Senior staff writer
Mark Myers is in the middle of his second term as mayor of Greenwood and has seen great progress, passion and dedication within the city.
“Every day I see hardworking people, people of character and commitment, people of great faith, people who sacrifice for their families, (and) people who genuinely care about this community working together to make Greenwood not just succeed, but excel.”
Improvements in 2016 featured: east-west travel across southern Greenwood with the completion of Worthsville Road from I-65 to U.S. 31; potential of multipurpose development of the Greenwood Middle School property just a block south of Main Street; the renovation of the Greenwood Community Center; exterior improvements to buildings in Old Town Greenwood; and the popularity of Freedom Springs water park.
During his annual State of the City address, Myers pointed out that Greenwood’s future rests upon public safety, infrastructure, quality of life and economic development.
“All of the pieces are in place for a Southside resurgence,” the second-generation mayor said. “Greenwood is a safe place to live, work and play, with great schools, friendly residents and a lower cost of living … our time is now, and Greenwood is ready to lead the way.”
He noted the following improvements:
• Public safety: five full-time firefighters and three police officers added … officers carry body cameras … bonds are to be issued this year for a multimillion dollar renovation of police, court and clerk offices … support of a food and beverage tax to fund public safety.
• Infrastructure: added Play Pocket Trail to link Craig Park and amphitheater to the new Firefighter Play Pocket behind the fire station on Main Street; multiuse trails on north and south sides of Worthsville Road; improvements to intersections; and completion of Western Regional Interceptor Sewer stretching 10 miles across White River Township.
Economic development: Wurth Service Supply building its $11.5 million North America headquarters next to ULTA in Southpoint Business Park … $2 million Oaken Barrel building and center improvements planned … Indy South Greenwood Airport thrived in 2016.
Myers did raise the same financial warning that all cities and towns have raised with the General Assembly.
“I’m also troubled by the lack of operating revenue to expand public safety proportional to Greenwood’s size and continued growth. As the city’s population grows, state revenue caps have prevented us from being able to hire enough staff and decrease personnel deficits.”
Myers also announced that improvements around Old City Park will continue.
“To reach our ultimate goals, we must continue to hone our city’s unique, authentic identity and cultivate an environment attractive to both commercial investors and a professional skilled workforce.”
He emphasized that the city’s general fund balance has doubled, and the rainy day fund has increased substantially in the last five years.
“Just five short years ago, our financial picture was grim,” said Myers. “Today, Greenwood’s fiscal position is the envy of municipalities across Indiana with a balanced budget, cash reserves and an excellent credit rating.”