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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

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Waving of Convenience Fees due to Covid-19

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, and until further notice, the City of Salem Utility Department is waving all convenience fees associated with using a credit/debit card or e- check, to pay a utility bill.

We are encouraging our customers to still pay what they can to avoid a large bill later down the road.

Please note that this decision is temporary.

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Maple Mania

The maple trees in general are the genus Acer.  Maples are very common here in Indiana, you very well may not know all your local maple species. The Boxelder for instance is actually a maple. The scientific name for Boxelder is (Acer negundo).  The word Acer of course means it is a maple, and the word negundo makes reference to the pinnately compound leafs found on the Boxelder.  So if you are ever in a trivia game, and the question is, “Name a maple with a compound leaf”. The correct response would be Boxelder. At this point you are probably scratching your head, wondering. What exactly makes a maple, a maple?  That is quite elementary, they are the trees that have little helicopters on them.  Well, that is how I explain it to children. In the serious world those little helicopters are called Samaras, plants are actually classified based on their reproductive parts, even though most folks focus on leafs. All oaks have acorns and all maples have samaras.   Having said all this you should now understand why Boxelder is actually a maple even though the leafs look nothing like our other maples.

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Parks Dept. Announces Cancellation of Season

Salem, Indiana (March 30, 2020) – Today, the Salem Parks and Recreation Department announced the cancellation of the remainder of the season and continued closure of the parks due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Department issued the following statement:

“The Salem Parks and Recreation Department strives to maintain and provide the safest and most secure facilities and programs for our guests, patrons and staff. Due to the recent concern over the Coronavirus (COVID19) along with discussions with city officials and the Park and Recreation Board, we have taken the following measures to maintain those standards:

We have cancelled the Baseball/Softball/Tball for the 2020 year.  We will be sending everyone a refund for the sign-up fee. All outdoor parks will remain closed until further notice.  This includes Riley’s Place, Depauw Park, the Elizabeth Street Park and the baseball diamonds. The Walking and hiking trails remain open but please do not congregate and do abide by social distancing guidelines.”    

The Board and Parks Department are taking these recommendations seriously based on the latest information available about the virus. They are implementing these precautions to protect the citizens of our community and park staff until such a time everyone can enjoy Salem’s beautiful park system safely.