LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
To the Editor:
In a recent newspaper article concerning the city’s planned annexation, alderman Christy Owens was the only alderman who voted against the annexation plan. This is quite disappointing because of the enormous opportunities the city is preparing for. It is also disappointing because as the director of the Holly Springs Main Street Chamber, Alderman Owens’ understandings of opportunities for growth and support of growth initiatives should be part of the focus of Main Street.
Alderman Owens stated that this was bad timing. Here we are as a county experiencing the most economic and industrial development in many years, with major industries such as Amazon and Rockwool locating only minutes away and companies like Parker Hannifin investing millions to expand their plant right here in our town. The city and county just jointly received a grant for $1.4 million to build the infrastructure in and around our 3,000-acre Springs Industrial Park. The Springs Industrial Park also just recently received national and international recognition for being certified by BNSF Railroad as a mega industrial site. Developers are contacting my office on a regular basis looking for opportunities to develop housing. Some developers have already selected sites to build and have started building new housing. If we don’t prepare now for growth I ask Alderman Owens exactly when she would suggest is the right time. I say the time has never been better to look to grow our town.
Alderman Owens also suggested that we shouldn’t expand because we haven’t fixed every road and sidewalk in town. The fact is every year we have committed several hundred thousand dollars to roads, sidewalks, water, sewer and gas lines. We have invested thousands more to upgrade recreational and other city facilities. Any city leader who would sit back and wait to expand and grow their city because they haven’t fixed everything is in my opinion very shortsighted and simply lacks vision. Imagine this nation or state or any progressive community waiting until all their infrastructure was fixed before they considered any other growth opportunities. That, fellow citizens, would forever be a dead city.
Look, the fact is, no, we haven’t fixed everything and my guess is we probably never will. Another point is, time is not on our side. While many cities around us have adopted annexation plans to grow their cities and incorporate areas that have growth potential, Alderman Owens is suggesting this is not the right time for the City of Holly Springs. She says the people she talks to don’t want annexation. The people I talk to do want annexation and some even wonder why it’s taking so long.
The cost analysis of this annexation plan has shown that the expenses involved will be minimal and the demand on the staff easily maintainable. Alderman Owens is entitled to her opinion but the facts simply do not support her opinion. We have not just come up with the idea and plan for annexation overnight. We have enlisted the expertise of well-qualified professionals to aid us in the planning of this annexation. We have taken more than three years and looked at numerous options. We have gotten to a plan that is feasible and that makes sense as we try to prepare for the future growth of this city. All I am asking is for the residents of this town and those areas we are including in this annexation plan to look at the facts and I think most will agree that the future growth and development of this town should move forward and that there will not be at better time for that growth opportunity than now.
Mayor of Holly Springs