Mayor Ronnie Williams delivered his 2013 State of the Town Address at last week’s town council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Williams started his address invoking the motto “Think the possible,” as Garner has many big changes hopefully starting this year with the new bond referendum. Alongside these changes he noted the fast population growth in the area, “Garner’s population, now over 26,000, has grown by 50 percent since 2000 and by 76 percent since 1990.”
The Council was commended for their fiscal responsibility, especially member Buck Kennedy.
The mayor commented, “I do believe that there are other elected bodies that could learn a thing or two from this Council about how to put aside ideologies and personal agendas and all the rest of those impediments to achieve great things that benefit all citizens.”
Williams also mentioned the “wise” purchases of properties at 912 and 914 Seventh Avenue (formerly the Rex building and Fidelity Bank building) for just under 900,000 dollars and properties along Main St.
Next, Williams announced the new economic development – the Wakemed Healthplex. It will add 75 jobs initially with more to come. “The 50,000-square-foot, two-story building will include a 12-bed Emergency Department that’s open 24/7, plus state-of-the-art imaging and lab services…The healthplex, which will add $17 million in new investment in our community…” said Williams.
Almost all of the $500,000 has been raised for the Veteran’s Memorial and it is set to be dedicated on May 4.
Another highlight for Garner comes from its tremendously beautiful parks. Williams recognized the awards both White Deer Park and Lake Benson Park have won this past year.
“Garner’s White Deer Park has racked up another honor – a GOLD Stewardship Development Award from the Greater Triangle Stewardship Development Awards Program. White Deer Park also joined Lake Benson Park as a destination on the North Carolina Birding Trail,” said Williams.
The North Carolina Recreation & Park Association acknowledged the great efforts by the Town of Garner and the Towne Players in creating summer theater camps at GPAC for kids ages 5 to 19.
Mayor Williams highlighted the recent talent that has sprung from Garner’s art and theater community, noting both Scotty McCreery and Arlie Honeycutt as excellent examples.
“Most communities talk about programming such as that theater camp as being the type of thing that maybe, perhaps could nurture future stars. Here in Garner, there’s no maybe or perhaps about it,” said Williams.
Williams also took the time to mention each Council member and their influence and impact within Garner.
The mayor ended his address beautifully, “But I am confident that we will successfully confront and overcome these challenges in the way we always have in Garner – by citizens and Town officials working together to think the possible, to achieve the possible, and to always move forward to make Garner an even greater place to be.”
Contact Keally Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.