Myers announces re-election bid, touts successes during State of the City

Mark Myers doesn’t plan on hanging up his hat any time soon.

The Greenwood mayor announced his plan to run for re-election next year during his 11th State of the City address on Thursday.

Myers boasted a low tax rate and several projects, including the Greenwood Fieldhouse that is racing toward completion later this year. He addressed the state of the world and recent events in Ukraine, before thanking city employees and health care workers for their tireless work. He also addressed his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

“I’m happy to report with my medical treatment, and my kickboxing … (which has) helped me to stay in front of this condition, and I’m proud to say I’m stronger now and I feel better than I have in 20 years,” Myers told the crowd gathered at The Nest Event Center.

Among members of the audience on Thursday was one of Myers’s high school teachers.

The teacher penned a letter about the quality of life progress that’s been made under Myers’s term, something he touted during the event. The city is investing in its parks, including another $10.6 million to be invested this year. Quality of life is bigger than public amenities, though. It is about the city’s low tax rates, public safety, infrastructure and economic development. The city’s tax rate is among the lowest in the state, and its budget has remained balanced, he said.

“We are in our best financial position ever,” Myers said.

Greenwood is a model city because of its four guiding pillars — public safety, infrastructure, economic development and quality of place.

Myers highlighted the triumphs of the Greenwood police and fire departments, both of which are now fully-staffed. The city has added six new firefighters and filled four vacant positions in the fire department. Four lateral transfers and three new police officers brought the police department’s staff to 71, he said.

“These new and veteran team members are among the best of the Midwest,” he said.

Greenwood’s officers care about giving back to the community, and have taken part in community events. The department is also bolstered by technology improvements. The city expanded its license plate reader camera system, which it used to find 25 stolen vehicles, four missing people and four wanted people in 2021, Myers said.

He also touted the city’s infrastructure projects, including the recent completion of the Madison Avenue streetscape project, which widened portions of the street’s bike path. The Madison, an $83 million redevelopment of the former middle school property is underway. The project will bring townhomes, condos and apartments to downtown Greenwood. It will also include a much-needed parking garage and commercial spaces for restaurants and retail in the heart of downtown, he said.

“It will diversify the housing options for all of our future residents,” Myers said.

The development is funded through a public-private partnership, and is a testament to the city’s commitment to partnerships like it. The private investment is around $68 million, with the city contributing an additional $15 million. The city’s partners chose to work with the city due to its growth and strong economic development activity.

The Madison, along with the fieldhouse, are important milestones in the city’s plans to revitalize Old Town Greenwood and ensure its future. The fieldhouse, which was saved from the former Greenwood Middle School that was torn down in 2019, will be used for a variety of sports and include the city’s first indoor turf field.

The city’s stormwater department is recognized as one of the best in the state. In the last year, the department completed several vital projects, including the Tracy Ditch Lift Station, and the Lakeview gate valve and aeration system, Myers said.

The city is also looking forward to the completion of the Western Regional Interceptor Project later this year. The 10-mile interceptor is needed to alleviate the current sanitary sewer system and address future growth. Phase 2 of the project began in September 2020, and is now expected to be completed later this year.

“(The project) is on schedule to be completed in mid-2022 and $1 million under budget — that never happens,” Myers said.

The city has also had strong economic development. Since he took office in 2011, more than 4,400 new jobs have been created, and new businesses, such as ERMCO which is building its new headquarters in the city, have made their homes in Greenwood, he said.

Right now, the city has more than 2,500 residential developments in planning or development, which helps the city with economic development. Many businesses ask about workforce housing, which is something the city needs, Myers said.

“We need housing at all levels to attract new businesses, and Greenwood has various initiatives already in place to expand housing offerings,” he said.

The city’s parks, trails and events are designed to bring a sense of place to the city, and are essential to building a culture. It is a reflection of what the city is and can be, Myers said.

“Our human connections are what makes Greenwood special. We all are a part of making our city great,” he said.

Myers plans to continue the momentum he and his administration have going, he said.

“We will keep doing great things. We will keep building the best quality of life for our citizens,” Myers said.