By Meg Hibbert, Contributing Writer
Regional economic authorities gave a strategic update to members of Salem City Council and the Economic Development Authority on possible funding sources for regional economic development Monday night.
The briefing during the joint work session in the Salem Civic Center Community Room was by John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, with Fahrenheit Advisors Aubrey El and Greg Wingfield on Zoom.
Among properties discussed for development were the former General Electric building in Salem. Hull said possible financing for improvements were Commonwealth Opportunity Funds. Councilmember Randy Foley asked if entities interested in GE was “One big company or do you foresee multiple occupants?”
Hull said he expects it would be multiple companies who would want 400,000 to 500,000 square feet of production space.
Assistant City Attorney Mike Lockabee guided Council and the EDA through what is and what not public record under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act. Director of Communications Mike Stevens is Salem’s Freedom of Information Officer, and the one to whom FOI requests should be made.
In actions at the Council meeting, Council:
- Passed, on second reading, a request to change zoning of the former Mount Regis property on Kimball Avenue from Residential Multi-family District with proffered condition, to RMF District without conditions. Contract purchaser Salem Building Supply plans to build homes on the land;
- Set a $61,221 bond for physical improvements and erosion and sediment control and landscaping for Calhoun Townhomes. The bond is for 12 months.
- Passed an ordinance authorizing City Manager Jay Taliaferro to pay bonuses up to $2,000 increases for eligible employees, and a $3,000 bonus for full-time Sheriff’s employees. Certain Electric Department employees would also get a $2 per hour increase. The ordinance passed on first reading in September.
The Council meeting adjourned at 6:46 p.m.