Committee hopes to have Salem vets memorial done in July
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
SALEM — Jim Dean told the Salem City Council not to expect any action soon on the community’s veterans monument.
However, Dean, a member of the monument committee, said once spring comes that will all change.
“We don’t want to do any flat concrete work in the winter,” Dean said during Tuesday’s city council meeting. “You won’t see any activity until April.”
He said he hopes past progress on the memorial will elicit some donations as the committee is still in need of financial support. “We decided to buy two extra stones (on which names at the memorial will be printed) because we nearly have enough nominations to fill the six stones.
“We hope that if we show progress, it will cause some people who had their hand in their pocket to pull it out,” Dean continued. “Even though we started work, we are still accepting donations.”
Dean said that in addition to purchasing two more stones, the committee decided to put a limestone 12-inch high barrier around the monument to add a little more security and prevent accidents. “We want it strong enough that if someone has an accident, they will hit the wall, not the stones.” The limestone and the two additional tablets will cost about $15,000 he noted.
Gene Stewart, another member of the committee, said the monument will be virtually maintenance free.
The large stones for the monument are scheduled to arrive in June, and Dean said the committee hopes to have the monument finished by mid-July.
In other agenda items, Steven Nichting, Salem fire chief, again asked the council for money for turnout gear for the department. Nichting once again maintained that money was to have been set aside each year for future fire department needs and the fund should have $8,000.
Nichting presented a list of fire department equipment needs that amounted to about $54,000.
The council said that the city’s general fund only has about $6,500 for the fire department.
“We will have to do some checking and see what money we have,” remarked Councilman Chuck Kramer.
“The first thing we have to do is figure out how much money we have,” echoed Councilwoman Mary Hoyer.
Nichting said that some of the department’s turnout gear is 30 years old.
“I can’t promise you anything,” Kramer said. “All we can do is check the money and talk next month about it.”
The fire chief also distributed a list of calls/meetings/training for 2016. Fire calls numbered a dozen, rescue calls were at 14 and EMS summons 71 for a total of 100. The department also had seven training meetings and 33 regular meetings.
Council members accepted the bid from L.L. Pelling Co., for street repair next summer. The council has not decided how much work the city will have done. Pelling’s bids were slightly higher than last year, the council remarked. Asphalt was quoted at $3.45 per square yard; single sealcoat was $2.35 per square yard; and cold-mix patching material was $205 per ton.
Kramer also told the council that most of the dead tree limbs and one dead tree had been removed from city limits.
City Attorney Pat Brau told the council that a property located at 206 N. Main St., had been purchased by a company at the recent tax sale. The council would like to purchase the property and eventually sell it. Brau said he would do some more work on the matter, ensuring that the property has a clear title before the city would purchase it. The property is the scene of a house fire a number of years ago.
Finally, the winners of the Christmas Lighting Contest were announced. First place went to Lisa Harris; Don and Coleen Kramer placed second; and Steve and Judy Feehan were third.
In a final matter, the council agreed that the city office would be closed Thursday, July 5.
Salem council members meet again in regular session Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 5:30 p.m., at city hall.