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Celebrating Arbor Day in Salem

Although Arbor Day is typically celebrated in April, due to COVID-19 the city was unable to have any Arbor Day related events last month.  However, in honor of Arbor Day and to promote tree planting throughout the city, we are giving away free redbud trees from now until the end of the month or while supplies last.  If you would like to pick up your free tree to plant, visit City Hall any time.  Trees will be located for pick up by the rear entrance.  Any leftover trees after the giveaway will be planted at Lake Salinda. 

Please see below for a tree planting guide!

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Mayor Green Announces Blood Drive May 1st

Salem, IN (April 29, 2020) – The United States Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, recently encouraged healthy citizens to continue to give blood during the coronavirus pandemic.  He stated, “You can still go out and give blood. We’re worried about potential blood shortages in the future.  Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.” 

City of Salem Mayor, Justin Green, has partnered with the Indiana Red Cross to host a blood drive tomorrow, May 1, 2020 at the Senior Center to help maintain the national supply.  The Red Cross notes that, “donating blood products in essential to community health and the need for blood products is constant. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations.”

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New City Hall Hours

Effective May 4, 2020; city hall will open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 4:00 p.m.

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Mayor Green Announces Water Meter Replacement Program

In the upcoming weeks, City of Salem Utilities will begin installing a Smart Water Meter system to all households and businesses throughout the entire service area. This initiative will bring increased efficiency to water customers, allowing them to more accurately monitor water usage. It will also allow the city to quickly respond to any infrastructure issues or possible leaks. The Smart Water Meter replacement program is being brought to customers at no additional cost.

“We are excited to bring this technology to our customers and our community,” said Salem Mayor, Justin Green. “We have some water meters currently in use that are greater than 25 years old. A more modernized system is well overdue, and I am eager to see the results of these improvements for our citizens.”

The City of Salem Utilities started the program as part of their ongoing effort to provide excellent customer service and to stay ahead of inevitable issues that may result from aging infrastructure. Starting in late May through June, technicians will begin working throughout the city replacing meters. There should be little to no inconvenience to customers.

For more information about the Smart Water Meter replacement program, please contact the City of Salem Utilities at (812) 883-3937.

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Mayor Encourages Local Businesses to Apply for Assistance

In the midst of the ongoing novel coronavirus global pandemic, Salem Mayor, Justin Green, is encouraging businesses to apply for newly announced assistance programs through the Federal CARES Act and to remind residents of the importance of following Governor Eric Holcomb’s stay-at-home order.

“I know families and businesses are struggling as we disrupt our daily lives to ensure our own health and safety and that of others, but I do want to continue to encourage us all to look out for each other. I want to, again, stress the importance of taking the Governor’s order to heart and to take it seriously. The programs that have been put in place by the state and federal government should help get us through the next several weeks and I hope citizens will take advantage of them,” said Green.

Green says he is optimistic these programs will begin to provide relief quickly. For instance, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation recently announced several resources available to small business owners, including Federal Paycheck Protection Loans and Small Business Administration Disaster Loans.

“Under the paycheck protection loans, Salem and Indiana businesses can apply for up to eight weeks of cash-flow assistance. If these companies maintain their payroll during this period, the portion of the loans used to cover payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent and utilities would be forgiven. Programs like these, can be a saving grace right now,” said Green.

Additional programs include the SBA disaster loans, which allow small business owners to apply for a loan advance of up to $10,000, and SBA debt relief which will forgive six (6) months of payments on existing SBA loans. The debt relief program may be of importance to businesses who accessed these loans during the last major flood in Salem.

“Even though there is no treatment for this virus and no vaccine as of today, I know Salem residents will work together by practicing social distancing and staying home until we can begin to emerge from this safely. I wanted to highlight a few of these programs that I believe can be helpful and to encourage Salem businesses to take advantage of them until we can get back to business as usual,” said Green.

In addition to the programs for businesses, there are also a variety of programs designed to help individuals and families. A full list of COVID-19 resources can be found at https://coronavirus.in.gov/.

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Mayor Green Announces Start of Community Crossings Road Improvements

City of Salem Mayor, Justin Green, recently announced construction has begun on road projects in and around Salem that were made possible through the State of Indiana’s Community Crossings grant awards. In 2019, the City received $694,059 in grant funds from the program for area road improvements.

Mayor Green stated, “I am excited to see another project start to improve our roadways and I am grateful to the State for their partnership through these very important grant awards.”

The projects, started on Monday, April 6, 2020, includes improvements to the intersection on North Shelby Street near the intersection of West Market. Motorists should expect slight traffic disruptions in this area, but the roads will remain open. Another area of the city that will see improvements in a section of Fair Street off Jackson Street. Residents will see crews in that area in the coming days as they are working to relocate utilities.

The Mayor also notes the efforts that construction workers are taking to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Contractors have been diligent about the use of limited crews and of abiding by the recommended CDC guidelines for social distancing. They are using two small crews and following protocols to stay healthy and safe,” said Green.

For more information about the Community Crossings Grant program, visit https://www.in.gov/indot/2390.htm