Southsider Voice correspondent
Fourth-year Mayor Mark Myers said he believes that Greenwood is a city on the move.
“Our budget is balanced,” said Myers, who emphasized that much of the city’s debt has been refinanced at lower interest. “Greenwood collects more each year than it spends.”
Myers points with pride to the numerous advancements the city has made under his administration:
• Expanded recreational amenities feature the new City Center Splash Park and construction of an aquatics complex west of Averitt Road.
• The City Council approved a long-awaited revitalization of the Old Town business district, which gets under way with a grant to improve Downtown facades.
• New businesses have opened or expanded plus a distribution center under construction is expected to create more than 500 jobs.
• Greenwood Municipal Airport continues to attract more corporate air traffic and is now self-supporting.
• The city’s fleet of vehicles has been upgraded.
• The sanitary sewer utility is solvent and compliant with state and federal environmental statutes.
• Opened in April 2014, the City Center Building – the former bank tower – in the heart of Downtown houses city government offices that were located in the old City Building and rented space on Emerson Avenue. The cost-effective purchase and renovation of the bank building was far less than previous administration plans for a new city building on two different sites on Main Street, the mayor said. “When prospective businesses visit Greenwood to determine whether or not this is where they want to invest their money and time, I am confident that none are being dissuaded by the condition of our office facilities.”
The old City Building at Broadway Street and Madison Avenue is to be leased out by the city.
“After decades of false starts, frustration and disappointment, it appears that revitalization of the Old Town business district is finally underway,” emphasized Myers, who lobbied to make sure Greenwood gets its fair share of federal tax monies. The city has attracted $10.75 million in grants.
Major infrastructure projects, approved or under construction, include: the Worthsville Road interchange at I-65; roundabouts at Main Street and Averitt Road, Smith Valley Road and State Road 135, Smith Valley and Yorktown roads and Stones Crossing and Honey Creek roads; Pleasant Creek restoration and stormwater utility downtown bridge; and the recent extension of the airport’s runway.
“A high quality of life attracts high-quality employers and helps to ensure that the employees choose Greenwood as their homes rather than commuting from neighboring communities,” Myers stated.
He pointed with pride to the splash park, Freedom Springs Aquatic Park to open Memorial Day, expanded network of trails, community festivals, Craig Park amphitheatre, Greenwood Library and public schools.
The Myers administration has sought financial solvency for the city, which posted a surplus of $389,277 at the end of 2014. The municipal tax rate dropped to 66 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
Myers concluded, “Greenwood works because we are willing to recognize and serve the need of our future generations.”