The 2019 State of the City was full of great information, as always. We appreciate the time and effort the city staff put into providing our members, and a sold-out crowd, with another great presentation. Our city has a lot to be proud of and a lot of exciting work ahead of them.
Our city, now representing 40,000+ residents, has a capital improvement list equaling $240 million. With $150 million of those dollars dedicated to transportation and infrastructure projects, Mayor Graham and City Administrator Victor Lay addressed the projects both currently underway and those on the near horizon.
5 Active Construction Projects:
- Crossings Circle North Bridge, $2.2 million, Fall 2019 completion
A public/private partnership to create a second exit/entrance to The Crossings
- Beechcroft Road widening, $4.6 million, December 2019 completion
3 lane widening and overpass bridge over CSX railroad
- Saturn Parkway Extension, $12.5 million, completion December 2019
Extend Saturn Parkway to a realigned Beechcroft Road
- Duplex Road Widening, $28 million, completion April 2020
Cost sharing project with TDOT to widen Duplex to 3 lanes
- Saturn Parkway and Port Royal Traffic Signals, $400,000, completion TBD
Install traffic signals at exit/entrance ramps of Saturn Pkwy at Port Royal Rd.
6 Future Construction Projects:
- Tom Lunn Road widening to 3 lanes, construction anticipated Fall 2019
- Port Royal/Commonwealth Dr. roundabout, design complete
- Buckner Lane widening to 5 lanes from Buckner Rd. to Duplex Rd., preliminary design to begin Spring 2019
- Buckner Road extensions to new interchange, preliminary design to begin mid 2019
- I-65 Interchange/exit at Buckner Rd. extension, preliminary design to begin mid 2019
- US-31 widening project, study to begin Fall 2019
It is exciting to see these long-anticipated projects coming to fruition for our city. I believe the connectivity of our road system will boost the productivity of our economy. Our service provider offices often hear common traffic reasons for patient, client and employee tardiness. How many times has a retailer or restaurant manager heard from a customer that would have loved to come and patronize their business but traffic prevented them from doing so. While I am not naïve to think that these projects will solve all of our traffic woes, I do believe the city has prioritized a CIP that will ease our major thoroughfares and encourage more of a shop local mentality.
Recruiting and retaining business in Spring Hill has been and continues to be a high priority for our city’s economic development efforts. Mayor Graham explained that while the city cannot control everything that comes into the city, thanks to our freedoms in capitalism, they can identify gaps in our local services and recruit those types of businesses to make their home in Spring Hill. Some key wins for new business this past year include manufacturer Faurecia, John Maher Builders’ Station Hill Office Suites, The Columns mixed use development adjacent to The Crossings, and Union Sportsman’s Alliance headquarters. The recently approved Place Branding initiative will also aid the city’s economic development efforts by establishing an identity that can then be used to further attract key businesses. Some key retention wins this past year include the Healthy Petz expansion and the retention of all tenants at the city’s recently acquired Northfield complex. I believe the city has put together a solid recruitment and retention strategy that will advance our local economy and I personally look forward to assisting in any way that I can.
As a Chamber member it is so important to understand and engage in the city’s strategies, which is exactly why the State of the City is always a popular luncheon. The content presented at this past luncheon should have all of our members excited for the impact that all of the projects will have on their business. While it may be hard to look past the construction barrels, and the challenges that come from them, I believe the future Spring Hill that was presented will provide customers with better access to your business. I also believe that the service industry gaps that our city is looking to fill rather than recruiting businesses that are already represented, is a respectable approach that values our current business owners. I look forward to the many more connections made across these industries that will better balance our economy and increase everyone’s bottom line because together we create a better Spring Hill.
- Rebecca Melton, Executive Director, Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce