Letter to the Editor
To the editor:
Allow me to begin by thanking the residents of Holly Springs for allowing me to serve as mayor of our great city for one more term. It is indeed my honor and privilege to serve. I look forward to continuing to work with our fine board of aldermen to improve our city.
I am also excited about working with citizens who have ideas that would move our city. Recently, I have been approached by some residents about various projects they would like to see done.
Here are just a few suggestions I have heard. Over and over again I have been asked to invest in a city aquatic center for the children. A swimming pool would be a great addition to our city and I am more than willing to sit down and discuss ways to achieve this goal.
I have also been asked to partner with the Holly Springs School District to build a first class track and field center. We have had preliminary discussions with the Holly Springs School District about a new state-of-the-art track and field facility. This too is a good idea that would benefit our children and the economy of the city. I would welcome open discussion on this project from the general public.
I have been approached about what we plan to do with Sims School. Many ideas have been tossed around ranging from making it a Boys and Girls Club to turning parts of the campus into a business incubator. The biggest challenge that we have with Sims School is trying to find the funds to do major renovations. There are some environmental concerns as well as some structural challenges with sections of the historic campus.
I have been asked about making some major upgrades to the square. Suggestions to add decorative lighting, green spaces, removing the iron cover from around the square and several other ideas were offered.
Several residents have suggested we totally revamp our Parks and Recreation Department. Concerning recreation, residents expressed that not enough activities for children were being offered by the Parks and Recreation Department. Many residents would like to see Hill Crest Cemetery improved. Suggestions for the cemetery range from repaving washed out streets, restoration of the historic markers, and using technology to keep better records of plots and future development of the cemetery.
Many of you have contacted me and board members about making major improvements to our Holly Springs Utility Department. Residents say a major concern is they can never reach anyone on the phone during power outages. Some suggest we invest in a new answering service that can better meet the call volume demands. Some residents would like to have better ways to let the public know where power outages are and when the power will be back on. Ideas include using social media and automatic text messaging to keep the people informed.
Of course, there are always concerns about repairing streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure. This is an ongoing process that we are committed to working on every year. A huge part of making some of these repairs center on the fact we have old underground pipes that need to be replaced before we fix certain streets.
As you can see with just these ideas, the needs for our city are many and you can also see that the projects are going to be very costly. My hope is to work with our board to prioritize the needs and find ways to leverage our existing funds with grant opportunities and partnerships with public and private groups to achieve our goals.
If we can work with the school systems, county government and the private sector, I feel optimistic that many of these great ideas and other ideas can become reality over time.
Kelvin O. Buck