Greene County and Greeneville Mayors Look Back and Forward | Local news
As the books close in 2021, Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison and Greeneville Mayor WT Daniels believe Greene and Greeneville County have many accomplishments they can be proud of when they look back on the last year.
They also hope to achieve more achievements in the New Year.
Morrison said he was especially proud of the county government’s fiscal management in 2021.
“I am proud of our financial management. This was the first year of our credit upgrade from A rating to AAA3 rating. This serves as a signal to anyone looking to trust Greene County that we are well capitalized and well managed, ”said Morrison. “It gives us the financial boost and the muscle to be able to recruit industry and companies. This allows us to make our future even brighter.
Morrison said he also viewed the formation of an industrial development board involving Greene County, Tusculum and Greeneville as an accomplishment. The council’s objective is to acquire a large portion of the former Greene Valley property for future development.
“Being able to form this council was an important step in putting this property in the hands of local control. We were able to do something with the Greene Valley property where we will have it in local hands and chart the fate of that property which could help us recruit more industries and businesses, ”said Morrison.
Morrison said he was proud of the county-wide use of the gas station over the past year which he said has saved $ 1,000 per week in taxpayer dollars and l purchase of the Takoma hospital building, which will house the county offices.
“A great thing we have accomplished has been the purchase of the old Takoma Hospital building. Once we are fully established, this will consolidate a number of operations within county government and provide faster and more financially efficient services to the public, ”Morrison said.
“Our county-wide phone system has also been modernized, saving thousands of dollars and making us more efficient in our communication. It replaced an archaic system that was over 30 years old, ”he said.
Morrison noted that many security improvements have also been made to the police department and the courthouse.
“Replacing our old jail doors with new ones has enhanced the safety of our employees and reduced the accountability of the county,” said Morrison. “We were also able to install a new scanner for the courthouse and secure a grant that upgraded video arraignment equipment so that inmates did not have to be transported in person to the room. audience. This further improved safety.
The paving of the new EMS facility and Election Commission parking lot, as well as radio system upgrades for County Volunteer Firefighters, range upgrades, and 911 dispatch upgrades also took off. been achievement points for the county in 2021, Morrison said. , as well as conservation work.
“I would say the rehabilitation of the Bible Covered Bridge and the Chuckey National Guard Crash Victims Memorial were very significant accomplishments of the past year. We have been able to restore the honor and dignity of these two historic sites that mean so much to the people of Greene County and are so important to our history, ”said Morrison.
FOUR PILLARS OF THE FUTURE
While Morrison has said he’s happy with what he thinks the county has accomplished in 2021, he looks to 2022.
“Truly, the Takoma building, broadband, Greene Valley ownership and continued business recruiting are the four pillars of the New Year for the county,” Morrison said. “We are looking forward to the start or renovation of Takoma and our move there. We will continue to focus on preparing our community for the 21st century economy with the deployment of Greeneville Light & Power broadband. This is something that is needed by government and school and will make us much more attractive for better, high paying jobs if we are wired for the 21st century.
The Greene Valley property “will help us build our economic strength so that we continue to become more versatile and weather the storm in tougher economic times,” said Morrison. “We will continue to manage our government so that we can take advantage of the opportunities presented to us without having to change the tax rate. I am proud that we are able to seize such opportunities. Because you know what they say about opportunity: it only hits once.
Morrison said he also hopes the county government and respective city governments will continue to work together in 2022.
“We had a very clear line of communication between the municipalities and the county government and I’m proud of it. We’ve all worked together and pulled in the same direction, and I hope that continues into the new year, ”said Morrison.
DANIELS SEES PROGRESS IN DOWNTOWN
Daniels, the mayor of Greeneville, said he saw great progress in the city in 2021 and hopes that will continue in 2022.
For Daniels, what he considers the biggest achievement of the past year, the start of the Depot Street revitalization project, is long overdue.
“The revitalization project underway in the city center has been a subject that has been talked about for years and years, and I am proud that the council of mayors and aldermen has finally invested in it. I’m proud of the city’s decision to take it on, ”Daniels said. “I hope that the owners will make investments in the properties themselves, as some have already done. We hope our initiative will be matched.
Daniels said he was also happy that more parking had been approved for the downtown area as part of the Crowfoot Alley parking project.
“I am also proud of the measures we are taking in terms of downtown parking. We have approved the Crowfoot Alley parking lot, and once that is complete it will be a positive change for many downtown business customers, ”Daniels said.
Daniels said he was also pleased with the progress made at Greeneville Municipal Airport over the past year. The airport recently put a self-service station into service and started leasing tankers, among other improvements.
“There have been a lot of positive changes at the airport. It is very important for the city and the county. This greatly helps us in recruiting industries and companies. We have invested a lot of money in it and we hope we can get a return on that investment, ”Daniels said.
Daniels also stressed the importance of the new fire hall which is being built between Forest and Carson streets. It will replace the station located at the intersection of Vann Road and the Asheville Expressway, which is over 60 years old.
“We are in the process of building a new fire station and we are committed to purchasing a new fire truck for our city. This will result in significant home insurance savings for our citizens as the city strives to maintain the high rating of our insurance services office. This gives our citizens lower home insurance rates, ”Daniels said.
ISO ratings are determined by how well a community is protected by a fire department. A rating of 1 is the best, while a rating of 10 is the worst.
Daniels said Greeneville currently has an ISO rating of 2.
“GO IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION”
In 2022, Daniels hopes to see progress continue downtown.
“I look forward to further improvements to downtown next year, with continued work on Depot Street and the next phases of downtown redevelopment, such as work on West Main Street,” said Daniels said.
Daniels said he was also anxious for the Industrial Development Board looking after the former Greene Valley property to move forward.
“I’m excited to put this advice in motion and hope to see something happen with the Greene Valley property. Greeneville will provide the utilities to the property, so we’ll be a part of it as it progresses, ”Daniels said.
Overall, Daniels said, he believes Greeneville is making positive progress through good leadership in town and across the county.
“I think we are moving in the right direction at Greeneville. The Greene County Partnership led by Jeff Taylor does a terrific job recruiting businesses and industries here. Greenville is really fortunate to have great people and great leadership, ”said Daniels. “I’m happy with what we’ve been able to accomplish. We have some very good people here in Greeneville and in Greene County. I think Kevin Morrison, the county mayor, does a great job and is fun to work with, as have the other leaders in the municipality. Greeneville is blessed.