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Salem's finances 'in good shape,' mayor says

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Salem is eligible to become a city of first class, according to a recent census, Salem Mayor Gary Clayton announced at the council meeting Nov. 15. To be eligible for this the town must have a population over 1,500. He said cities of first class have certain rules compared to cities of second class regarding election issues. The advantage for this is the prestige factor said the mayor.City Attor-ney Dwayne Plumlee said it would be positive to do this and he recommended it. He added he didn't see any disadvantages of becoming a city of first class.Some suggestions were made for the 2002 budget: improvements to the park with the addition of playground equipment and basketball and tennis courts below the pond; and building improvements at the civic center. Clayton said cosmetic work needed to be done and bathrooms need to be revamped.The council discussed making cutbacks where possible to get a new roof on City Hall.The mayor said architectural help would be necessary because of the different levels of the roof. It is just a matter of making it look right, he added. He said the money is available because of Act 78; it just has to be acted on.The mayor said he would have to study the budget further and have it ready for the December meeting. He said the city should come out in pretty good shape at the end of the year.The leftover money from the water tank project needs to be spent by the end of the year to meet FHA guidelines, the mayor said.Bill Wor-sham from the Public Works Department suggested using the money to replace 20 fire hydrants and replace some old meters.Salem Police Chief Albert Roork said in the November report the department had responded to the following: four auto accidents, 27 unlocked vehicles, 32 complaints, three domestic disputes, two burglaries, one breaking or entering, three thefts of property, one shoplifting, two arrests for possession of a controlled substance, one failure to yield, one public intoxication, one contributing to the delinquency of a minor, one disorderly conduct and two DWIs.In other business, the mayor said he had met with the prospective buyers for the Salem Shirt Factory, and another meeting is set for this week. Things are proceeding in that area, he said.Clayton said he has met with the chamber in informal meetings to try and secure additional business operations in the area.



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