City of Thomson officials look to have their plates full in 2004.
A number of projects -- both new and not-so-new -- will be addressed this year in the Camellia City.
One of the things at the top of most every local official's wishlist is a greater emphasis on city beautification and upkeep. A movement to revitalize the downtown area began last summer, and the city is hoping to receive some funds from a $950,000 state grant application to start the formal process of repairing sidewalks, preserving Journal Street and updating city streetlights, among other things.
However, even if the city receives a smaller dollar amount than is expected, work will still be done to improve downtown.
"Regardless of the outcome of the grant, we'll still be taking steps to make changes in the way downtown appears and to make it more friendly to come in and shop," said City Administrator Bob Flanders.
In November, the Thomson City Council announced that they would be stepping up code enforcement throughout the city, making sure that residents keep their property looking good. And the city looks to continue in ensuring that residents are maintaining their property.
"In the forthcoming year the city of Thomson will place a major emphasis on code enforcement for empty residential and commercial dwelling units and unsightly lots, the removal of loose tires, and the policing of grocery carts from various places around town that are strewn haphazardly," said Mr. Flanders. "We're looking at property owners to act more responsibly and be aware of how they're impacting their neighbors."
Mr. Flanders also said that he expects preliminary work to begin on the placement of the joint city and county complex.
Mayor Bob Knox said that the city will be looking at expanding its city limits in 2004 as part of a way both to stimulate and maintain growth.
"We've gotten a little behind in expanding the city limits," he said. "Growth occurs, but you've got to keep growth. What's happened now is that growth has sort of hopped over city limits, and if you're not careful your city can become stifled and not be able to grow as any other community or organism should continue to grow."
Other items in the queue for 2004 are various water and sewer upgrades and expansions, the addition of several new hangars at the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport and updating the Thomson-McDuffie County website.