By Meg Hibbert, Contributing Writer
Members of Salem High School’s Forensics Team and a sophomore track star who excelled nationally were recognized for their excellence during Monday night’s Salem City Council meeting.
Forensics Head Coach Mark Ingerson and seven members of the 12 on the team attended the Council meeting and were applauded for the 16th consecutive win in March. Mayor Renee Turk noted this was a new state record.
Council also passed a resolution commending SHS track star Peyton Lewis and sprinters coach Darryl McCoy. Lewis posted the fourth fastest time in the nation for a sophomore, and set both indoor and outdoor state track records.
He won the 2022 Virginia High School League State Title in the 55 meter dash in the Indoor Track Championships and the 100 meter dash in the Outdoor Track Championship.
Lewis posed for a picture with his coach, Council members and mother Sara Lewis, while proud dad Preston Lewis took photographs.
Forensics team members included Captain Julia Vaughn, Captain Nash Lakin, Graham Roudebush, Taylor Barenbaum, Ben Hathaway, Connor Smythers, Ryan Long, Ruby Spence, Kyra Netting, Grasyn Mitchell, Emma Snead, Lebron Parsell, Charlie Bain, Colton Easter, Zac Hathaway, Mary Martha Blackwell, Paige Netting, Inessa Everett, Rebekah Steinweg, Quinn Roudebush and Madison Church.
The resolution unanimously passed by Council praised the team for bringing “recognition, honor and pride to Salem High School and the City of Salem.”
SHS’s team won this year’s state title with a 34-15 victory over second-place John Handley High School.
In other matters before Council Monday night, two citizens spoke on items that concern them.
- Shirley Converti urged Council to protect youth from the dangers of vaping by limiting vape stores;
- John Breen asked Council to develop a plan to address non-conforming uses. He mentioned unscreened junk, dilapidated large homes on Union Street and junked cars outside businesses.
In other actions: Council appropriated $15 million from the sale of bonds for Moyer Sports Complex renovations, and $79,400 for issuance costs. The sale of bonds was previously approved by Council in February.
Council appropriated $450,707 to connect the existing Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail to East Main Street along Kesler Mill Road. The city received the money from VDOT, and provided a local match of $112,676.
Council also approved:
- A $43,395 for erosion, sediment control and landscaping bond for Kanawha Stone, and set completion date for 12 months;
- A bond of $45,181for erosion and sediment control for Craghead Lawson Storm Sewer Construction on High Street, with a time limit of 12 months;
- A $20,284 for erosion, sediment control and landscaping bond for Layman Distributing Co. where it is moving warehouse operations to 2157 Apperson Drive, the site of a former Food Lion.
Council appropriated a fund balance of $689,500 to allow work to proceed on improvements from East Main Street, Union Street and Broad Street. Finance Director Rosie Jordan explained the project would improve crosswalks, lighting and streetscaping. $500,000 of the project came from Virginia Department of Transportation funds, with a revenue match.
All five Council members were present. The meeting that began a 6:30 p.m. ended at 7:06 p.m.