Plan set to handle city’s growth

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 25, 2005

Every city and community has issued that they are facing. Some are good and some are bad. For the Camellia City, one of the problems it’s facing is a good one – the city is growing.

But the question has to be asked. What plans are being taken to handle the growth of industry, community and economy?

Greenville Mayor Dexter McClendon answered those questions at the Feb. 14 City Council Meeting when he brought in Steve Cawood of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc.

The firm, located in Montgomery

is an engineering firm that handles city planning among other things.

To the firm’s credit, Goodwyn Mills and

&uot;I commend the Mayor and City Council for being proactive in setting their course for the future that with some of the industrial growth in Greenville there’s going to be different challenges and this plan will be a road map for Greenville’s future,&uot; said Cawood.

One of the first problems that the plan looks to address will be the transportation priorities of the city.

&uot;Traffic projections with growth is one area is one item that we plan to address,&uot; said Cawood. &uot;Continued economic growth and prosperity and dealing with the problems that those things bring about is another.&uot;

The proposed development plan for the city of Greenville will cover 10 points.

&uot;The growth, the things that are going on in Greenville-The first four years of my administration we had to worry about trying to get growth,&uot; said McClendon,

&uot;trying to make something happen and we were very successful in the first four years with Hwashin and Hysco and some of the other things that are happening in Greenville.

Now we’ve got the problem of ‘how are we going to deal with it?’ We need to know if we’ve made the right kind of plans for subdivisions, have we made the right kind of plans for economic growth and making sure we have the right amount of land for more industries and for more jobs. In areas of our infrastructure and in area where we need red lights and areas that should be four-laned instead of two, all of this will be looked at.&uot;

The first, like Cawood said, being transportation priorities.

After that, the plan will focus on lowering the city’s ISO rating. Which basically cover’s the rate that the city will be expected to pay for fire insurance.

&uot;One of the concerns I have is about our fire rating,&uot; said McClendon. &uot;You get this growth and everything and then you get a rating.

And if you don’t get a good

rating then your fire insurance goes up and we don’t want that. So that means that we are going to have to build a fire station. But where do we need to build a fire station? I’m not an expert in that. You go out and you get experts and they look at it and they try to make the right decisions for the future. It’s like looking into a crystal ball for the next five, 10 and 20 years down the road of what you need to do for your city.&uot;

Another item that is on the plan that the city will benefit from the is the addition of a Conference Center around Sherling Lake.

According to McClendon, the city of Greenville is centrally located between Birmingham and Mobile along with being centrally located between Atlanta and New Orleans.

A conference center would be ideal for our location.

&uot;We’ve been talking to some people about a conference center and that’s something that I have been working on for a number of years,&uot; said McClendon. &uot;We are at a place where we need to run those numbers and look at it.&uot;

But, the most important part of any project is the funding.

In Cawood’s project plan for the city, they are also going to look finding ways to fund some of the projects that are going to be implemented as a result of this study.

&uot;We all love Greenville and we all want to see it grow,&uot; said McClendon. &uot;But you’ve got to plan and make sure that you are going in the right direction and making sure that you spend the money wisely. The one thing about doing this is that you are going to find a lot of stuff to do and a lot of stuff that you want to do. But you aren’t going to have the money to do it. So you’ve got to find grants and this is going to help that. I’m really looking forward to it.&uot;

McClendon has constructed a committee to deal with the city development plan. From there, the plan will be presented to the planning commission and then ultimately put before the City Council to be voted upon.

According to Cawood, the initial study should take around five months.