Thursday, June 9, 2005

Fielder’s Choice
By Barry Burleson


There are lots of good things happening.

A few weeks ago the Industrial Development Authority announced that Excel would open a new 700,000 square foot facility in the Chickasaw Trail Economic Development Area of Marshall County. The facility will support the company’s contract logistics business and create approximately 60 new warehouse jobs.

This will hopefully just be the tip of the iceberg as far as development in that corner of our county. The emerging growth area is easily accessible from multiple highways including Mississippi Highway 302, U.S. Highway 72 and Tennessee Highway 385. The Memphis International Airport is within a 30-minute drive.

Lots of folks are working toward a cleaner, better-looking county.

Lisa Cole and Beverly Brown, representatives of the Holly Springs City Beautiful Commission, spoke to the Rotary Club last week. The commission’s desire is to enhance the quality of life of Holly Springs physically and psychologically through planned beautification projects.

Some accomplishments to date include planters around the square, clean-up days, sold wrought iron trash receptacles for the square, planted flowers and foliage for area businesses, assisted the VFW with selling American flags for the square and revitalized the Adopt-A-Street program.

An immediate future project is constructing two “Welcome to Holly Springs” signs, the first being in front of the VFW Post 5697.

The formation of a Marshall County leadership class is a tremendous accomplishment and can create only positive results. Leadership teams bring people together from all parts of the county, creating friendship and unity.

The leaders involved in that effort have adopted a mission statement that also focuses on beautification – to have a cleaner, safer community that enhances the quality of life for all citizens in Marshall County. One’s first impression when they visit means so much.

They will be looking at city, town and county ordinances that address clean-up and safety issues. A five-year goal is to reduce litter and illegal dump sites in the county by 30 percent. The ultimate goal is to make Marshall County a beautiful place to live, work and to visit.

Last week I was in Byhalia for three new business ribbon-cutting ceremonies in two days. There’s excitement in the air in that town as interstate highways will soon surround it, and the growth is on its way. And city and chamber officials must continue to do everything within their ability to be prepared and welcome the prosperity.

Back in Holly Springs, dirt work continues on the new “Holly Springs Commons” adjacent to Highway 78 (future Interstate Corridor 22). There’s lots of conversation about what might locate there. One thing is certain – more and more business growth is coming to that end of the city – and will be accompanied by traffic lights, additional streets and so forth.

The traffic lights seem to be an urgent need. Getting out into Highway 7 from one of the businesses on the south end of Holly Springs is often an adventure. It’s a lesson in patience, and just a couple of weeks ago, I came the closest to an accident in some time, but was able to avoid it with son Andy as a passenger.

And if you’re looking for a positive in the recreational area, the Marshall County Dizzy Dean Baseball and Softball League is wrapping up its third season with tournaments. These coaches and kids like to win, but most importantly, they’re having fun. And it, too, is bringing people from across our county together at a young age and creating friendships.

These things go hand-in-hand toward progress – industrial development, beautification, business growth, new highways, recreation.

This is only a sampling of some of the good things going on in our county. There’s more, and for that, let’s be thankful.

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