Council OKs plan to improve downtown Greenwood

A city board now has the OK to pursue more than $20 million in projects to improve downtown Greenwood despite lingering concerns from the city council.

The Greenwood City Council voted 5-4 to give its final approval for the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission to spend as much as $24.5 million on projects including a reconstructed Madison Avenue, a redeveloped Old City Park and a new connector road between Surina Way and Market Plaza.

The community has talked about restoring the downtown for decades, and it was time to finally take action, council member Chuck Landon said.

A couple dozen Old Town Greenwood residents and businesses owners attended the city council meeting this week to show their support for the plan. Speaking on behalf of the group, Old Town Greenwood resident Charles Miller told the council that development in the area long has been needed and that the growth of downtown Greenwood will benefit the entire community.

Investments in downtown Greenwood will help help residents and business by improving the values of their properties, council member Linda Gibson said.

The redevelopment commission decides how to spend TIF district funds, and it can only spend funds on approved lists of projects. Those lists, which are created when the districts are formed, don’t include the recently proposed downtown projects. Adding projects to the list requires approval of the city council.

The redevelopment commission has taken the initial steps toward those projects by hiring consultants to create plans for a several block portion of Madison Avenue and the connector road south of Old City Park.

Council members Brent Corey, David Hopper, Bruce Armstrong and Dave Lekse voted against the plan.

Corey had cited concerns about the lack of funding details from the redevelopment commission.

Lekse, who voted for the plan initially, voted against it this week, saying he had still wanted firmer commitments from the city on parking arrangements with Our Lady of the Greenwood Church and the Greenwood Public Library.

Deputy Mayor Terry McLaughlin told the council that the city is working with both the church and the library to make sure their parking situations are addressed fairly, since both entities have made use of city lots.

By the numbers

Downtown Greenwood projects

The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission is adding onto its list of projects that can be funded with TIF district dollars. Here is a list of what is being considered, along with an estimate of what the project will cost.

Madison Avenue reconstruction: $12.5 million

Old City Park improvements: $4.6 million

Market Plaza and Surina Way connector road: $2.6 million

Improvements to Main and Meridian Streets intersection: $800,000

Madison Avenue and Smith Valley Roundabout: $1 million

Infrastructure development to properties east of Interstate 65, along Main Street and County Line Road: $3 million

At issue

Here is how the Greenwood City Council voted on whether to give the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission permission to pursue more than $20 million in projects, most of which centered on the downtown area.

Bruce Armstrong: No

Ron Bates: Yes

Mike Campbell: Yes

Brent Corey: No

Linda Gibson: Yes

Ezra Hill: Yes

David Hopper: No

Chuck Landon: Yes

Dave Lekse: No

Author photo
Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.