Canby Urban Renewal District Overview
Projects Launched or Completed in 2014-2015
Community Park Improvements
The Urban Renewal Agency has partnered with Wilderness International since 2012 to make a wide variety of improvements. This year, the agency invested $13,000 and a team of 22 youths and 36 volunteers contributed over 73 hours in labor. A major area of focus was pond improvements. Tasks included monthly water quality testing, installation of a third fishing platform; installing about 380 native plants, weed control on one acre of the park was completed, and more gravel and mulch was applied for trails.
Downtown Canby welcomed three new sculptures. They include metal sculptures created by Kate Simmons, Ben Dye and Jim Johnson. Each artist was tasked to create a sculpture that represented Canby’s unique culture.
The process was guided by the Arts & Culture Advisory Council of Canby as part of the Main Street Program. The new sculptures are located along the south side of Northwest First Avenue.
A Quiet Zone for Downtown Canby
The planning and approval process for a Canby quiet zone continues for the railroad crossings at Ivy, Grant, and Elm. The Oregon Department of Transportation is currently adjusting the design at the intersection of Elm Street at highway 99E to provide more room for trucks to navigate this tight intersection that links to the cities truck route. The project involves moving a power pole and reconstructing the northern intersection. ODOT and the city are developing an acceptable design and identifying additional funding. Once the details are agreed to, design plans will be completed and a “Notice of Intent” and plans are submitted to stakeholders for comment (60 days). Next, the improvements are constructed and inspected by the diagnostic team. Finally, the Notice of Establishment Application and “as built” designs are sent to stakeholder for comment (30 days).
As background; the Downtown District is adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad, which currently accommodates approximately 30 trains per day. Railroad engineers are required to sound their horns prior to approaching public crossings and continuously through downtown each time a train passes. Train horns can discourage outdoor activity, which in turn can negatively impact the economic vitality of our Downtown Business Community. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), determines whether Canby can proceed.
The city has proposed 75 to 80 foot non-traversable medians at Ivy, Grant and Elm that extend from each railroad crossing arm toward NW 1st Avenue and Highway 99E. There will be a partial closure of NW 1st Avenue west of Elm Street. If this plan is approved – the medians could be installed relatively quickly and inexpensively. The City has budgeted funds for the needed improvements.
Fire District Investments
In August, the Urban Renewal Agency agreed to spend up to $1,135,000 to fulfill the original $2.75 million 1999 plan commitment to the Canby Fire District over the next four years. These investments will improve Canby Fire District’s fire protection rating and enhance emergency response into the Urban Renewal District. Specifically, funds will pay for:
• $ 515,000 for one Fire Engine and the equipment to replace the existing 1999 Engine.
• $195,000 for one Emergency Medical Unit. This Unit would replace a current Medic Unit which will soon have driven in excess of 215,000 miles. The Medic Unit will be stationed at the main fire station and be utilized for the City of Canby.
• $425,000 to remodel the Main Fire Station. The project includes the remodel of the existing station at 221 S Pine St. This includes all permits and displacement living quarters for the crews while the remodel occurs.
The new 2016 Rosenbauer Commander Fire Truck pictured will be equipped with a larger pump, better turning radiuses, better ergonomics and large nozzles to help firefighters combat the fires that larger buildings bring us in the URD. It will also access areas downtown better that have been narrowed through URD.
Above: Before (left) and after (right) painting the front of the Fire Department Building. Below: Before (left) and after (right) painting the rear of the building.
Projects under way in 2015 - 2016 and beyond
Expanded Library/Civic Building
Construction on a new Library / Civic Building at NE 2nd and Juniper Street in Downtown Canby is moving forward quickly. In May 2014 almost 70% of Canby voters supported the urban renewal project.
The new two-story facility will be 35,000 square feet with library services and City Council Chambers on the main floor and administrative offices on the second floor. City staff from Administration, Finance, Development Services and Tech Services will occupy the space on the second level. By consolidating City employees, the new City space will improve efficiencies and make it easier for City customers with diverse needs to find City services under one roof. Combining this space with the library allows the City to address these needs extremely cost effectively.
Canby is investing in a new, larger library because the existing facility, a former hardware store, is popular but cramped, outdated, and has limited programing options and public use spaces. Libraries continually evolve to meet community needs by serving as a community center, technology hub a resource for personalized assistance and equal access in their communities.
This project involved purchasing property and vacating one-half of a block of Juniper Street, demolition of three vacant houses and relocation of utilities. The downtown Canby site is on NE 2nd Avenue, between N Ivy Street and the Canby 8 Cinema in downtown. A contract for Architect and Design Services was awarded to Scott Edwards Architecture. The General Contractor is Triplett Wellman Construction. The City broke ground on the project in August 2015. After months of public meetings, planning and design, the slab was poured in December 2015 and the community should see vertical walls after the first of the year and a roof in the second quarter of 2016. A completion date is scheduled for the fall of 2016.