Thursday, Oct. 18, 20070
City busy with array of projects
By BARRY BURLESON
Three developers called Don Hollingsworth in one day last week.
“For a town of 8,000 – in my line of business, that’s a lot,” said Hollingsworth, public works director with the Holly Springs Utility Department. “There’s a lot of activity right now.”
Hollingsworth was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club meeting October 10.
Generating the most interest is property in south Holly Springs adjacent to Highway 7 South and near four-lane Highway 78 (Future I-22). That area, too, is where development continues on the Holly Springs Commons.
Several businesses are already up and running in the Commons. The anchor, Hollingsworth said, will be the 30-acre medical complex. Construction has begun on the new Williams Medical Clinic and once it is completed, the new Alliance Hospital will be built.
The city’s comprehensive traffic plan will lead to the addition of two traffic lights – one at McDonald’s and Wendy’s. Plans for that signal are in Jackson and as soon as approved, the project will be put out for bidders. Hopefully, Hollingsworth said, the traffic light will be in operation by Lincoln’s birthday in February 2008.
A second light and new intersection will take shape at J.M. Ash Road (industrial access road) and Highway 7 South. Mississippi Department of Transportation officials have said that interchange must be straightened out.
“We will square that corner up,” Hollingsworth said.
The new portion of J.M. Ash will go straight across Highway 7, north of KFC, and travel to the medical complex property.
“About 14,500 cars per day pass through there on a regular basis,” Hollingsworth said. “It’s probably more than that on a Friday afternoon.”
Hollingsworth said there are doubters about the plans for the Holly Springs Commons, but “it’s going to happen.”
“Government takes time,” he said.
Road development into the medical complex area (Crescent Meadow Drive adjacent to the new strip mall) is continuing. The planned Boundary extension, running just east of the Marshall Academy campus, will tie into Crescent Meadow, which will also eventually run to Peyton Road.
Hollingsworth also talked about other major projects:
• A $4.4 million gas project will encompass the Holly Springs Industrial Park, go through the new hospital property, and then hit Hernando Road-Red Banks-Lee’s Crossing and Victoria (Citizens Bank area) before running back to town. It will add 1,000 customers.
• A $1.6 million water project, primarily funded by a $1 million grant, will run Highway 4 almost to Snow Lake Shores. There will be 250 customers added.
• The present Williams Medical Clinic building on J.M. Ash, once the new clinic is completed, will be renovated for the City of Holly Springs police headquarters. Hollingsworth said most recently the police department was housed in a dilapidated building downtown and then moved to temporary quarters, upstairs in a former Mississippi Industrial College campus building.
“The police department has been like a ship with no port,” he said. “They need a place to dock and call home. This upgrade will help the community overall.”
• The Chatham Heights sewer project will revamp a system installed in the 1940s or ’50s. The $1.2 million job will include replacing sewer lines in an area behind Owens Grocery to the Merchants and Farmers Bank area on Highway 7 South. It will also encompass replacing lines in the old country club and Meadows areas.
• The new electric substation at Mt. Pleasant “is on its way,” Hollingsworth said.
“It will be a tremendous boost to service in the Mt. Pleasant area and should be online in the spring of next year,” he said. “It will relieve a lot of problems in that area.”
• An $800,000 grant has been received to improve Martin Street, and the low bid has been accepted. Construction work on that street should begin soon.
“In my business, I’m an optimist,” Hollingsworth said. “I have to be. We are busy and working hard. We have about $61 million in projects on the books. Things are happening.”
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