Salisbury

Don Rush

The Maryland Board of Public Works has authorized $1.2 million for wastewater treatment plant upgrades for the towns of Salisbury and Fruitland.

The funding is part of the 2000 Chesapeake Bay Agreement signed by five states including Maryland to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries such as the Wicomico River.

Salisbury got $1 million for designing improvements to fix an earlier upgrade that did not meet pollution control standards.

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After 18 years as city administrator John Pick is leaving the city of Salisbury to become city manager in Northglenn, Colorado.

The 62-year old city official has overseen dramatic changes during those years with the population growing from 20-thousand to 30-thosuand since 1990.

Don Rush

Wi-Fi is coming to downtown Salisbury.

At least, that’s the plans of Bill Garrett who was hired last July to be director of the city’s information technology.

He told the Salisbury Daily Time, “It’s time to step up the game a little.”

On the table are plans to provide free WiFi for patrons on or near the Downtown Plaza.

He noted that other municipalities do this and bring in more business, especially in college towns.

The connection would be relayed by 10 antennas atop the surrounding buildings with the consent of their owners.

Don Rush

The Salisbury City Council last night unanimously approved a $53 million budget that will raise property taxes for the first time in years.

The rate will go from $8.19 to $8.84 per $1000 of assessed property value.

The increase represents the revenue problem faced by Salisbury in the face of an 8 percent drop in the town’s property tax base due to the Great Recession.

There is a 2 percent pay raise for city employees and as well as money to maintain the pay increases for the police department.

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Tom Stevenson will be taking over the city administrator’s job in Salisbury on an interim basis but he told a news conference that he does plan to apply for the position.

He is head of the Neighborhood Services and code Compliance Department and has worked with just about every department over the last quarter century.

Stevenson will be replacing John Pick who announced his retirement this week and will depart June 28th.

Mayor Jim Ireton said that the city will hire a consultant in the national search for Pick’s replacement.

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Salisbury gained around 500 jobs in February but it’s unemployment rate was still the highest for Maryland metropolitan areas in Maryland.

A new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the rate ticked down from 9.9 percent to 9.5 percent.

That’s the lowest for February in Salisbury since 2009 when it stood at 9.4 percent.

The Salisbury metropolitan area includes Wicomico and Somerset Counties.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the total for those with jobs or looking for jobs rose from just over 61,700 to 62-thousand.

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There will be an Arts Roundtable meeting this Wednesday in Salisbury to build and develop a new visual and performing arts center.

Executive Director Therese Hamilton told the Salisbury Daily Times that such a center could be located in the downtown area as part of a revitalization effort in that part of the city.

She noted that many nonprofit arts groups are now competing for space at high school auditoriums with all their logistical and financial challenges.

Myles Lyons, mug shot

Police are looking for 19 year old Myles David Lyons in connection with an early morning shooting and stabbing that has left one person dead and two others injured

The incident occurred in the Jersey Road and Burnt Branch Drive area of Salisbury around 3 . am.

The murder victim is described as a 39 year old woman.

An 17 and 18 year injured in the incident have been taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Salisbury Police Website

It’s National Night Out.

And cities across the county are celebrating the event that marks the fight against crime.

It’s sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.

On the Lower Eastern Shore there are a number of cities participating this year ranging from Salisbury and Crisfield to Pocomoke, Snow Hill and Ocean City.

Col. Ivan Barkley with the Salisbury Police Department says this is a way for the community and law enforcement to get together.

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A Pennsylvania woman has been charged in the death of her 11-year-old daughter after police say she ran her vehicle off the Salisbury bypass while impaired by drugs.

State police tell The Daily Times of Salisbury that the girl was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle, which overturned on the southbound Route 13 Bypass Sunday afternoon.

The unemployment rates for Salisbury and Dover were up in June.

Salisbury’s jobless rate was 9 percent up from 8.4 percent in May.

That’s still below 9.5 percent a year ago.

Statewide, Maryland’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent up from 6.6 percent a month earlier.

But that was still below the 7.7 percent a year ago.

For Dover June saw an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent up from 6.5 percent in May.

Again the June rate was lower than the 7.8 percent a year ago.

The United States Specialty Association says it will return to Salisbury to host the 2013 Softball World Series.

WBOC-TV reports that the association made the announcement Monday. The group's vice president, Bill Dowell, says the decision was based on Salisbury's infrastructure, as well as support from hotels, restaurants, businesses and sponsorships.

It will be the seventh year that Salisbury has hosted the event.

The Salisbury City Council is set to take up today a new plan by Mayor Jim Ireton for a redevelopment district for the downtown area that would eliminate several parking lots.

Ireton says that a recent study found there would still be plenty of parking in the downtown area with the plan.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that over a month and a half’s time the city actually counted the spaces used in the downtown area by the parking garage and five nearby lots.

Ireton says that no single politician or blog can argue there is a problem with parking in downtown.

 

There’s a seven hour work session set for today during which the Salisbury City Council will take up the controversial charter amendment that would increase minority representation on the council.

By a 3-to-2 vote the Council told the City Attorney Mark Tilghman to draw up a measure that would expand the majority-minority district to two at-large council members while leaving a second at-large district with 3-members.

In addition, the proposal would eliminate the staggered elections for the council members and the Mayor.

City of Salisbury

 

All of the redistricting plans for Salisbury’s City Council elections are now off the table.

In their stead there two new plans.

One would create three council districts.

Two would be majority-minority districts while the third would be an at large district with three council members.

A second proposal would create a two-district map that combines the two minority-majority districts but with two representatives. 

 

 

 

    The controversy over Salisbury's legal budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year will come up for scrutiny at night's City Council meeting.

     The Council is set to take a second and final vote on a measure that would add $30,000 for the City Attorney.

      However, at an April 16, meeting, Council members Laura Mitchell and Shanie Shields received a spread sheet showing that an additional $100,000 is needed to cover legal bills for the rest of the fiscal year.

 

             Salisbury residents could be hit with a 1.5 percent hike in their property taxes after four years of holding the line on such an increase.

            That’s the issue facing the city as Mayor Jim Ireton rolled out his 2013 budget plan this week.

            The Mayor says the increase is needed in light of the decline of $1.7 million in property tax revenues since 2010 because of a $221 million drop in property assessments.

 

            The Salisbury City Council has agreed to end staggered municipal elections.

            Council President Terry Cohen said that while the practice provided for continuity many voters felt it was just a form of – what she called -- re-election.

            The Salisbury Daly Times reports that eliminating the staggered voting would provide…elections for the Mayor’s office and all 5 Council seats every four years.

            The next municipal election is set for April of next year.

 

            Local landlord Stuart Leer of L&M Rentals has filed a lawsuit against Salisbury after the city’s Historic District Commission denied his request to modify a historic Camden Avenue home.

            He charges that the Commission did so after the 45 day window allowed for such a denial had passed.

            The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the law says the failure by the Commission to act within that time frame constitutes automatic approval unless the two parties reach a mutual agreement for an extension.

 

              The Salisbury City Council is set to hear from the public tonight and take an initial vote on a special assessment district that would pay for the cost of a sidewalk in the Harbor Pointe neighborhood.

            The local home owners have come to the city several times before asking that the municipality put in a sidewalk on Harbor Pointe Drive from Pemberton Drive to Anchors Way.

 

 

            During its work session tonight the Salisbury City Council is expected to take up a measure that would impose fines on problem properties.

            The legislation is the Three Strikes provision of Mayor Jim Ireton’s rental legislation.

            The nuisance law would allow the city to recover a portion of the costs connected with repeated calls for service to either the Salisbury Police Department or the Department of Neighborhood Services and Code Compliance.

 

             Mayor Jim Ireton says he wants the Salisbury City Council to consider at-will status for the city administrator and department heads, giving him sole hiring and firing power.

            Ireton argued that because the council had changed the city charter to give them sole authority over the city Attorney his office should be given that same power over the city administrator and department heads.

            The Council also has sole oversight of the City Clerk’s office.

 

 

            If you’re going to Orlando, Florida, you can take a direct flight out the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport.

            Allegiant Airlines began looking at Salisbury as another hub for their service…after the runway extension and upgrades were completed last year.

            Airport officials say Orlando is already the most popular destination for passengers…flying out of Salisbury.

            But they note that in the past they have had to take connecting flights…to get there.

 

     Wicomico County has become a big hit for businesses settling in the local enterprise zones.

     The program rewards employers with property tax breaks in exchange for investment and job growth.

     Program manager Mark Vulcan told the Salisbury Daily Times that the city has seen $25.3 million in new investment with 704 additional jobs.

 

During tonight’s City Council meeting, a number of departments will be asking for money.

              The Salisbury Police Department is requesting appropriation of $21,000 to pay for emergency repairs to a police tower on Marine Road that was damaged by a lightning strike on Aug. 2, as well as budget amendment to transfer $1,400 earned through their ammunition recycling program from the General Fund into the Fire Department budget.

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