donated two new bicycles to the school that two students will win after entering a raffle for each month of perfect attendance.

Grants accepted by the board were $583,750 from the Oregon Department of Education for implementation of strategic improvement plans for schools and the district, $125,577 from ODE for supplemental services to identified preschool migrant students and families, and $31,511 from the Community Resource Trust for analyzing the effectiveness of programs at the Career and Technical Education Center.

Personnel actions approved by the board include the following in the McNary High School attendance area:

• Temporary full-time status: Kristi Coberly, Keizer Elementary School; Margaret Cole, Gubser Elementary School; Linda Olson and Vickie Russon, McNary.

• Retirement: Linda Olson, McNary.