Today In Salisbury’s History: Sunday, May 2, 1993

Sunday, May 2, 1993 —

  • Huge crowds gathered for the opening of the first Wal-Mart store on the Lower Shore, the new 117,000-square-foot center in north Salisbury. Store Manager Mike Zani said opening day was an extra special experience, as he was joined by Salisbury Mayor W. Paul Martin Jr. and several city and county council members at the event. The store, which sells everything from clothing to car batteries employs about 250 people. For the grand opening, the store is decorated with a Mother’s Day theme.
  • The Salisbury City Council has agreed to spend $5,000 to hire a constitutional expert to determine if there is any basis by which nonresident property owners can vote in city elections. The American Civil Liberties Union has said it will sue the city if nonresidents who own $500 worth of property in the city to vote in municipal elections. While a committee to review the city’s charter claims there may be other criteria on which to base voting rights, some committee members have said the effort to hire an expert is “wasting funds for a fishing expedition.”
  • Garbage dumping and the use of county parks would be regulated under two emergency bills presented at a special legislative session of the Wicomico County Council. The first measure would implement a fee to use the county transfer stations; it would go into effect July 1. Also, if bags with trash are found dumped improperly, the county will attempt to search the contents and charge or fine any suspects. The second measure sets a fees scale for the use of public parks.
  • The Wicomico school board is considering a proposal to make parental and student counseling session available in the county schools. According to Superintendent Dr. Evelyn B. Holman, having the services immediately available would be more efficient time-wise and allow board employees some oversight in health welfare. Holman said the programs would not be allowed to breach parents responsibility for their children and would not interfere with the main function of education.
  • Wicomico County 911 dispatchers said they’re fed up with the abuse they’re receiving from county residents angered about the new street addresses they’ve been assigned under the new emergency response system. Dispatchers say residents call them after they received the notice of their new addresses, either to clarify the information or vent their anger. Five callers or more per shift curse and refuse to hang up, said Emergency Communications Director Sandy Wheatley. “They’re unmerciful,” she said.
  • The 11th annual Salisbury Festival has been declared the biggest ever, with perfect weather helping to draw thousands of visitors to Downtown Salisbury. Saturday’s events included the Chesapeake Challenge for Shelter 10k running race and Ramblin’ Raft Race held at the Riverside Boat Ramp. Another crowd-pleaser was the “Snake, Rattle & Roll” benefit dance held at the Salisbury Zoo.
  • Campbell Soup laid off 175 workers, leaving 600 people still employed at the Salisbury plant which is likely to close completely in the coming months. Campbell’s officials have said closing plants is essential to savings costs and remaining competitive. Nearly all of those laid off this week were production workers.
  • Mayor W. Paul Martin Jr. is set to unveil $20.67 million fiscal 1994 budget that contains no property tax increases but hikes sewer and water fees by 15 percent and raises the monthly garbage fee by $2. Total spending would be $1.2 million more than this year and city employees would receive a 3 percent cost-of-living increase. The mayor said the closing of the Campbell Soup Plant will cost the city $134,000 in lost sewer revenues.

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