Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite has provided residents with a very detailed “State of the City” report, which was released this week.
In a capsule of the past year for Southaven, Musselwhite said, “While it was a tough year, we must still count the many blessings bestowed upon us as we experienced an incredibly successful year! I don’t know a more accurate way to tell you than, our city is thriving in every way! We are enjoying tremendous success right now.”
Musselwhite said the city priorities of public safety, aggressive infrastructure improvement, revitalization, beautification, and recreational enhancement, “will continue to make our city more economically attractive, leading to continued financial stability, and ultimately making our city an even better place to live.”
Writing about progress in public safety, the Southaven mayor reported on the progress toward a new Fire Station #5 along Starlanding Road, fire hydrant expansion in annexed areas of the city, the city’s purchase and usage of police body cameras, and police officer recruitment and retention,
In the area of infrastructure, Musselwhite spoke about street resurfacing, drainage improvement projects, Stateline Road resurfacing, the Snowden Grove pedestrian project, the Central/Snowden Grove Park Multi-Use Trail, Main Street Pedestrian project, May Boulevard Pedestrian Bridge, Getwell Road widening project south of Church Road, the Horn Lake Creek Bridge project, Pepperchase Road extension, automated meter reader water system, and what Musselwhite called Greenprint 2040, the metropolitan Memphis plan to make the entire area more pedestrian friendly with sidewalks and bike lanes.
Addressing revitalization and beautification, Musselwhite focused on the renovation of City Hall, the addition of monument signs for city entrances and high-profile intersections, the Greenbrook Parkway median landscaping project, wildflower beautification project in the median of I-55 between Church and Goodman Roads, the city’s right-of-way maintenance improvement program, West End Business District incentive progress, Community Pride Awards and Adopt-A-Spot Beautification program.
The year 2020 has been a significant one for parks and recreation in Southaven, as Musselwhite highlighted the addition of the Greenbrook Park Indoor Softball Facility, the pavement project for Springfest at Snowden Grove Park, the new soccer complex and the expansion of the youth soccer program in the city, the addition of artificial turf at Snowden Grove and Greenbrook parks,
Another significant in Southaven for 2020 came in economic development with the announcement of the Google North American Operations Center, the construction of the Medline facility west of I-55, the completion of the Spectra Laboratories, the continued construction of Silo Square.
Musselwhite said residential building permits in the past year totaled d474, an increase from 358 in 2019 and the highest since 2007, before the last recession hit.
He said there have been 363 new businesses opened in the state’s third-largest city, which was up from 251 the year previous, and the new businesses created more than 850 jobs in the retail and service industry.
Other highlights were the stability in millage, as the mayor noted there had not been a millage increase in Southaven since 2006, growing sales tax revenues of more than $14.75 million, the second highest in the city’s history, the city’s reserve fund balance of $6.8 million, up from $2.4 million in 2014, and the growing real estate values.
“We expect another great year for the City of Southaven in 2021 as we have all the vital signs for continued success,” Musselwhite said.
The complete State of the City report from Musselwhite is found on the city’s official website.