MULLINS, S.C. -- Another year (2018) came and went, and I find myself with two years left in my term to accomplish a lot of things. The citizens of Mullins have witnessed many positive changes, but more are in store. Forward progress is our focus.

The Mullins City Council and I have worked diligently to promote and enhance a positive "quality of life" environment for our citizens and county. The council has made great efforts to promote and encourage local accountability and fiscal responsibility.

Here are some of the positive elements of growth and change within our city in 2018:

>> Provided aid and support to the families of Nichols, Sellers and other areas of Marion County that suffered devastating losses during Hurricane Florence.

>> Partnered with Anderson Brothers Bank to facilitate the revitalization of Main Street buildings and develop beautifully landscaped parking areas on East and West Front Street.

>> Partnered with Florence-Darlington Tech to grow the Mullins campus with the addition of the Health Sciences building and assisted in securing a grant for the remodeling.

>> Continue to grow our highly successful recreation program. New tennis courts and a major retrofit to our gym are soon to become a reality.

>> A barbecue cook-off and street dance have become an integral part of our Golden Leaf Festival.

>> Updated our "Mullins Means" advertising program with billboards located throughout the county and monthly TV show "Hear in Mullins" promoting our chamber, local businesses and organizations.

>> Worked with officials of the R.J. Corman Railroad Group to bring rail service and much-needed track upgrades back to Mullins and Marion County.

>> Completion and rededication of the Mullins Library remodeling and landscaping project.

>> Completion and dedication of a third fire station that will expand fire protection services to the east of Mullins.

>> Purchase and delivery of an aerial ladder firetruck, a first for our city.

>> Increased efforts to work with the Greater Mullins Chamber of Commerce and local garden clubs to focus on Main Street growth and revitalization, which resulted in a net positive growth of six new businesses on Main Street and the relocation of two others.

We are working on our 2019 initiatives:

>> Focus on dilapidated buildings and unsightly lots throughout the city.

>> Downtown store front initiative.

>> Roadway improvements.

>> Develop City Leader's Focus Group.

>> Develop plans for our 150-year anniversary in 2022.

>> Consider utilizing green space for a "Healthy Start Park" with walking trail and exercise stations.

I have spent most of my life in this city that I love, and I see so many good things in store for our future. I foresee an influx of retirees by virtue of our proximity to the coast and business opportunities abound because of our proximity to the inland port. Having a premier brand of medical services, like MUSC, will bring about many positive changes to our area.

Then we have our most important asset of all: our people.

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