Salem plans to buy the former Carilion clinic on West Main Street in order to improve the intersection and expand business access at the Main and Wildwood Road.
At the Nov. 13 meeting, Council voted unanimously to authorize City Manager Kevin Boggess to execute a contract for $725,000 to purchase the vacant building next to Hardee’s. Th e city plans to fi nd ways to improve access for the businesses and industries behind the property, off Hammitt Lane, and possibly open up more land paralleling Main Street for development. “By owning that property it gives us an opportunity at creating a rear road and better access, whether for US Foods or other businesses,” Boggess noted. “Th ere’s a good piece of property that is marketable,” he added. “We have some opportunity to try to create better access to West Main Street, particularly to the south side,” the city manager said during the main meeting. “We’ve done some conceptual ideas.” He added there has been some discussion for another use once the intersection is redone.
Getting out of the former clinic location and onto Main Street is challenging, Boggess noted, particularly during heavy traffi c times. First, though, Horner’s Branch creek which runs between Hardee’s and the property will have to be put underground, Boggess told Council. In answer to questions after Council’s work session before the meeting, Boggess said the city “has no ideas other than we wanted to buy the property.”
Th e money to purchase the Carilion property will come from the city’s fund balance. Carilion approached the city, Boggess said, several months after clinic offi ces moved to the nearby Carilion location next to Walmart. Th e item was added to the agenda at last week’s meeting and not publicized in advance.
In other matters on Nov. 13, Council:
• Reappointed Dr. Nancy Bradley and Dr. Michael Chiglinsky to four more years on the Salem School Board. Council also thanked the fi rst-time candidate Josh Kier for applying, and encouraged the Northcross teacher to remain interested in serving the City of Salem.
• Approved having Kristie D. Chittum Interim Commissioner of the Revenue continue as interim until the next regularly scheduled general election, rather than holding a special election to fi ll the position before then. Chittum was the chief deputy for longtime Commissioner Linda Carroll who retired this fall.
• Approved a donation of $2,313 to Salem High School Band Boosters, which is equal to the amount of admissions tax from the Drum Corps International Summer Music Games in July at Salem Stadium.