(DeSoto County Economic Development Council Release) – Milwaukee Tool is locating a third distribution center in Olive Branch to meet a need for increased distribution capacity. The project is an $8.7 million corporate investment and has created nearly 100 jobs over the last year in preparation for the distribution center’s opening this spring. Milwaukee Tool is an industry-leading manufacturer of heavy-duty portable electric power tools and accessories for consumers worldwide. The company will locate the new distribution center in IDI’s Crossroads Distribution Center Park.
Mayor’s General Update... 2019 was an incredible year for the City of Southaven as many long-planned projects became reality and we continue to build upon our economic success of the past. We expect another great year in 2020 as all the vital signs for success are thriving. Our 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. REVITALIZATION OF “ORIGINAL SOUTHAVEN” West End Business District Incentive Progress…Buildings were renovated in 2019 as businesses recognize the value of this incentive package to build new or renovate existing buildings in this designated district on Stateline Road between Highway 51 and Airways and Highway 51 between Stateline and Dorchester Drive. These incentives include a 7-year tax freeze for ad valorem taxes for the increase in taxable value as well as a waiver of license, permit, and utility fees. Specifically, Wendy’s demolished their old building and completed a new facility in December, 2019 and the Magnolia Shops development at Stateline and Millbranch is currently under renovation. City Hall Renovation…a $1.9 million project to renovate one of the oldest commercial buildings in Southaven which will improve the safety of many City employees, improve the City’s marketing image, and add to the revitalization attractiveness of the original business district currently under construction with completion projected for March, 2020. Stateline Road Resurfacing…a $1.7 million project to resurface Stateline Road between I-55 east to Tchulahoma and Horn Lake Road west to Highway 301 to be completed including new striping in January, 2020. Highway 51 Intersection Modernization Project…a $609,037 project to remove the old span-wire traffic signals and replace with beautiful mast arms with signals that have modern traffic communication and pedestrian capabilities completed in June, 2019 Monument Sign at I-55/Main Street…the first, beautiful, brick-based monument sign with landscaping and lighting was completed in November, 2020 at this original entrance location showing our pride in the City’s original business district. Horn Lake Creek Bridge Repair…a $2.4 million project to repair the Stateline Road Bridge over Horn Lake Creek that received financial assistance from the State’s Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund in the amount of $1,989,500 with construction to begin in mid-2020. Arena Floor-Leveling…a $600,000 project planned and discussed in 2017 which leveled the oval section of the floor allowing more versatile use of this facility for multiple purposes in addition to volleyball and further tremendously improving the total use of the facility which was completed in August, 2019 Street Resurfacing for Wards 1 & 2…59.57% ($1,528,800/$2,566,241) of our general budget allocation for City streets was allocated to improving streets in need of resurfacing in our original neighborhoods in 2019. Greenbrook/Stateline Median Landscaping Project…a $20,576 project to remove poorly-grown crape myrtle trees and add new landscaping to improve the look of one of our original residential neighborhood entrances completed in October, 2019 Main Street Pedestrian Project…a $1.5 million project which will add sidewalks from Highway 51 along Main Street to Saucier Park on Northwest Drive projected to begin construction in mid-2020 Main Street Decorative Light Poles…a project to remove many old, cluttered light poles on Main Street between Highway 51 and Northwest Drive and replace with beautiful two-headed decorative poles which will provide better lighting and, along with the Main Street Pedestrian Project, improve revitalization attractiveness in our original business district with pricing and construction timelines to be determined in late 2020 CITY BEAUTIFICATION Monument Signs for City Entrances and High-Profile Intersections…a project to add beautiful, brick-based signs with landscape lighting on I-55 and other intersections to beautify our city and improve our economic attractiveness began in 2019 with the completion of the I-55/Main and I-55/Star Landing signs with Goodman/Malone to begin construction in the spring of 2020. Community Pride Awards & Adopt-a-Spot Beautification Program…successful use continues with these two programs to award private property owners for their exceptional efforts to beautify their properties and volunteer to beautify common areas of residential subdivisions which improves property values and the economic attractiveness of our city. District Banners…banners have been added in our new Metropolitan District as well as a new beautiful blue color design for our West End District banners. AGGRESSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT Street Resurfacing…$2,566,241 was allocated and completed in 2019 for our neighborhood and arterial streets. The City is currently researching a paving proposal to acquire equipment and hire personnel to resurface streets rather than contract these services, with the hope of being more efficient with funding and aggressively paving more streets each year. Drainage Improvement…$500,000 was allocated to complete projects that had caused problems for many years. Getwell South Widening Project…a federally-funded $8.7 million project to widen Getwell Road to five lanes from Church Road south to Star Landing Road with median and pedestrian paths pending five-years planning with right-of-way acquisition projected to be complete by late 2020 and construction beginning in early 2021 Pepperchase Road Extension…a state, county, city-co-op-funded $4.1 million project to extend this road from the Landers Center south to either Star Landing or Highway 51 currently under design with construction projected for late 2020 Snowden Grove Pedestrian Project…a $769,500 federally-funded project to add a 10-foot multi-use trail throughout Snowden Grove Park currently under construction with completion projected in February, 2020 Central/Snowden Grove Parks Multi-Use Trail…eight-year pending project moving dirt in the spring of 2020 connecting these two major parks with a 10-foot pedestrian trail routing south on Tchulahoma Road to May Blvd, then east to connect to the trail inside Snowden Grove Park. May Blvd Pedestrian Bridge…an estimated $1.7 million project to safely connect the major pedestrian trails and numerous pending developments on both sides of Getwell at May Blvd without slowing vehicular traffic, designed in early 2020 with construction projected to begin in late 2020 Greenprint 2040…the City continues to cooperate with this Memphis-Metro plan to do our part in making our city and region more pedestrian friendly. Sidewalks and bike lanes will continue to be added with new developments and existing streets as funding allows. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Silo Square…a $200 million 228-acre mixed-use development with a town square and pedestrian paths began construction in mid-2019 with initial business occupancies projected in mid-2020 Metropolitan Business District…a new business district created and defined in 2018 for the Church Road/I-55 area to incentivize and bring quality commercial development for this high-profile area has already been successful with attracting unprecedented, pending developments to be announced in 2020 Hilton Embassy Suites…developers are considering a different location after a 2-year planning process to bring a $40-million luxury hotel to the Metropolitan Business District. Industrial Development…an incredible year welcoming $134 million of capital investments into our city to use 1,923,600 square feet of new facility space while creating 830 new jobs for manufacturing and distribution operations including global names such as Medline and Spectra Labs (Fresenius Medical Care) Service, Retail, and Other Business…248 new businesses opened in 2019 creating 951 new jobs. New Building Permits…405 new residential permits (highest since 2007) issued in 2019 for a total new property value of $41,961,709 in new construction as well as 22 new commercial permits with a value of $98,091,542 PARKS & RECREATION ENHANCEMENT & EXPANSION Field of Dreams Playground…$448,400 special-needs playground was completed in April, 2019 adjacent to the Field of Dreams baseball field near the south entrance of Snowden Grove Park. Greenbrook Indoor Softball Facility…7,800 square-foot facility is currently under construction near the main entrance to Greenbrook Park that will house four hitting/pitching tunnels with removable nets for a large multi-purpose training area, offices, concessions, bathrooms, and general assembly area projected to be completed and operational in March, 2020 Springfest BBQ Pavement Project…a $1,324,162 paving and landscaping project currently under construction to eliminate the nuisance of mud and poor drainage, which will also beautify this area and serve a dual purpose for additional concert parking projected to be completed in March, 2020 Soccer Expansion…a $5 million project currently under construction to add 7 new fields including bathroom, concession, and office facilities to property just north of the bowling alley at Pine Tar Alley/Snowden Lane which will complement the 5 existing fields on Stateline Road to bring more participation and use for all with completion projected in late 2020 Turf at Snowden Grove & Greenbrook Parks…The City is currently studying the cost/benefit ratio of replacing the infield and foul-line natural grass areas of the baseball and softball fields with artificial turf. There is significant cost savings with field maintenance and opportunity-cost savings from eliminated rain-outs that have initiated this consideration. A decision has not been made at this time, but expected in 2020. PUBLIC SAFETY Fire Station #5…land has been secured for this long-planned project adjacent to the curve on Starlanding Road just west of Getwell for construction of a new fire station, currently being designed, to improve protection to the southeastern part of our city and potentially improve our already- excellent “Class 3” fire rating with construction projected to begin in late 2020 Fire Hydrant Expansion in Annexed Areas…completion of phase 6 of 6 of a $7.4 million project to increase the size of water lines to meet Southaven’s fire hydrant standard and improve fire protection in all annexed areas is projected to be under construction along Stateline Road near the northwestern edge of our city in mid-2020 Police Body Cameras…the City has been researching the benefits, costs, and implementation plan of using body cameras for our officers for the last two years and plans to begin the initial phases of demonstration in 2020. FINANCIAL STABILITY No Property Tax Millage Increases…Southaven continues to be the largest municipality in Desoto County, but only the 4th highest taxing entity of the 7 total. No Utility Rate Increases Growing Sales Tax Revenue…$15,148,749 revenue in 2019 is the highest in the City’s history and shows an excellent growth trend up from $12,499,170 in 2013 Government Finance Officers Association Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting (4th consecutive year)…a prestigious award given only to about 5% of approximately 89,000 cities/counties nationwide for going beyond typical accounting procedures to improve governmental financial transparency Net Reserve Policy (Unassigned Fund Balance)…the City continues to maintain a minimum 12% fund balance as a percentage of general fund expenditures (Fiscal Year ’19 Audit to be completed in spring of 2020).
Customers of First Tennessee Bank in DeSoto County and elsewhere are seeing changes in the name of their favorite bank branch, as the bank has now become First Horizon Bank. First Horizon National Corporation recently hosted a preview celebration in downtown Memphis to unveil the company’s new logo and building signage. The new brand name and logo officially took effect at the close of business on Oct. 25. All brand signage changes are scheduled to be completed early next year. The new name reflects the company’s alignment of its banking, wealth management and fixed income businesses under the First Horizon brand, said Mississippi Community Bank President Michael Parker. “We feel that the new name reflects our company’s alignment of our banking divisions,” Parker said. “We’ve had initiatives to be more cost-effective where we can reinvest in our client, in the form of global technology, through our app, online banking, just better services and products for the client to have a more engaged experience with First Horizon.” The move continues recent action by First Horizon, which in June announced it would unify its family of companies – First Tennessee Bank, Capital Bank, FTB Advisors and FTN Financial – under the First Horizon brand. “Our bank was founded in Memphis and we’ve had the number one market share in Tennessee for a number of years,” Parker said. “We’ve expanded into Mississippi, Houston (Texas), the Carolinas, and Florida. We felt like adapting with our name branding to First Horizon just better meets that growth initiative.” Parker said customers can expect to see the new First Horizon branding be more prevalent among the bank locations. “Sign updates will be ongoing through the end of the year and into 2020,” Parker pointed out. “As updates come to debit cards and checks, we’ll update our branding. There’s nothing the customer has to do. We’ll continue to keep our clients updated and keep them aware of what to do next.” There are four bank branches in DeSoto County. Two are in Southaven and one each in Olive Branch and Hernando. There is also a location in Senatobia. Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.
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