Tribute to Mayor Jill Holland
, 2022-11-29 11:53:41,
By Joel Washburn
Today, McKenzie’s new mayor Ryan Griffin takes the oath of office for a four-year term. He has pledged to continue on the successes of retiring Mayor Jill Holland. Griffin plans to continue the city’s growth in new ways.
Just a reflection on Mayor Holland’s tenure.
*Her administration reopened and renovated the historic Park Theatre after being closed for more than a decade. Professionals said to build a whole new theatre and abandon Park Theatre.
*Purchased the historic railroad depot, recently converting it to a meeting venue and railroad history museum. Soon, the school’s newly formed alumni association will display its historic items there.
*Added a professional disc golf course at McKenzie City Park.
*Added a dog park at McKenzie City Park.
*Added a walking track at McKenzie City Park.
*Added a Splash Pad in downtown McKenzie, along with a new pavilion.
*Added pickleball courts (under construction).
*Added the indoor/outdoor McKenzie Farmers Market in a building that professionals said should be razed.
*Spent millions replacing water and sewer lines to eliminate the city from a state moratorium on adding major water-usage customers to the public system. That was accomplished in recent months. Former Mayor Walter Winchester also worked toward ridding the city of the moratorium.
*Upgraded the street lighting to LED, added free wi-fi downtown, changed the heating and cooling systems in city-owned buildings to more efficient units – all under a single contract.
*Beautified the downtown Veterans Park and other areas.
*Received grants to assist downtown business owners with repainting and repairing the exteriors of their businesses.
*Worked closely with McKenzie Industrial Board in the procurement of the vacant hospital and helping a company purchase the facility. She also worked with the IDB to start the development of a residential subdivision on real estate owned by the IDB and across State Route 22 from the high school. That is still in the early stages as the IDB is working toward developing the first residential subdivision in the city limits in more than five decades. This is in anticipation of the growth of the city with the addition of Ford’s BlueOval Project and the anticipated addition of many supplier industries in the area.
*McKenzie was one of the…
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