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Mayor of Salem asks for support of levy renewal

To the editor:

As mayor of Salem, I ask that the temporary, five-year, .25 percent levy tax, specified for capital improvements to streets, alleys, sidewalks, curbs, parking lots and storm sewers be renewed by voters on Nov. 5.

It has been an honor to be part of the team of employees and city officials who, for the last four years, have helped in mapping a strategy to repave nearly 28 miles of Salem’s streets and alleys, in all four wards of the city, and reduce flooding by installation of properly-sized storm sewers in two areas of the city using levy funds.

An additional seven miles of streets were paved during the last four years using appropriations from the capital budget of the city.

We still have 30-plus miles of streets and several miles of alleys to bring up to acceptable standards. As a person who regularly travels to surrounding cities doing city business, I can report that the condition of Salem streets has no equal.

There has been a cost savings in our street department with less time and material spent on chuckholes repair and also less wear and tear on our snow plow blades and trucks. We now spend more time crack sealing our newly-repaved streets to extend pavement life. A repaved street shows to visitors a community that cares and must certainly have a positive impact on real estate values. Let’s keep improving Salem’s image by renewing the five-year levy on Nov. 5.

John C. Berlin,

Mayor of Salem

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