Harlem Mayor Bobby Culpepper wants input on the city's completed and planned projects.
To that end, Culpepper recently gathered city leaders and members of the city's boards and committees at the senior center to share information and solicit ideas.
"The more people we have involved, the better job we're going to do," he said.
Culpepper explained details of the recently completed senior center and Mary E. Sanders community center, the Glenn Philips Memorial Park, the streetscape and former Columbia Theatre facade projects.
He also explained the slow process of designing, qualifying contractors and accepting bid proposals for the Harlem Department of Public Safety building to be constructed on Milledgeville Road at Louisville Road. Hopefully, he said, construction will conclude by the end of next year.
"You're going to get a building that is well done," Culpepper said, adding that it will be an example of the type of architecture city officials want to promote. "This gives us an opportunity to set the trend of what we'd like to see."
Culpepper also explained that work is ongoing inside the former Columbia Theatre, thanks to in-kind donations and volunteers. But the renovation is dependent on available funds.
Members of the city's Planning and Zoning, Historic Preservation, Columbia Theatre and Recreation committees, the Tree Board and Housing Authority attended the meeting, eager to hear about the plans.
"It helps for everyone to be on the same page," said Tim Farr, a Planning and Zoning member. "That's a good thing."
To stay ahead of expected growth, city leaders are planning to expand the water and sewer-treatment plants and to extend water service to the McDuffie County line.
Also, city officials are working on an Urban Redevelopment Plan that, with the city's Comprehensive Plan, will help guide development to maintain the small town's integrity.
Culpepper said he values the opinions of the board and committee members to help shape ideas for projects. The meetings, which he hopes to hold on a regular basis, will also help keep the members and residents informed.
Culpepper also said he would like to develop a city-owned stretch of Sandy Run Creek into walking trails similar to the Trails at Euchee Creek in Grovetown.
An outdoor market and pavilion are planned for the current fire station by the railroad tracks. The station will be vacated when the public safety building is complete.
"Anything that drives people into downtown to support businesses is good," Culpepper said.
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