Politics

Editorial: City must be counseled for efforts to enhance Aiken | Opinions and Editorials



Every farmer is aware of that it’s important to until the soil to provide a bumper crop.

That precept additionally applies to enterprise, and the City of Aiken has been doing it on quite a lot of initiatives.

“We’ve been tilling the soil for quite a long time,” Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon stated lately.

During his State of the City speech, delivered by way of video to a digital viewers final week, Osbon outlined all of the thrilling initiatives town is at present concerned with. Some are extra seen than others, however all of the initiatives require cautious nurturing and steering.

The Richland Avenue hall is the principle focus of exercise. From the outdated Aiken County Hospital redevelopment on the west finish to the brand new Aiken Steeplechase Association facility on the east facet, there’s loads of exercise on this essential stretch. In between these two landmarks, there’s the redevelopment of Hotel Aiken and surrounding properties, the brand new Municipal Building for metropolis headquarters and plans to enhance the Aiken Farmers Market and the neighborhood round it.

There is a lot occurring on the Southside, too. Demolition of Aiken Mall has begun, some six years after the sale of the property was introduced. Plans name for 256 flats to be constructed together with a multi-use path alongside the perimeter. To alleviate congestion on Whiskey Road, town has proposed a connector with Powderhouse Road. That will take practically 1 / 4 of visitors off Whiskey Road and unlock some 400 acres for future progress and improvement.

“I’m happy to announce that we’ll be turning dirt to make this happen within this calendar year,” Osbon stated.

Equally essential, however not as high-profile as a few of the different initiatives, are plans to guard town’s water provide. The buy of two,500 acres on the Mason Branch reservoir will guarantee a “clean, adequate water supply for our primary above ground water source, Shaws Creek,” the mayor stated. A brand new water remedy plant with fashionable expertise will exchange the one which was constructed in 1954.

In the center of town is Hitchcock Woods, and the Sand River Stormwater Project has gotten underway with huge underground vaults which are being positioned close to the South Boundary entrance. The vaults will eradicate stormwater erosion issues, and a brand new inexperienced area will likely be a sexy and helpful gateway to Hitchcock Woods.

Osbon’s video confirmed him at many of the places he talked about, and the picture of him standing atop the vaults in Hitchcock Woods put into perspective simply how massive that undertaking actually is. It additionally exhibits town isn’t afraid to sort out initiatives, regardless of the dimensions.

“It’s been a year of action,” Osbon stated.

We applaud the outcomes of the onerous work of Aiken’s leaders and behind-the-scenes employees. The basis has been set. Now, the hot button is to maintain cultivating Aiken’s panorama and enterprise alternatives for generations to return.




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