Energetic Henderson provides his “State of the Town”
Photo: Walls Mayor Keidron Henderson provides his “State of the Town” address on Saturday, April 8, at the Walls Fire Department. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
Keidron Henderson, Mayor of the Town of Walls, talked a lot about all the energy happening in his community during his State of the Town address Saturday at the Walls Fire Department.
The use of the word energy was a casual reference to two things: the impending addition of a solar energy farm approved for Walls last year by state officials, and the energy generated by the many changes and improvements happening in the DeSoto County town. Those items Henderson enumerated were punctuated in his address by the phrase, “No only that…”
The mayor, with his board of aldermen, has overseen town government the past two years, and Henderson felt it was time to let residents be aware of what has been done and what is planned.
“We just wanted to give a report card on the first two years of this administration,” Henderson said. “We had a lot of lofty goals and we’ve met, by and large, every goal that we set out. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
One of the first areas touched on during Henderson’s address was in public safety. He spotlighted the improvements in the police department since former chief Herb Brewer’s guilty plea on embezzlement charges in January 2021.
“We hired a new police chief and we want to clean up corruption in our police department,” Henderson said. “We’ve made an effort to keep our police department firmly intact and engaged in our community.”
He also noted the purchase of a new fire engine and the future construction of a new fire training facility at the Walls Volunteer Fire Department.
“It’s a state of the art, fire academy-grade training facility to keep our firefighters on the cutting edge of training and our community safe,” Henderson said. “Our fire rating has increased from a 4 to a 5, which is huge. It’s going to put money back in the pocketbook of our citizens.”
The mayor also said the training faciily will help in recruiting new firefighters to the local volunteer department and with it being in Walls, fireifghters won’t have to leave town and go to other places to train.
“For our firefighters to get the essential training that they need, we have to go to a neighboring training academy, which essentially means we either have to close down our fire department or have another fire department come in and man our fire department while our guys go out and get the training,” he said.
Owned and operated by Wildflower Solar- a subsidiary of Clearwater Energy – the solar energy farm will produce power to benefit Toyota’s Blue Springs facility in Union County and thus help Toyota meet their green energy goals. Toyota has entered into a virtual purchase agreement with Wildflower Solar and will continue to purchase energy from TVA. It’s expected about $400,000 annually in property tax money will come from the solar farm.
“There’s going to be a lot of money going into our school system,” Henderson said. “We have three schools in our town and education is super important. Our children are going to get a direct benefit from the solar farm and we’re excited about it.”
Board of Supervisors President Ray Denison, of Walls, says the Highway 61 corridor that includes Walls is gaining more attention, which the town can use to its benefit.
“Across the nation, and even across the world, we are on the radar for such sites,” Denison said. “We want to grow in a quality manner and that’s what your leaders are doing and that’s what their agenda is. As county supervisor I strongly support that.”
Growing opportunities for youth is another item Henderson touched on. The summer program with Sacred Heart Southern Missions is being revitalized and last summer had 50 children involved.
“They took field trips and we want to just bolster those efforts,” Henderson said. “Another thing we have on the horizon is to be able to do a youth leadership summit of boys and girls and we are actively looking for partnerships sponsors right now to execute that event this summer.”
Saturday was not just about speeches, however. With the day being part of the Easter weekend, the Easter Bunny was there to greet kids and have pictures taken. Food and refreshments were also served.
Henderson sees a lot happening in his town but adds the challenge is now to continue thriving off the energy.
One thought on “Energetic Henderson provides his “State of the Town””
Great coverage for this event! Hope to see you “down the road”!!
All the best!