"Our August sales tax receipts were up $4,000 comparted to August 2011," Mayor Gary Clayton said. "Six of the last eight months have shown sales tax increases. It appears like we are generating more business, and we expect to have good November and December sales tax income."
During the meeting, the council authorized advertising one of the city's old backhoes for sale, at 70 percent of its appraised value. A new backhoe the city ordered this summer has been received and is in service.
"The backhoe we are going to sell is old but still works. I just used it the other day," Worsham said. Worsham added it is great to have the new Case four wheel drive backhoe for public work's digging, scooping and loading needs.
The Mayor reported that engineering plans have been completed for the project to repair and replace parts of the sewer line along the Town Branch. The plans have been submitted to the state health department and, once they are approved, the city can advertise for bids. Federal funds will pay for the $486,000 project.
The council discussed renewal of a mutual aid agreement with the Fulton County Rural Water Association. Under the agreement, Salem and the Rural Water Association agree to sell water to each other in the event either system system has an outage. Rural Water is hooked up to a city water well on Fairview Road, and a second hook up is to be added on Highway 395.
"We have had this agreement in the past," Mayor Clayton said. "It protects both of us if one of the systems go down."
City Attorney Dwayne Plumlee was asked to draw up a resolution to be considered at the October meeting.
Fire Chief Nick Blanton said six of his firefighters have begun course work to get certified to enter buildings and fight structure fires.
"Years ago, you could take three classes when you first became a fireman and go and fight your fire," Blanton said. "Now, they want you to go through all these modules to make sure you have the training to go in and fight a fire and be safe about it. As of right now, we have seven firemen who are structure (fire) qualified."
Blanton said, by the end of the year, seven more firefighters will be certified to fight structure fires, and he hopes another six or seven more will take the training next year.
Because of a conflict, the next meeting of the Salem City Council has been moved to Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7:15 p.m. Council meetings take place at city hall, and the public is invited to attend.