Show All Answers
We are at 1301 Indiana Street, across from Yokohama Tire and right beside the Salem Rotary Dog Park and the City of Salem Transfer Station.
Monday & Tuesday10 am to 4:30 pm
Wednesday1 to 4 pm
Thursday & Friday10 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday10 am to 3:30 pm
We are closed on Sundays and holidays.
No. We are a municipal shelter, so we can only take in animals that are being relinquished from City of Salem (or Craig County) residents or stray animals that were found in Salem or Craig County. This way if someone is missing their pet, the animal will be in the most likely place the owner will be looking.
"No Kill" means that a facility can state they are full and can no longer take in any more animals. We are a municipal shelter so we must remain available to take in our community's lost or homeless cats and dogs. Therefore, when we do run out of space, we are required to euthanize adoptable animals. However, we are very fortunate in Salem and have a very large, state-of-the-art facility.
Our staff works hard to ensure that every adoptable animal gets placed as soon as possible. Euthanasia of adoptable animals is always our last resort and each adoptable animal gets its chance at finding a forever home.
At this time, our facility is capable of safely housing cats and dogs. However, if you are a Salem resident, you may call us if you need to relinquish another species of animal and we will be happy to give you some information to help you find a safe place for any type of animal.
Yes! We love donations!
Yes! Even if you are not able to adopt an animal at this time, you can still visit the animals up for adoption anytime we are open to the public. They love the extra attention and it keeps them happy which in turn makes them healthier and more adoptable! Safety and disease control is always at the top of our priority list so we want to ensure we are all doing what is best for the animals.
You can own 3 dogs and 3 cats in the City of Salem.
$30 - We accept cash, checks, credit cards, and debit cards.
No, you take home the animal you decide to adopt as soon as you finish your paperwork, which only takes about 15 minutes.
Once you visit the animals and make your decision, you must sign our adoption contract, pay the adoption fee, and then take home your newest family member!
The Commonwealth of Virginia regulates that there can only be 2 adoptions per household every 30 days.
Yes, state and local laws mandate that any animal adopted from a local pound, must be spayed or neutered within 30 days or by the time the animal is 7 months old. One of our main goals is to reduce pet overpopulation and lower the number of animals euthanized. Responsible pet ownership, including spaying and neutering is the only way to stop the cycle.
No, however if the animal is intact you must live in the City of Salem, Craig County (we are their contract pound) or in a jurisdiction that borders one of these jurisdictions. This is to ensure our abilities to follow up on our adoption contract ensuring the animal was fixed within the state mandated time.
We post pictures of our adoptable animals on our Facebook page as often as we can. It is a public page you can visit and do not need to have an account with them to view. You can also always call us or come by to see what is available.
We post pictures of our adoptable animals on our Facebook page as often as we can. It is a public page you can visit and do not need to have an account with them to view. You can also always call us or come by to see what is available.
Cosmetic alterations to a property don't require a permit. However, you must apply for a permit for any structural alterations. When you add an addition or outbuilding you will need to apply for a building permit. If you aren't sure if a job requires a permit call the office at 540-375-3036. See Permits for additional information.
Yes. You will need a permit and an Inspector must approve the location of the tank first.
No, this is considered a cosmetic improvement not a structural change.
All building permits must be posted at least five feet from the finished grade on construction sites and must be maintained until all final inspections are made. If, at the time of inspection, building permits are not properly posted as described above, the inspection will not be made. If it is necessary for the inspector to make another trip to the job site as a result of the permit not being properly posted, a re-inspection fee of $30 will be required prior to subsequent inspections being made.
Your building permit must be posted in a location where the inspectors are able to access it and post inspections without walking through mud. This will help us help you keep the interior of your structure free of mud from our shoes. If the permit is posted in an area, which is prone to becoming muddy during periods of rain or snow, gravel or other suitable materials must be used.
Contact our office at 540-375-3036 and provide a complete address for the property and an explanation of the problem. You will need to provide your name and address. This information is kept confidential.
Yes, see the Inspection Types section for a comprehensive list.
Yes. You need to apply for an Electrical Permit before having the work done.
Homeowners may obtain their own permits. All others must have their licensed contractors obtain the corresponding permits.
New construction and vacant homes are typically not an issue since there are no occupants that may be surprised by an inspection. In the case of an occupied home, we would prefer that the applicant(s) or their representative be present during the inspection. If you choose to not have someone present, we will make an on-site effort to announce our presence at an occupied home. It is the responsibility of the applicant(s) to provide safe access to the property and to notify any person(s) or parties who may be in the occupied home during the inspection.
Most licensed contractors are competent, honest, hardworking, and financially responsible. And yet almost everyone knows someone who has a nightmare story to tell about a remodeling job: the length of time it took; the inconvenience of the noise and dust; or the cost overruns associated with even the smallest project.
Adding a room or updating a kitchen can cost more than a new car, and consumers should take time and care in planning a home improvement project. Unfortunately, most consumers spend less time choosing a contractor than they do choosing a car.
This publication is a brief summary of some of the things you as a consumer can do to avoid costly mistakes and misunderstandings in dealing with your contractor: What You Should Know Before You Hire A Contractor (PDF)
A permit is required for most new residential and commercial construction.
Please note: If a preconstruction Certificate of Elevation is required, then before a Certificate of Occupancy is issued, we must receive a post-construction Certificate of Elevation.
The most important thing you will need for the academy is a positive attitude! The academy is tough but many recruits have completed training before you. Think of the academy as the foundation for building your career and work hard to make it a strong foundation. The academy staff is here to help you get the most out of your training experience. If you have any questions please contact us at (540) 375-3095.
When you are hired, your employing agency will inform you when to report to the academy for the start of your training program. The academy is located at 917 Central Avenue in Salem, VA (click here for directions.) Please keep in mind that railroad tracks cross several roads near the academy so give yourself extra time in case you have to wait on a train.
You should be in the academy and prepared to start training at 7:00AM each day. Class lengths vary depending on the subject but you normally have a ten minute break each hour. You will be given a one hour lunch break from 12:00PM to 1:00PM and you will be free to go to a local restaurant or you may bring your own lunch to the academy. A microwave oven and a refrigerator are located in the academy lounge and are available for student use. The academy also has drink machines and a snack machine.
The uniform for the academy is your issued agency uniform. You will not need your gun belt in the classroom and weapons are not permitted in the academy. If you have not been issued a uniform by the first day, you should wear appropriate business attire. For men, appropriate business attire consists of dress trousers, shirt, tie, sports jacket, and dress shoes. For women, appropriate business attire consists of a blouse or shirt with a collar, dress slacks or a skirt and dress shoes.
The academy will provide you with all of the material that you will need for the training.
Your first day of training will be devoted to an orientation to the academy and a briefing on the academy rules and regulations.
Physical fitness is an important part of the entry level law enforcement and jailor/court services training programs at Cardinal Academy. Recruits attending either of these programs will have one hour of physical fitness training each day. The law enforcement recruits will take four physical fitness tests and the jailor/court services class will take three physical fitness tests during their respective training sessions. In addition, both classes will run the physical ability (obstacle) course four times during the session. All entry level law enforcement and jail recruits will be required to run the 1.5 mile run on their first physical fitness test in 20 minutes or less to continue in that session. All entry level law enforcement and jail recruits will also be required to complete the physical ability course in one minute and thirty seconds to pass the block of instruction on physical fitness.
It is important that you start preparing yourself before you report to the academy. Hopefully, you are already in good physical condition, but, if you need a little help, the academy staff can provide you with an outline for a pre-academy fitness program that will prepare you for the first week. This program is for recruits who have not worked out in the past and is just a program to prepare for the first week of runs. Ideally you would need to prepare yourself to run all distances up to 4 miles comfortably.
Always consult a physician before starting a fitness program, especially if you are out of shape or overweight. If you are a smoker, try to quit or cut back. Before attending the entry level law enforcement or jailor/court services program, you are required by DCJS regulation to undergo a complete physical examination. If you plan to use the Pre-Academy Fitness Program, your physical examination form must be on file at the academy before we can provide you with an outline of the program.
You will need a good pair of running shoes while you are at the academy. Plan on spending between $70 and $140 dollars for your shoes. Make sure that you buy the right shoe for your running style and body type. All of the running will be done on either asphalt or concrete and proper shoes will greatly reduce the strain on your feet and legs. Basketball shoes, tennis shoes or cross training shoes are not recommended. You will be issued an academy PT uniform that must be worn during physical training. Each student will be expected to provide plain white socks and running shoes. Male students are required to wear an athletic supporter or compression shorts and female students must wear a support bra during physical fitness training. The academy will also provide sweat suits for those recruits who are attending the spring session.
Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy is one of ten regional criminal justice training academies located throughout Virginia. Normally recruit officers that attend Cardinal are employed by one of our 36 member agencies. The academy conducts entry level training programs to certify recruit officers as law enforcement officers, jailors/court services officers, dispatchers, and animal control officers. The entry level training programs are academically and physically demanding and the recruit officers are required to demonstrate proficiency in all of training areas mandated by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. In addition, the law enforcement and jailor/court services include a demanding physical fitness program.
All businesses and professional operations must obtain a Salem business license before commencing operation in the City. This includes home businesses, special events, and those persons paid on a 1099. Contractors having a definite place of business in a locality other than Salem, but performing work within City limits must also obtain a Salem license. Please Email Sidney C Kuzmich for any clarification as to whether you are subject to being licensed.
License tax for the first year of operation will be based on an estimate of your gross receipts from the date you begin operation until the end of the current year. Each subsequent year's license costs will be determined by your actual gross receipts from the prior year. Businesses are subject to supplemental billing for the first two years of operation. Tax rates vary by classification depending on the nature of your business and businesses may have multiple classifications.
All businesses making less than $50,000 in gross receipts will pay a flat $50 fee per classification. For businesses with gross receipts of $50,000 or greater please refer to the rate chart below:
Home-based businesses must first be approved for a Home Occupation Permit through the Zoning Department. A new home-based business application must be submitted any time the location of the business/applicant changes.
Look for a Business License decal at all local businesses to know they have obtained their annual license, Email Commissioner of the Revenue, or contact our office by phone at 540-375-3019.
The Commissioner’s office administers the Meals Tax.
Questions - Email Sidney C Kuzmich, Business License Inspector.
The Commissioner’s office administers the Lodgings Tax.
Questions -Email Sidney C Kuzmich, Business License Inspector.
When you have purchased or have been given a vehicle, you must notify the Commissioner's office within 30 days of the date of purchase. You can register your vehicle by:
Citizens must also notify the commissioner's office within 30 days if they sell, give away, junk, or retitle a vehicle. Please fill out the Vehicle Deletion Form. Since the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) updates our records every January it is important that you visit the DMV website to update your record on any vehicles you no longer own. You can also contact the DMV at 804-497-7100.
New residents must file within 30 days. When moving from another locality that prorates, you will pay a portion of the tax year to your prior locality and the remainder of the year to Salem. When moving to Salem from a non-prorating locality after January 1, you will pay your previous locality tax for the year. Taxpayers moving to Salem from out-of-state must file within 30 days of titling their vehicle in Virginia.
All new residents must bring the vehicle registration to our office within 30 days of beginning residency or call our office at 540-375-3019 with the Virginia title number(s).
When moving out of Salem to a prorating locality, we must see documentation from the locality you are moving to prove your vehicles have been filed there. Your new locality may simply fax the information to us. When moving to a non-prorating locality after January 1, taxes are owed to Salem for the full year. Your new locality will not bill you until the following year, but you must still have the new locality fax Salem the information that you have registered with them. If you are moving out-of-state, we must see a copy of your title or registration from the new state in order to prorate your Salem taxes.
The January J.D. Power guide is used to assess vehicles. When available, the loan value from this book is used, which is the lowest value listed. When no loan value is available a percentage of the manufacturer's suggested retail price is used. If neither of these values can be found, we then use a percentage of the cost. Our personal property tax rate is $3.40 per $100 of the assessed value.
Vehicles not registered with the Commissioner of the Revenue within 30 days of purchase or moving to Salem are subject to a late filing penalty of $10 or 10% of the tax, whichever is greater, not to exceed the amount of the tax.
Go to the Permits page for information on obtaining a building permit.
Access the 2022 to 2023 Paving Maintenance List on the Engineering page.
Review the Flood Zone map and other resources on the Flood Zones page to find if your property is in the flood zone.
Complete a Sign Application (PDF).
Provide the following:
After the review and approval, the sign permit can be issued.
Please note: Any electrical work associated with a sign will require a separate electrical permit. All electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrician and all signs must be listed and labeled as per the National Electric Code Article 110.3B and 600.3.
Go to the Planning and Zoning - Signs page for more information on obtaining a sign permit.
The Planning and Zoning Division manages applications for rezoning. Review the Rezoning Application and Procedures (PDF) for more information.
A land disturbing permit is required for any land disturbing activity equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet in the City of Salem. For land disturbing activities equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet but less than 10,000 square feet, an agreement in lieu of plan shall be required, and the cost is $50.
An erosion and sediment control (ESC) plan will be required for land disturbance equal to or greater than 10,000 square feet.The cost for a land disturbance permit with an ESC plan is $30.
Any land disturbance equal to or greater than 1 acre requires a General VPDES Permit (CGP) from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) along with obtaining a land disturbing permit with the City of Salem.The cost for a land disturbance permit from the City of Salem is $30.Additional cost for the CGP will range from $2,700 to $4,500 as determined by disturbed area and DEQ.
Erosion and Sediment Control Agreement in Lieu of Plan (PDF)
Email Community Development with any questions about the greenway.
Email or call the Building Inspections & Zoning department at 375-3036 to request a street address.
The City of Salem allows certain businesses and occupations to be conducted in a residential dwelling provided the use is clearly incidental or secondary to the use of the home as a residence. The character and scale of the business activity must be clearly minor and meet the Home occupation standards regulations. Some examples of permitted home occupations are:
The procedure for obtaining a home occupation permit is as follows:
If you are denied, the Administrator will notify you of the changes necessary to achieve compliance with the provisions. If you disagree with the opinion of the Administrator, you may appeal the decision to the City of Salem Planning Commission. You will be required to file for a "Special Exception Permit". Fees will apply, so please refer to the fee schedule (PDF).
All home occupations are subject to a $25 home occupation permit fee and will be renewed at the same time as your business license renewal. Renewals will be automatically subject to payment of the $25 fee, business license renewal, and no complaints or violations of the regulations have occurred during the previous year.
Plats are originally drawn by surveyors who provide a copy to the purchaser at the real estate closing for a property. If a survey was completed prior to a real estate sale, a survey plat may be attached to the deed for property located in the City of Salem and should be available in the records room of the Clerk of the Circuit Court located at 2 E. Calhoun St. In some cases, the Real Estate department may have a copy of the plat.
For a schedule of fees, click here. Or you may call the appropriate department, or call the City of Salem for general information at 375-3000.
Sources: Lowe's Home Improvement, local businesses, Waterproofing.org, National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors
Copyright The Roanoke Times, September 16, 2004
A land disturbing permit is required by the City of Salem for any activity that will involve 5,000 or more square feet of land disturbance. A site plan prepared by a professional engineering firm is required. Occasionally, the site plan requirement can be waived and the developer may execute an "Agreement in Lieu of a Plan," upon approval of the City by the Salem Engineering Department.
This permit is granted on condition that all work be done in accordance with all lawful covenants and restrictions, City Ordinances, plans, specifications, and applications filed in the office of the City Engineer.
A permit costs $25. Upon issuance of the permit, the developer is required to inform the City of Salem Engineering Department a minimum of three days in advance of start of work for an inspection of erosion and sediment control measures provided at the site.
In addition, all small construction activities in the Commonwealth (greater than or equal to one acre) may fall under the Stormwater Discharges from Small Construction Activities (VAR 10) regulations of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES). Please contact the Salem Engineering Department at 540-375-3032 or the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) at 540-562-6700 for additional information.
Miss Utility Website
The water line in your backyard is located on your private property. The City will only mark utilities that are located in the City's right-of-way or public easements.
The City of Salem does not have records of septic tanks. If your property has a septic located on it, you should contact the Health Department at 540-387-5530.
Erosion and Sediment Control/ VPDES Small Construction Discharge to Stormwater Permit. The City of Salem Engineering Department is certified by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to administer, inspect, and review all land disturbing within Salem. All details and standards are in accordance with the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook (latest edition). In addition, all small construction activities in the Commonwealth (greater than or equal to one acre) may fall under the Stormwater Discharges from Small Construction Activities (VAR 10) regulations of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES). Please contact the Salem Engineering Department at 540-375-3032 or the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) at 540-562-6700.
The City of Salem adheres to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Road and Bridge Specifications, Subdivision Street Requirements, Minimum Standards of Entrances to State Highways, Road and Bridge Standards Volume 1 and 2, and all other relevant VDOT publications. All standards and details reflect the latest additions.
An illicit discharge is anything other than clean stormwater that flows into a storm drain.
Only locally produced products are permitted to be sold on the market (within 100 mile radius of the City of Salem). The main function of the SFM is to sell homegrown produce, which will take priority over baked goods and crafts. A focus on locally grown and produced items is strongly encouraged for all vendors. Items permitted include food items, baked goods, canned goods, meats, and non-food items that meet the locally produced, agricultural-based criteria, such as live plants, handmade soaps, wooden items, etc.
In an effort to keep our market full and interesting our market manager moves vendors based upon who will be attending the market, what is being sold in the neighboring stalls, and how long the vendor has been part of SFM. While this is challenging, if you are looking for someone specific, stop by the RED Umbrella and ask. We are happy to help you find what you are looking for!
SNAP is a federal program that replaced food stamps several years ago. Now participants of this program receive a card, much like a debit card, that can be accepted at many food retailers across the country. The SFM is proud to be a leader in the acceptance of EBT cards at farmers markets. Simply bring your EBT card to the Market Manager stall on Saturdays. You will receive wooden tokens that are accepted like cash by vendors of the SFM. Some federal restrictions apply. For more information about receiving food assistance, contact the Department of Social Services in your area.
Yes! Visit the Market Manager stall to use your credit or debit card in $5 increments. You will receive wooden tokens that are accepted like cash by all vendors of the market. These tokens, or Market Bucks, make great gifts and are very similar to a gift certificate!
The purpose of emergency warning equipment is to let drivers and pedestrians know that an emergency vehicle is on the way to an emergency. By Virginia state law, we do have certain privileges extended to us. Those being, to carefully proceed through controlled intersections and travel against the designated flow of traffic. These privileges have rules that the legislation and department policy put on the drivers of these emergency vehicles. The main rule is that we cannot do these things unless there are lights flashing and sirens going. Even in the middle of the night.
All firefighters are trained to provide at least basic emergency medical treatment. Certain types of medical emergencies require more than the standard two members of an ambulance crew for lifting assistance, carrying equipment, and otherwise assisting the medic personnel on scene to better serve the patient.There are times a fire truck arrives at an incident first because it is the closest emergency unit to the scene and we are committed to getting help to your location as fast as possible. As mentioned above, firefighters are trained to provide basic emergency medical treatment. About 50% of the department is trained in advanced life support (ALS) care. Since there are only three paramedic units in the City, firefighters respond to all calls involving life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, and severe bleeding. They can initiate treatment to stabilize patients and provide information to the paramedics en route to the call so they will be aware of any additional equipment that will be needed on the scene.
Each fire truck only carries three firefighters and it is necessary to have enough firefighters on the scene of an incident. There are a number of specialized roles that firefighters undertake at the scene of a fire, and firefighting is a very labor-intensive activity. If you get behind because there are not enough firefighters on the call, it is more difficult to extinguish a fire quickly.
To ensure the most effective service at the time of an emergency, our crews must remain in their designated response territory with their fire trucks during their entire shift. Our crews work 24 hour shifts with no scheduled breaks, and meals are not provided by the City.Personnel on each shift must purchase their own food and prepare their own meals, so they may make a daily trip to the grocery store within their first due neighborhood to buy whatever they need to prepare their meals for the entire shift.Fire and medic crews do not have to be sitting in the fire station to be dispatched to a call. They are dispatched by a radio system; that's why they carry portable radios wherever they go while on duty and out of the station. All City of Salem units maintain constant radio contact with Fire Communications and the entire crew must always be together with their truck. That ensures they are always ready to respond to any emergency, regardless of their current location or non-emergency assignment.
Please visit our Request for Services page. We suggest contacting us at least 30 days in advance prior to the desired tour date.
You can arrange to receive an incident report by calling Amy Keister at the Salem Fire-EMS administration offices, 540-375-3080.
The City of Salem Fire-EMS Department purchases a limited number of smoke alarms for distribution to City of Salem residents who may otherwise not be able to afford them. If you can afford a smoke alarm but have a question or concern regarding the installation of your own smoke alarm, please call Captain Mike Perdue, at 540-375-3080 .at the Salem Fire-EMS administration offices
The Salem Police Department offers this service by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please contact the Services Lieutenant or Sergeant at 540-375-3083.
Put needles in an opaque container (Clorox type bottle). Once full, contact the Sanitation Department to arrange to pick up. NEVER throw needles in the trash.
No open-air fires are allowed. The only exception is a warming fire for outdoor workers. It must then be placed in a steel/metal barrel and no construction debris can be burned in this barrel.
Links to be used
You can either submit the Request for Services Form, or you can give us a call at 540-375-3080. Our offices are open 8-5 pm. Monday through Friday.
In an emergency, please dial 911.
Helmets can save lives and prevent trauma, but only if they are worn properly.
A helmet should be worn squarely on the top of the head, covering the top of the forehead. The chinstrap must be fastened and the helmet should fit snugly and comfortably. The helmet should not be able to move side-to-side or front-to-back. Most helmets come with removable pads so you can customize the fit for any child.
Utility Billing and Utility Collections are open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
We are located at City Hall, 114 N Broad St, directly behind the Farmer’s Market.
Utility Collections handles all service requests. You may reach them by calling 540-375-3021, Opt Number 1, or by visiting the Ground Floor of City Hall at 114 N Broad Street.
Answer goes here...
No, we do not, but you may call us at 540-375-3060, or visit our web-site at http://www.salemva.gov.
We are located at 114 North Broad Street, Salem, VA.
City Hall, the Local Government Access Channel 18, VEC, and our website.
Jobs are posted on Tuesdays.
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
You may submit a resume with your application for any posted job.
Yes. A printable application is available. Go to Employment Opportunities and click on job application.
The qualifications are listed in the job description, which are posted on our job openings website. The full job description can be viewed by clicking on the job title link on the Job Openings page.
No, applications are accepted for current openings only.
The hiring department will call or send a letter offering employment to you. For most positions, a drug screening will also be required. Candidates are promptly notified once the City receives the test results.
Your application will remain active for ninety (90) calendar days. If you wish to apply for other positions that come open in this period of time, you will need to call, email, or stop by our office to let us know of your interest in applying. You will also need to keep us informed of any change of address or telephone numbers during this ninety (90) day period.
Yes. Every juror must agree on the verdict. This is known as a unanimous verdict.
Each juror may have a different opinion at the start of the deliberations. To reach a decision, some jurors may have to change their opinion. You should keep an open mind; listen carefully to other people's opinions, and the reasons for their opinions. You should be prepared to tell the other jurors what you think and why you think it. Be fair and carefully consider what your fellow jurors are saying. Do not let yourself be intimidated into changing your opinion, and do not intimidate anyone else. Change your opinion only if you genuinely agree with what another juror is saying. After a full discussion of the issues, the jury should be able to reach a decision that each juror can agree to with a clear conscience.
After the judge gives you your instructions and you hear the attorneys' closing arguments, you leave the courtroom and go to the jury room to begin your deliberations. "Deliberation" is the process the jury uses to reach its verdict. During deliberations, the jury will discuss evidence and review the law and facts.
You may take written copies of the jury instructions to the jury room with you. If you do not understand the instructions, you may ask the judge to explain them to you. It is usually best to put your questions in writing and ask the bailiff to give them to the judge since the judge will discuss the questions with the attorneys before answering them.
The first thing you should do is elect one member of the jury to preside over the deliberations, seeing that everyone has an opportunity to participate and that the discussions remain orderly. The person chosen to preside takes part in the deliberations and votes on the verdict along with everyone else.
The person chosen to preside will write down the jury's verdict on a form prepared by the judge, sign it, and notify the bailiff that a verdict has been reached. The bailiff will notify the judge, who will call everyone, including the jury, back to the courtroom. The clerk or judge will ask for the jury's verdict and read it out loud. The judge will then ask the attorneys if they wish to have the jury polled. "Polling a jury", means that the clerk will ask each juror individually if this is their verdict, and each juror must answer out loud. After the verdict and decision on award or punishment is announced, the judge will dismiss the jury.
No. But if you have any questions or need any help, the bailiff will be nearby.
Yes. The summons to jury service is an official court summons. If you do not respond, you could be held in contempt of court.
Jurors serve one term of court. Depending on where you live, your term may be up to 4 months. Your summons will indicate the length and exact dates of the term you will serve.
In May of each year the Supreme Court of Virginia, Office of Management Information Systems, sends out Jury Questionnaires to 5,000 perspective jurors in the City of Salem. This list is generated from Voter Registration and DMV Records of Citizens who reside in the City of Salem. These questionnaires are returned to the Circuit Court Clerk for the City of Salem.
On July 1 of each year, three Jury Commissioners who are appointed by the presiding Judge of the Circuit Court review the returned questionnaires. The presiding Judge decides the number of potential jurors to choose from for the year, this number is 1,200 at the present time. The Jury Commissioners must return the list of potential jurors to the Clerk of the Circuit Court by December 15th.
The list of potential jurors is then sent to the Management Information Systems Office for the City of Salem. This Office then places the names on a computer diskette, which contains a program to further randomize the list. The computer diskette is then sent back to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The Clerk then places the information from the diskette into the court's computer system. Each term of the Circuit Court, the judge pushes a button on the computer, which causes the computer to select 105 potential jurors for each term of court. During high-profile court cases, more names may be selected.
Each year 80 Grand Jurors are selected for service using the same system as discussed above.
Men and women over the age of 18 years and from all walks of life have an equal opportunity to be called for jury service.
You will go through an orientation program the first time you are required to report for jury duty. The orientation will inform you of the procedures for checking in on days you must report to the courthouse, how to find out when to report, what the court's hours are, and what to do if you have an emergency during jury service. Additionally, you will learn about your role as a juror and what you should and should not do while in the courthouse or serving on jury duty.
Usually, jurors go home at the end of each day and return the next morning. However, in extremely rare cases, a jury will be "sequestered" during the trial or during jury deliberations. Sequestered means that instead of going home at the end of the day, jurors stay in hotels, where their access to other people, radio news, television news, and newspapers is limited. This is done to keep them from accidentally hearing something about the trial that was not told in court or from being influenced by news reports. This is important because juries must reach their decisions based only on what they've heard during the trial. In almost all Virginia jury trials, however, the jury goes home at the end of each day and is simply told by the judge not to discuss the case with anyone, nor to watch, read or listen to news reports about the case. It is essential that you follow these instructions.
Certainly. While efforts are made to reduce delay and avoid waiting time, you may have to wait a while at the courthouse before you find out whether you have been chosen to actually sit on a jury (the reasons why are explained in the next section). So bring a book, or some other quiet activity, or get to know your fellow jurors. Remember that as a juror, you are a vital part of the court system. Part of the job of many court employees, such as the bailiffs and the clerks, is to help make your jury service comfortable and convenient. Do not be afraid to ask them for help.
Your employer can not fine, demote or otherwise penalize you for missing work while performing jury service. Many employers will continue to pay your salary while you are in jury service. Contact your employer to find out what the policy is at your job.
It is very important that all jurors report each day they are told to report and that they be on time. Your absence may delay a trial. If you have an emergency (such as sudden illness or death in the family), call the number on your summons immediately.
Your term of jury service might disturb your regular pattern of work and other activities. If this disruption causes you genuine hardship and not just inconvenience, it may be possible for you to defer your service to another time. However, this is done only in cases of genuine hardship or need. The judge decides whether your jury service can be deferred. If you feel that you can not perform your jury service, call the number listed on your summons to discuss your situation.
You will not be excused because jury service is inconvenient or because you have a busy schedule, but you may be excused for reasons such as physical ailments. If you have special conflicts on particular days during the term, the court may excuse you on those days.
You will be reimbursed $30 per day for attendance for each day you must report to the courthouse. The Virginia General Assembly sets this amount.
The procedure for criminal cases is very similar to the procedure for civil cases. However, 20 prospective jurors are called for a felony trial, and the final jury will have 12 members. For a misdemeanor case, the final jury will have seven members. (The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor case is described in the next section.)
When a trial is ready to begin, the bailiff calls potential jurors into the courtroom. If damages of less than $15,000 are claimed in the case, 11 jurors will be called. If damages of more than $15,000 are claimed, 13 jurors will be called. The clerk or bailiff asks potential jurors to stand, hold up their right hand, and swear or affirm that they will truthfully answer the questions about to be asked of them. The judge will then tell you the names of the parties and their attorneys and briefly explain the nature of the case. The judge will ask if you are related to anyone involved in the case, have any financial or other interest in the outcome of the case, have formed or expressed an opinion or have any personal bias or prejudice that might affect how you decide the case. If you do not think you can make a fair and impartial decision for any reason, you should tell the judge at this time.
The attorneys for each side might also ask you some questions. If the judge concludes that you may not be able to make a fair decision, you will be asked to step down, and another prospective juror will be brought in to replace you. After the judge decides that all potential jurors are qualified to fairly and impartially hear the case, the clerk will compile a list of jurors and give it to the attorneys. Each side will remove three names from the list. They do not have to give a reason for removing these names. If the amount claimed is under $15,000, the final jury will have 5 members. If the claim is more than $15,000, the jury will have 7 members. The remaining jurors then swear or affirm that they will hear the case and give a verdict they believe to be true. The trial is ready to begin.
Yes. The parties involved in a case generally seek to settle their differences and avoid the expense and time of a trial. Sometimes the case is settled just a few moments before the trial begins. So even though several trials are scheduled for a certain day, the court does not know until that morning how many will actually go to trial. But your time spent waiting is not wasted - your very presence in the court encourages settlement.
Sometimes, when the judge believes that a case is likely to last more than a day or two, additional jurors will be chosen from those summoned for jury duty, questioned, and challenged like other prospective jurors. The additional jurors are chosen to avoid having to retry the case should one or more jurors be excused from the jury during the trial for an emergency (such as illness), leaving too few jurors to decide the case. Throughout the trial, all jurors will sit together, paying careful attention to all the evidence. After the closing argument and before the jury retires to the jury room to decide the case, the judge will excuse from further jury duty enough jurors to reduce the number of jurors to the statutory number needed to decide the case.
Allowing both sides to participate in selecting the jury gives the parties the opportunity to feel that the jury will be fair and impartial when it decides the case. Being excused from a jury in no way reflects on your character or your competence as a juror, so you should not feel offended or embarrassed if your name is removed.
No. As long as the trial is still going on, do not discuss the trial with anyone. Do not even discuss the case with your fellow jurors until you begin your deliberations. When the trial is over, you can discuss it with anyone if you want to, or you may keep silent if you prefer.
No, not as long as the trial is still going on.
Criminal cases are very similar to civil cases, except instead of a plaintiff, there is a prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney may represent either the Commonwealth (the state) or a city, county, or town.
Ask the bailiff to tell the judge immediately what has happened. Tell no one about the incident, except the bailiff or the judge.
Jurors are given lunch breaks and may be given other breaks during a trial. If it is absolutely necessary that you take a break for some other reason at any time during the trial, tell the bailiff or the judge. But note that these requests are highly unusual and should be made only if absolutely necessary.
Jury instructions tell the jury what the laws are that govern a particular case. Each attorney gives the judge a set of proposed jury instructions. The judge considers each instruction and gives the one that properly states the law that applies to the case. The jurors must accept and follow the law as instructed by the judge, even though they may have a different idea about what the law is or ought to be.
In any trial, two kinds of questions will have to be decided at various times. These are questions of law and questions of fact. The judge decides the questions of law. You decide the questions of fact. After you have decided on the questions of fact, you will apply the law to the facts as directed by the judge at the end of the trial.
There are two kinds of criminal cases: Felonies and Misdemeanors. A felony offense is one that can be punished by death or by a prison sentence of a year or more. If the felony offense is one that can be punished by death, it is called a capital offense. If the maximum punishment allowed by law is less than one year in confinement or only a fine, the offense is called a misdemeanor.
After the clerk or bailiff has sworn in the jury, the case is ready to begin. Both attorneys may make opening statements explaining their client's position and outlining the evidence they expect to present that will support their claims. These statements are not evidence and should not be considered as such. The witnesses for the plaintiff are then called and questioned by the attorney for the plaintiff and cross-examined by the attorney for the defendant. After cross-examination, the plaintiff's attorney may reexamine some of the witnesses. After all the plaintiff's witnesses have been called and all the plaintiff's evidence has been presented, the attorney will tell the judge that the plaintiff rests.
Witnesses for the defendant may then be called. This time, the defendant's attorney questions the witnesses and the plaintiff's attorney cross-examines them. When all the defendant's witnesses and evidence have been presented, the defense will rest. After the defendant has finished, the plaintiff has the right to offer testimony in reply.
The judge and the attorneys will then go to the judge's chambers to consider the instructions the judge will give the jurors about the law of the case (this is discussed below). After the judge has decided on the instructions, the judge and the attorneys will return to the courtroom. The judge reads the jury instructions to the jury, and then the attorneys make their closing arguments. The closing arguments let each attorney tell the jury what they think the evidence proves and why their client should win. These closing arguments may help jurors recall many details of the case, but they are not evidence. The plaintiff's attorney speaks first, followed by the defendant's attorney. Finally, the plaintiff's attorney speaks again and closes the case.
Quite simply, it is deciding what really happened in a case. Do not be surprised if the evidence given by both sides is conflicting or if the testimony given by one witness contradicts another. After all, if everyone was in agreement about what happened and what should be done about it, the dispute probably would not be in court, and a jury probably would not be needed. Your job is to listen to all the testimony, consider all the evidence, and decide what you think really happened.
Questions of law involve the determination of what the law is. They may be about procedural matters (what information can be admitted as evidence, what kind of questions can be asked, which witnesses can appear, and what can they testify about). Or they may involve questions of substantive law, which create, define, and regulate the rights of parties.
You must disregard that testimony. Sometimes the jury hears testimony that the judge later decides it should not have heard. The judge will tell the jury to consider the case as if it had never heard it. You must follow the judge's instructions if the parties in the case are to receive a fair trial.
In a civil case, the jury not only decides on a verdict for one side or the other but also awards damages. That is, if the jury determines that an award of money should be made, the jury decides how much money should be paid.
A number of people will be in the courtroom besides the judge, the jury, and the attorneys. The list below explains who they are and what they will be doing.
If the jury finds the defendant guilty in a criminal case, they set the punishment at the same time they decide the verdict. After a guilty verdict in a capital case, however, the jury will hear evidence in a separate proceeding before deciding on the penalty.
An important part of an attorney's job is to protect the client's rights during a trial. This includes making sure that the only evidence presented during the trial is evidence that is proper, relevant, and allowed by law. So if the evidence is submitted that the attorney feels is improper, or if the attorney feels that the other side is asking questions that are unlawful, the attorney will call out, "Objection!" By doing this, the attorney is asking the judge to rule on whether the law allows that particular piece of evidence or statement or question to be admitted. If the judge thinks it should be admitted, the judge will say, "Objection Overruled" or just "Overruled". If the judge agrees that the evidence in question is improper, the judge will say, "Objection Sustained". How often an attorney raises objections during the trial should not bias you against that attorney's case.
The judge may decide to send the jury from the courtroom in the middle of a trial. While the jury is gone, the attorneys and the judge will discuss points of law or whether certain evidence can be admitted. The purpose of these discussions is to make sure that the jury hears only the evidence that is legally valid before making its decision. You will be called back to the courtroom when the judge's decision is made.
In most cases, no. However, if your meter is located in an area that is not easy to access (i.e. behind a locked gate or obstruction), an appointment may be necessary. To schedule an appointment, call 1-833-920-1982.
Where possible, a door hanger will be left behind indicating the meter exchange has happened. Should there be any issues with changing your meter, it will be noted on the door hanger with directions on what to do next.
AMI technology enables us to deliver value to you with more up-to-date information on your electric and water usage, as well as advanced outage detection. This additional usage information will better assist you with energy savings.
Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) provides two-way communication between us and the meter.
Aclara SGS is a certified and approved advanced meter installation company. All of their installers will be driving vehicles labeled with Aclara SGS and City of Salem logos. More importantly, all installers will be able to provide proper identification at your request. If you have questions, please contact us at 1-833-920-1982.
It's completely normal for there to be a flashing red light on your meter. In fact, the light shows that energy is being used and sometimes it will flash faster if there is more energy being used.
You may experience a brief outage of your electric or water service when we replace your meter. We expect the outage to be no longer than a few minutes.
A private contractor should install a new irrigation system including the addition of an irrigation meter. This process requires a permit. For additional information please contact the Building Inspections Office by calling 540-375-3036.
Questions concerning trash collection or totes should be directed to the Streets, Sanitation, and General Maintenance department by calling 540-375-3039.
In accordance with Section 66-37 of the Code of the City of Salem, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to erect, alter, repair, or relocate any sign within the City of Salem without first obtaining a sign permit, unless the sign is specifically exempt from the permit requirements as outlined in 66-11 Application of Chapter to Certain Types.
Complete a Sign Application (PDF)
Any electrical work associated with a sign will require a separate electrical permit. All electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrician and all signs must be listed and labeled as per the National Electric Code Article 110.3B and 600.3.
Yes, all signs must be inspected. Any sign requiring a footing will require a footing inspection. The footing inspection is required prior to pouring concrete and after the hole is dug and steel reinforcement is installed, if required. All sign types require a final inspection after installation is complete.
You can obtain an application at Human Resources located at 114 North Broad Street in Salem or you can refer to our recruitment link for more information.
The Salem Police Department accepts online police reporting for certain non-violent crimes. Please fill out the online form.
You should ask to speak to a Supervisor at 540-375-3078 or complete the Traffic Complaint Form (PDF) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Under normal circumstances, a crash report is available 24 to 48 hours upon completion of the report by the Officer. There is a $10 fee for this service. Please call 540-375-3083 and ask for a Records Clerk to confirm the report is available.
You must request amplification permits from the office of the Deputy Chief of Police. There is a form that can be picked up at the police department lobby or you can print it from our forms page. After completing the form, it must be brought to the police department for approval.
Yes. However, such requests must be approved by the Deputy Chief of Police. We do not allow our officers to "moonlight". Instead they are paid by the city and you are charged a flat rate for service which is reimbursed to the city. This allows them to be covered by the necessary insurance.
No, you should call the non-emergency number at 540-375-3078 where you will be connected with a Telecommunicator who will dispatch an officer to your location. Examples of non-emergency calls would include but are not limited to: a break-in not in progress, property damage, traffic concerns, and removal of dead animals from the roadway.
We ask that citizens do not send us Facebook messages. The Facebook account is not monitored 24 hours a day and could go unanswered for an extended period of time.
Anytime you would like to ask a question or need to speak to an Officer please call 540-375-3083.
Come to the Salem Police Department on any Monday or Wednesday between 8 am and 11 am with your provided fingerprint card issued by the company or entity that sent you, except for personal fingerprinting as we will provide the card.
There is a $10 fee for fingerprinting.
No, all you need to do is go to the Salem Circuit Court and obtain a concealed weapon permit application and pay the required fees. After payment and completion of the application bring the application to the Salem Police Department and drop off for processing.
You can download an application from the Virginia State Police.
Call the Forensic services unit to schedule a time for pickup 540-375-3083. For firearms pickup you must be lawfully able to own or possess a firearm in order to pickup. Some form of photo identification must be presented before any property can be released.
Smart911 allows individuals to provide the additional details that 911 call takers may need in order to assist them during an emergency. When you dial 911 today the information received by the 911 call center can be limited based on the type of phone you are calling on. With Smart911, anytime you make an emergency call from a phone registered with your Safety Profile, the 911 system recognizes your phone number and automatically displays your profile on the screen of the call taker who receives your call.
A Safety Profile is a set of information about an individual, or a household that is contained within one account on Smart911.com or on the Smart911 App. Information can include details about all members of the household, all phone numbers (mobile, landline or VOIP) and all addresses including home, work and even vacation homes. Users can also add details about medical conditions, medications, vehicles, pets and even emergency contacts.
The Smart911 App provides 9-1-1 and first responders information in an emergency and receive targeted alerts including from the National Weather Service. The Smart911 App is available and free on the Apple Story or Google Play.
You can include as little or as much information in your profile as you like. Information may include address, medical and security information. This service is voluntary, so you decide what information you want emergency responders to know about you when you call 911.
Anyone can create a safety profile. Those that are especially encouraged to sign up are people with medical or disability information. Wireless phone users are also encouraged, as wireless phone calls to 911 only provide a general location of the caller, not an exact address. Adding your home, school and work addresses (including apartment and room numbers) can help responders locate you more easily.
Setting up a profile can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how much information you wish to provide. You can always go back and update existing, or add additional information to your profile.
When you complete registration, Smart911 will automatically direct you to your Smart911 Safety Profile and will send a message to your registered email address confirming your account. Smart911 will not deliver your Safety Profile to 911 answering centers unless you have verified the phone(s) listed in your profile by responding to the text message or automated call placed to that phone.
There is no fee to create or maintain a Safety Profile with Smart911.
You are encouraged to create a Safety Profile that includes everyone in your household. You can also create Safety Profile on behalf of elderly parents, those with disabilities, or anyone not comfortable with computers, designating yourself as the emergency contact.
You can create a Safety Profile in multiple languages and specify your primary language on Smart911.com. When your profile displays at the 911 center, it will be translated back into English. If an interpreter is required, the 911 Call Taker will be able to see which language you designated as your primary language.
The more up-to-date your information is, the better. Smart911 prompts users to verify their information every six months. However, you should update your profile anytime there is any change to your information.
Yes. Your privacy is important to us. Your information is made available ONLY to 911 call takers and responders ONLY in the event you call 911. Your information is stored in geo-redundant databases that restrict access to everyone- including Rave Mobile Safety employees. Your Safety Profile is non-searchable and your information will only be displayed to 911 dispatchers for a limited amount of time. In some areas, you can choose to allow Smart911 to share your profile with Emergency Managers as they prepare for and respond to emergencies. If you reside or work in one of these areas, you will be presented with this option.
Yes. Your information is stored in geo-redundant databases that are located on opposite sides of the country. In the unlikely event of a database shutdown, the system will automatically transition all of your information to the backup database, resulting in zero impact to your Safety Profile.
The assessment notice you receive in January of each year contains instructions and deadline dates for appeals to the Department of Real Estate Valuation. If you do not receive a notice due to no change in assessment the dates to appeal can be found on the City of Salem Real Estate Department website and in the local paper. Appeals to the Real Estate Department last until the end of January and the deadline to appeal to the Board of Equalization is mid-February. The Board of Equalization will meet in early April in order to allow 45 days between the deadline to appeal to the board and when they meet in order to satisfy state statute.
The real estate department will provide copies of all assessment records pertaining to the assessor's determination of fair market value at the owner's or owner's authorized agent's request.
You must file an appeal before the deadlines to make a valid appeal.
The first thing you need to do is decide for yourself what you think your property is worth. You can do this by looking at comparable sales of properties like yours, contacting appraisers, and comparing assessments on similar properties to yours. Sales and assessment information is available at recent property sales and in the Real Estate Department office and opens to public inspection during regular business hours. Assessment information for all properties is available on this website by using the Property Data Search feature or by obtaining copies in person by visiting the Real Estate Department.
The first step is to contact the appraiser in the Department of Real Estate Valuation who covers the area where your property is located. During this informal session, you can find out how the assessment was made and what information is available about your property. After this review, if you still think the assessment on your property is incorrect the next step is to file a formal appeal in the office. The appeal form (PDF) must be filed with the Department of Real Estate Valuation on or before the deadline. Appeal forms are available in the Real Estate Office and available online. If you cannot come to the office a form can be emailed to you. Once a written appeal is made, an appraiser from the office will request an inspection of your property. During that inspection, you may point out to the appraiser any information or factors that might affect the value of the property.
Appeal Form Instructions (PDF)
After the inspection, you will receive written notification of the decision with regard to the property value of your property.
An assessment appeal is not a complaint about higher taxes. You must attempt to prove that your property's market value is either inaccurate or unfair. You may appeal based on the following:
The Board of Equalization is a five-member citizen panel, appointed by the Circuit Court. If you do not agree with the appeal decision by the Department of Real Estate Valuation, then it is the Board's duty to hear evidence from the taxpayer and the assessor to decide if the assessment is correct. Your appeal to the Board also must be in writing. The Department of Real Estate can provide you with the forms for an appeal to the Board of Equalization and make appointments for you to appear before the Board. The Board of Equalization is independent of the Department of Real Estate and establishes its own deadlines and procedures based on the Code of Virginia.
State law puts the burden of proof on the property owner to show that the assessment is incorrect. You must have strong enough evidence to show that the assessor's value is incorrect. Stating that your property taxes are too high is not relevant testimony. You need to establish what you think your property is worth. The best evidence of this would be to compare recent sales of similar properties. You may also bring any appraisals you have done on your property. And finally, you can show that similar properties have inequitable values.
The final step in the appeals process is to file suit in the Circuit Court. This will usually involve the hiring of an attorney to represent you in the matter.
Properties are appraised for ad valorem tax purposes in order to have schools, fire, police protection, trash collection and other public benefits. The property tax is designed to distribute the tax burden in proportion to the amount of money our individual properties are worth.
The Code of VA requires that all properties be assessed for taxation at 100% of fair market value. The same law requires Cities the size of Salem to assess properties on an annual or biannual cycle. The City of Salem Council has decided that we will conduct a reassessment annually. During the reassessment cycle all property values are examined and adjustments made where necessary to insure that all property is assessed at fair market value and distributed equitably and uniformly.
The definition of market value as defined by the International Association of Assessing Officers is: The most probable sale price of a property in terms of money in a competitive and open market, assuming that the buyer and seller are acting prudently and knowledgeably, allowing sufficient time for the sale, and assuming that the transaction is not affected by undue pressures.
Finding the market value of your property involves discovering the price most people would pay for it in its present condition. This process involves researching sales information, including interviewing persons familiar with the transaction, sending out sales verification forms to the new owners, verifying information using the Roanoke Valley Association of Realtor's MLS website, and making physical inspections of the property to ensure all property characteristics are accurate and to identify the most recent trends. The assessor then compiles similar property type sales and compares the information against the assessments on those properties to determine whether adjustments to the assessments are warranted.
To find the value of any piece of property, the assessor must first know what properties similar to it are selling for, what it would cost to replace it today, how much it takes to operate and keep it in repair, what rent it may earn, and many other factors affecting its value, such as the current rate of interest charged for borrowing money to buy or build properties like yours.
Using these facts, the assessor can then go about finding the property's value in three different ways:
The first method compares your property to others that have sold recently. These prices, however, must be analyzed very carefully to get the true picture. One property may have sold for more than it's worth because the buyer is in a hurry and would pay any price. Another may have sold for less than it was actually worth because the owner needed cash right away and the property was sold to the first person who made an offer. When using the sales comparison approach, the assessor must always consider such overpricing and underpricing and analyze many sales to arrive at a fair valuation for your property. Size, time, quality, condition, and location are also important factors to consider.
A second way to value your property is based on how much money it would take, at current material and labor costs, to replace your property with one similar. If your property is not new, the assessor must also estimate how much value has been lost to wear and tear or other factors such as obsolescence. The adjustment called depreciation is then deducted from the replacement cost. Finally, the assessor estimates the value of your lot and adds this to the depreciated cost to arrive at the total property value.
The third way is to evaluate how much income your property would produce if it were rented as an apartment house, a store, a factory, etc. The assessor must consider operating expenses, taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and the return most people would expect on your kind of property. The net income from the operation of the property is then capitalized into a value estimate by using a rate that provides a return on and off the property investment. This method is seldom used to appraise single-family residential properties. The City of Salem uses this approach on income-producing properties such as offices, shopping centers, apartments, and like properties.
Property values can change for many reasons. The most obvious are changes to the property itself, for example, an addition, garage, swimming pool or other improvements, or if the property is destroyed by flood or fire.
Additionally, property values change as a result of what other similar properties are selling for. When sale prices indicate new trends then the assessments need to reflect those changes. Buyers and Sellers dictate market value by their transactions in the marketplace. It is important to note that the assessor does not create this value. The assessor simply has the legal responsibility to study those transactions and appraise your property accordingly.
In order to make the most accurate assessment on a property, it is desirable to see the inside and outside of the property. The City of Salem keeps records on physical characteristics for each property and makes every attempt to continually verify this information with the owners. Even though the assessor may not have been able to go inside your property, the assessment will still be reviewed, based on the existing records and sales of similar properties.
No. However, when an interior inspection is not allowed, the assessor will attempt to update the records by looking at the outside of the property and using any other information available. To ensure an accurate assessment, it is to your advantage to allow the assessor inside your property if requested.
When reviewing properties in the City of Salem where the owner is not at home, the assessor will leave an information request on your door, if information is needed. You may then call back to the assessor's office with the information.
While improvements to property obviously bring changes in values, sometimes just general economic conditions can affect property values. Supply and demand and interest rates, inflation rates and changes in laws can influence the value of real estate. Those resulting value changes must be reflected in the assessments.
There are differences between individual properties and neighborhoods. One neighborhood may have sales that indicate a change in value, while sales in another may not reflect any change at all. Different types of properties within the same neighborhoods may also show different value changes. For example, one-story houses may be in larger demand than two-story houses, or vice versa. Older home values might rise slower than newer homes.
There are numerous factors to be considered by the assessor when reviewing property values, thus causing different areas and types of properties to change values at different rates.
Any United States citizen whose home is in Virginia and who will be at least 18 years old by the next general election, is not a convicted felon or who is not adjudicated mentally incompetent, may register to vote.
Year-round, except during the 29 days before a general or primary election or 14 days before a special election.
Or in person at the address below:
19 East Clay StreetP.O. Box 203Salem, VA 24153
Voter registration is free.
You must furnish your full legal name, photo ID, home address, date of birth, social security number, and any previous place of registration. You must give this information under oath.
No. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not have registration by party.
The registrar will send you a voter registration card with the name and location of your polling place. Find out where to vote by your address
No, Virginia does not have voter registration by party.
No, your registration remains valid, if you do not move from your original address.
Send a notification of a change of address to your voter registration office (either in the old or new locality). Give your name, phone number, social security number, and your old and new address. You may use the change of address form on the back of your voter card. Your signature is required to make a change to voter records. Your registration will be transferred from your previous locality to the new one.
Send notification of the change, as above, to your voter registration office. Your signature is required.
Voter registration cannot be transferred between states. You must complete a Virginia Voter Registration Application to be eligible to vote in Virginia.
Polling places open at 6 am and close at 7 pm. If you are in line to vote by 7 pm you will be allowed to cast your vote.
A primary is an election in which a candidate is chosen to represent a political party for a particular office in an election. The Democratic and Republican parties may nominate their candidates by either a primary election or by convention or mass meeting.
If you are a registered voter, you may vote in any primary. However, if a primary is held in for both parties in the same election district, you must choose in which party primary you wish to vote and may only vote in one.
Any voter age 65 or older or physically disabled may vote 45 days prior to the election in the Registrar's Office.
They may also vote from the curbside. They may request a paper ballot which will be brought to them by an officer of election. They mark the ballot in the presence of the officer of election, who will then return it to the polling place and deposit it in the voting machine.
You are eligible to return to your precinct and vote. At that time you must change your address to be eligible for future elections. If you move out of the state, you will not be allowed to vote except in Federal elections for President and Vice President only.
Any registered voter who expects to be out of the county or city on election day, is confined (other than a convicted felon) to a penal institution, or cannot go to the polls because of a physical illness or physical disability. Or if you cannot go to the polls because you are the person responsible for the care of a sick or disabled family member who is unable to leave home.
Request, by phone or in person, an application for absentee ballot from any registrar's office, or download it here. The application for absentee ballot can also be faxed or mailed to the registrar's office.
As early as 10 months before an election. If applying by mail, your application must be received by the Thursday before the election. You can vote an in-person absentee ballot as soon as the ballots are ready and up until 5 pm on the Saturday before the election.
Stormwater run-off is the water that flows off roofs, driveways, parking lots, streets, and other hard surfaces during rain storms. Rather than being absorbed into the ground the water runs through ditches and storm drains into the river. It does not receive treatment before entering the river.
Salem’s storm drains empty directly into the Roanoke River.
Yes, for two reasons. Yard clippings carry whatever chemicals are put on the grass. The yard clippings actually act as individual pieces of pollutants. Secondly, yard clippings can slow storm drains and create many problems.
For disposal information call the Fire Administration at 540-375-3080. Often times oil can be taken to auto parts store or oil change facilities for recycling.
Stormwater run-off often carries many pollutants (heavy metals, oil byproducts, excessive nutrients, etc.) into whatever waterway the run-off enters. This pollution can have harsh environmental effects on the biodiversity of the waterway. Not to mention, Salem residents drink their water from the Roanoke River.
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a term used to describe the amount of pollution a stream can receive and still meet water quality standards. Water quality standards are regulations based on federal or state law that set numeric or narrative limits on pollutants. TMDLs are required for water bodies that are determined to be impaired. The Virginia TMDL program was historically governed by a federal court order Consent Decree that laid out a schedule for TMDL development through 2010 for waters identified as impaired by 1998. For all other water bodies, TMDL development is generally scheduled within 8 to 12 years of finding the water body impaired.
The Roanoke River watershed, which includes Salem, currently has 3 TMDLs: PCB, Bacteria, and Benthic (sediment).
Place it next to your tote on your scheduled collection day in a container such as bags or boxes.
No. The Sanitation Division will not pick up any debris generated from the activities requiring a building permit. It will be the responsibility of the contractor to which the Building Permit was issued to properly dispose of waste. Disposal of roofing material is the responsibility of the contractor or homeowner.
Place any bulk items next to the street on your scheduled collection day.
Yes. Call 540-375-3071 for this service.
The City supplies each resident / business with one tote. Residents can purchase a second tote for the cost of $65. Businesses can purchase 3 extra totes for the cost of $65 each. The City will not repair or replace totes that have been purchased.
Contact the Solid Waste Transfer Station at 540-375-3052.
If the residence has an irrigation system, the sewer will only be charged on water entering the house. For more information, please visit the Irrigation Billing Information. If the residence does not have an irrigation system sewer charges will apply to all water usage.
No. Per Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendation, wastewater should be collected by the sewer and treated by a facility before being discharged to water bodies or land. Because sewage is not metered, the cost to treat the pool/wastewater when drained is assessed at the time of filling the pool. Please visit EPA website for more information.
We enroll for the budget billing program once per year every September. For more information, please visit the Budget Billing Information link.
Please visit the City of Salem Electric and/or Water and Sewer department webpages for rate information.
There are many variables that impact the cost of electricity and water usage. Typically, we expect to see increased electric costs in the summer and winter months when heating and cooling needs are greatest. Water usage is normally very consistent from month to month when the number of occupants in the household remains the same. If the water has increased suddenly, please see "What to do if I suspect or have a known water leak".
We offer bank draft payments which require a valid routing and checking account. Please visit the Utility Billing department page.
You may pay your bill online, by postal service mail, in person with Utility Collections at City Hall, via our overnight drop box located behind City Hall on College Alley.
Utility Collections maintains the payment information provided by Social Services for the fuel and cooling assistance programs. You may reach Utility Collections by phone 540-375-3021, Opt Number 1 or by visiting City Hall at 114 N Broad Street
If a backup occurs, shut off any running water. Take immediate action to seal sink, tub, and floor drains. Toilets can be plugged with wads of rags or a string mop. Additional weight may be needed to hold down drain plugs.
Contact neighbors to help determine if the blockage is inside the building or on the sewer main. If the problem is affecting multiple buildings, immediately call the Salem Water Department at 540-375-3029.
If the issue appears to be affecting one building, contacting a licensed plumber is recommended. The building owner is responsible for maintenance and repair of the sewer lateral on the owner's private property, as well as cleanup.
Here are some of the actions you can take after a backup has occurred:
A sewer lateral pouring illicit FOG into a sanitary manhole. The shiny white is new grease. The yellow areas are from the buildup of old grease.
Help prevent overflows by doing the following:
If you see an overflow in progress, please contact us at 540-375-3029.
If you see evidence of a past overflow, such as toilet paper and sanitary waste around a manhole or storm drain outfall, please contact us at 540-375-3029 or use the report a problem form.
Contact the Utility Collections Department at 540-375-3021.
All billing questions, including hookup fees, billing errors, budget billing, and paying online are handled through Utility Billing.
Salem allows the installation of irrigation meters for water that is used on vegetation and absorbed into the ground. Salem does not allow separate metering for other uses, such as filling swimming pools.
The consent order is a special order issued to the City of Salem by DEQ. It lists known issues, such as sanitary sewer overflows, that have or may have potentially caused the prohibited discharge of sewage into State waters. The Consent Order allows Salem to continue operating its sanitary sewer system but requires us to continually make improvements to prevent future issues. As a result, Salem follows a Corrective Action Plan aimed at eliminating sanitary sewer overflows through maintenance, repair, and upgrades to the sanitary sewer system. Many of these corrective actions are aimed at reducing inflow and infiltration (I and I).
We all share in the responsibility and cost of sewer maintenance. The Consent Order is an acknowledgment that there are problems with the City's sanitary sewer system that need to be fixed. The City of Salem employs a variety of methods to investigate, assess, maintain, repair, and replace sanitary sewer facilities. Some of these activities may result in traffic delays due to temporary lane closures. Current work locations that are potentially affected by the Consent Order can be found in the sidebar on the City's main website page - The City of Salem Facebook feed.
Sanitary sewer overflows have the potential to contaminate the land and water we use for recreation. The City is following a Corrective Action Plan aimed at eliminating overflows. This plan benefits everyone by reducing inflow and infiltration (I and I), which in turn reduces the cost of wastewater treatment. It also reduces the likelihood of a sewage backup in a home.
Salem is committed to reducing sanitary sewer overflows through all of the following methods:
Notifications about planned water and sewer line work and road impacts are charted on the City's GIS mapping system. Sometimes emergency work must be performed that does not appear on the announcements.
After utility line work is completed, the Water and Sewer Department automatically notifies the Street Department so that asphalt and concrete repairs can be scheduled. These repairs can only be made during dry, relatively warm weather. Therefore, they are not scheduled during the winter when most water line breaks occur.
Click here for Street, Sanitation and General Maintenance Department information.
The pH of our water after treatment ranges from 7.2 to 7.8 standard units; the average pH is 7.5 units.
Salem's water is moderately hard. It ranges from 9 to 12 grains per gallon (147 to 207 parts per million) with an average of 10 grains per gallon (176 parts per million).
Rusting galvanized pipe in plumbing systems is the typical cause of discolored water. Iron causes the discoloration; it is not a health risk. If the cold water is discolored, it will clear after running a bit. If the hot water is rusty, the water heater may need flushing. If you flush it, please follow the manufacturer's directions.
Yes, we do add fluoride to the water in accordance with Virginia Department of Health regulations. Fluoride is added to aid in the prevention of tooth decay. Fluoride analysis on fluoride levels are done every four hours.
Chlorine odors may be more noticeable during the summer. Chlorine kills organisms that may cause disease. If you remove the chlorine, be sure to refrigerate the water to limit bacterial regrowth.
Water naturally varies in taste and odor at different times of the year. Taste and odor problems can come from new or old pipelines, plumbing fixtures, or changes in water quality. Customers may notice changes during severe winter storms; when river water levels are low; or during hot weather conditions.
Water becomes saturated with air due to temperature changes in the water giving it a milky look. To be sure that this is the problem collect a glass of water and set it out. The air should rise to the top, therefore clearing from the bottom up. Flushing your water lines may help this situation some but, it will disappear over time with the temperature change.
You should contact the City of Salem Water Department Office at 540-375-3029. Our chemist, Marcus Potts, or our Chief Water Treatment Plant Operator, Frank Young, will be able to assist you.
Please immediately follow the instructions here to mitigate the backup as quickly as possible. If the backup is affecting multiple properties, please call 540-375-3029.
Please contact the Water Department at 540-375-3029 to have the water shut off until the repair can be made. Salem attempts to repair water main breaks as soon as they occur. If the leak is on private property, it will be the property owner's responsibility to repair the leak.
For more information, refer to our section on Water Loss
The terms "inflow" and "infiltration" both refer to clear water getting into sanitary sewer pipes. Inflow is clear water, generally rainwater, that enters the sanitary sewer pipe through direct connections, such as roof leaders, sump pumps, or foundation drains. Salem maintains a separate storm sewer system, which is intended to carry flow from clear water sources. Infiltration is groundwater or rain water that seeps into the joints of pipes, or through cracks in deteriorated pipes and manholes. A small amount of infiltration is expected in any sanitary sewer system. However, the goal is to eliminate large amounts of I and I into the sanitary sewer system.
During rainfall events, I and I takes up capacity in sanitary sewer pipes. It can contribute to backups and cause sanitary sewer overflows, which have the potential to contaminate our land and water. The City of Salem currently has a Consent Order due to sanitary sewer overflows.
Even if it never causes a backup, I and I can be costly to the community. I and I can impact existing system capacity, reducing available capacity for new development and requiring larger, more expensive system infrastructure. Rain water that enters the sanitary sewer must also be treated at the Roanoke Regional Water Pollution Control Plant, increasing the overall cost of treatment. Not only must the water be treated, but the plant itself must also have a reserve capacity to handle the larger flows that will occur during rain events.
Salem is committed to reducing I and I through all available resources. What is the Salem Water Department Doing?
A broken cleanout cap allows a direct inflow of rainwater and leaves into the sanitary sewer system.
Make sure your roof drains, sump pumps, and other stormwater inlets are NOT connected to the sanitary sewer system. Consider routing them to a planted area of your yard.
Rainwater can also be harvested to use for outdoor watering. Here are instructions for the construction of a safe and cost-effective rain barrel. Storing rainwater helps reduce Inflow and Infiltration by reducing direct inflow into the sanitary sewer system. It also reduces ground saturation during heavy runoff events, which also reduces the amount of water available to seep into your basement. Rain barrels give you a free source of water for lawns and gardens during dry weather, which will reduce your overall water bill. They also help prevent soil erosion and related pollution from getting into our streams.
Replace loose, broken, or missing cleanout caps. Cleanout caps are the first line of defense against inflow and debris that can cause sewer backups. A well-fitted cap also prevents the cleanout from becoming a trip hazard.
Check your pipes for roots. Once roots enter a sewer pipe, they thrive on nutrient-rich water. As roots grow, they widen the cracks in the pipe, as well as create blockages. Never plant a tree or woody shrub near a sanitary sewer pipe or storm drain.
If you see or suspect a sanitary sewer problem, email the City of Salem Water Department, call 540-375-3029, or use the Report a Problem form.
Things to do if you drop something down the drain:
Things to do if the item was "dropped" in the drain but not noticed until later:
What the City can do:
What the City cannot do:
If the item is not found it is likely beyond retrieval. Email the City Water and Sewer Department or call 540-375-3029. You can also email the Roanoke Regional Water Pollution Control Plant or call 540-853-5700 with a detailed description of the lost item, the address of the location where the item was lost, and your contact information. If possible, attach a picture of the lost item.
Swimming pools can be discharged to the sanitary sewer system. Traditional chlorine pools can be de-chlorinated and then discharged to the storm sewer system.
The only items that should ever be washed down the sink or flushed down the toilet are natural, organic materials that would break apart easily in one's hands. Here are some examples of things that should never be poured down the drain:
Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG)
Inflow and Infiltration
Water loss is any unaccountable water that occurs other than for known reasons, such as from industrial processes, or typical water usages at home. Water loss that is unaccounted for is typically expressed as a percentage.
If your water bill / consumption has increased for no explained reason you possibly have a leak. Remember, such water usages as watering the yard, variations in the number of household members, and filling a pool will affect your bill.
Look for water leak signs on your property. Look at your driveway, curb or street for evidence of water flow. The evidence may not be a steady stream of water; it may only be a puddle in your grass that never dries up, or a darker spot on dry concrete.
Start by taking a water meter reading before and after a two-hour period when no planed water is to be used. If the meter reading is not exactly the same as the beginning reading, you may have a water leak.
To determine if a leak is located inside or outside your home, you will need to locate and turn off the main water valve for your home. This valve is usually located along an outside wall in your basement. By turning off the main water valve, you will prevent any water from flowing into the property. This will isolate the source of the leak as being inside or outside your residence. Take a meter reading and wait an hour and retake the meter reading. If there is no change in the reading, then the leak is inside. If the meter changed, the leak is somewhere between the meter and the main water valve.
Leaking toilets are often hard to detect and are one of the most common water leaks in the home. Toilet leaks can waste hundreds of gallons and oftentimes cannot be heard. Even a small toilet leak can waste a considerable amount of water and money over time. Most toilet leaks are easy and inexpensive to fix. One way to find out if you have a leaking toilet is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If coloring shows up in the bowl sooner than 10 minutes without flushing, your toilet has a leak. Make sure you flush to avoid tank staining.
The City of Salem Water and Sewer Department can answer any additional questions you have about water leaks. If the water leak is on the property side of the water meter (underground water line or in the residency/ business) it will be the owner's responsibility to make all necessary repairs by contacting a licensed plumber. Before shutting a water meter off please call the Water and Sewer Department at 540-375-3029. A City employee will be quickly dispatched to turn off the meter.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency's partnership program WaterSense, is a great resource for gathering information on household products and ideas to save water and money. The WaterSense program is designed to aid consumers in making smart water decisions that can save water and money while still maintaining high environmental standards without affecting performance.
EPA Watersense Information