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Mayor has hopeful outlook for Salem in 2021

SALEM — Mayor John Berlin said Salem’s outlook for 2021 looks hopeful, with the release of the COVID-19 vaccine, businesses reopened and the unemployment rate going down.

Berlin delivered the message of hope during his annual State of the City address Tuesday night, reading from a 12-page document outlining the activities of the various city departments, city finances and economic development in 2020.

Throughout the report, the presence of the pandemic was evident as he talked about events cancelled, a drop in city income tax receipts, the increased activity of the city health department and purchases made courtesy of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Zoom, coronavirus, pandemic, social distancing, virtual meetings were not words commonly used prior to March of 2020. However, those words have shaped and contributed to the 2020 State of the City and have impacted our current financial status, among other things, resulting in the city’s decrease of revenue,” he said.

He talked about the CARES Act grants and refunds of workers compensation premiums providing assistance to the government and how the city administration is grateful to the city health department, street department and other departments, including police and fire, for their efforts.

“Be assured that all departments of the city have stepped up to deal with these turbulent times,” he said.

The mayor’s address can be seen in its entirety when the video from city council’s Zoom meeting is posted to the city website at www.cityofsalemohio.org.

In other business, a Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks Committee meeting was set for 6:30 p.m. March 2 to deal with an alley vacation. A reminder was issued about an Economic Development Committee meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday via Zoom using Meeting ID: 919 2085 9761 and Passcode: 974679.

Councilmen Steve Faber and Andrew Null, whose son plays on the team, both congratulated the Salem boys varsity basketball team for winning a share of the Eastern Buckeye Conference crown. Null asked people to clean their sidewalks for people out walking, including children going to school. Councilwoman Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey thanked the street department for the great job clearing the streets during recent storms.

Council also agreed to the seeking of bids for the purchase of gas and diesel fuel for the street department.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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