Salisbury Mayor to Announce Relief and Recovery Plan

Salisbury Mayor Jacob R. Day

First responders, renters, small business owners and others in the City of Salisbury will get relief under a plan Mayor Jacob R. Day is set to announce later today.

The mayor’s plan, dubbed “Next Step,” is intended to help residents, workers and businesses cope with economic turmoil brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The truth is that this crisis has affected different sectors and different populations unevenly – not just from a health perspective, but economically as well,” said Day in a statement. “Next Step ensures that no one is forgotten in the recovery process.”

Among the relief measures the mayor will announce:

  • Salisbury police officers and firefighters (both career and volunteer) will receive a permanent 100% credit on city property taxes
  • A ban on rent increases during the state of emergency
  • $105,000 for rental assistance for those whose wages have been impacted by the crisis
  • $87,000 for acrylic shields for small businesses and city offices that serve the public
  • $10,000 for PPE, hand sanitizer and soap; $15,000 for food; 5,000 masks for residents in low-income neighborhoods
  • Multi-lingual of outreach materials to help Spanish-, Creole- and Korean-speaking and hearing-impaired residents protect themselves from the virus
  • A $750 stipend for city employees who are in direct contact with the public and $500 for city employees who are in secondary contact

Although the state’s ban on restaurants remains in effect, Day is creating a 24-hour “review timeline” for establishments that want to expand their outdoor dining areas, along with an online application system.

And even though the state’s prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people continues, the city intends to make “all.. parks and public spaces” available for outdoor worship services available when the ban is lifted.

Salisbury will establish an online registration system for churches, synagogues and mosques that wish to reserve space. When the ban on indoor worship is lifted, all persons over the age of 9 must wear masks at all times, according to the mayor’s order.

The Salisbury area has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, due largely to infections at many chicken processing plants that dot the Eastern Shore, in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Perdue Farms, a leading national chicken supplier, is based in Salisbury.

“Today we face a future we couldn’t have imagined just a few short months ago,” Day said.

“It is only by prioritizing the health, safety, and prosperity of every citizen that we will begin to see shape this new future, because we can only truly rise together. I am hopeful, and I believe that if we know what that next step is, we will rise.”

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Bruce DePuyt
Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.