MARION, S.C. -- Everybody worked hard from the Hurricane Florence cleanup. We have a new fire truck that lowered our insurance service office class rating from a four to a three.

We have new firefighter air pack units on a grant that didn’t cost the city, because we were able to sell the old ones. The new packs have infrared cameras built in. They can see heat and detect hot spots.

Our police department has a new chief in Tony Flowers. We voted for a new municipal judge in Lille Ann Sanders. She has 30 years of experience with probation and parole.

We have a new recreation department director in Cliff Wilbanks. He has been doing a great job getting our youth sports and other tournaments coming to our town. We’re going to have AAU basketball tournaments, and our city council recognized the 12U basketball team for the second year in a row for winning a state championship. It’s a bunch of good young men playing basketball and good coaches helping them with that.

The recreation department will also start adult play at the gym from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursda to play basketball. It’s already open for the kids throughout the day.

The citizens were so kind to vote and approve our capital sales tax projects. Our largest project is the Green Street Sports Complex expansion. Our plans are to build a football field that could also be used as a soccer field; a dedicated soccer field that would give us two fields, and then we’re going to build a full-size baseball field with landscaping. That way we will have all of our outdoor sports at Green Street.

The other portion of the sales tax will go to the renovation of City Hall. That will include painting, carpeting, replacement of windows and making it Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. It also will include security measures and upgrades to our council chambers. We’re also going to transition all of our light fixtures to more energy-efficient lighting.

It’s been a busy year. We have a new grapple truck, and our street sweeper is doing great. The council just approved the purchase of a new vacuum truck. It’s been a good year for public works.

The 27th annual Foxtrot Festival is coming up May 18. They got a good band picked out, and the vendors are coming.

The Historic Marion Revitalization Association is helping with downtown redevelopment improvements. We offered two $7,500 façade grants this year. Last year, it was $5,000. We’re working to try to improve that next year. You can see some of the businesses on Main Street have taken advantage of that.

We have some cool little things happening in the city of Marion, and we’re doing pretty well.

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