Mayors Metro Forecast addresses municipal issues at Power Breakfast

Three mayors and a mayor pro-tem from four Midlands municipalities dressed local issues Thursday morning at the Mayors Metro Forecast. Mayors Metro Forecast addresses municipal issues at Power Breakfast

The event was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton n Conference Center and it is part of the Power Breakfast Series 2018, presented by the Columbia Regional Business Report and Sharp Business Systems. Mayor Elise Partin of Cayce; Mayor Steve MacDougall of Lexington; Mayor Mike Ross of Blythewood: and Mayor Pro-Tem Tem Miles of West Columbia were featured.
Dealing with growth was a central topic.

MacDougall said the Town of Lexington has grown 84 percent in the last 10 years. He said projections are that it will grow by 80 percent in the next 10 years. “but the roads have not been improved,” despite the growth, said MacDougall.

MacDougall said Lexington has installed a computerized traffic signal system to help alleviate congestion on Sunset Boulevard, all the way to West Columbia. Lexington is also eliminating a traffic light at its business intersection and has plans to build a bridge over I-20.

“We’ve seen some great growth in West Columbia,” said Miles. Some of the the city’s population increase has come about because of annexation. Miles said recruiting new police officer, in order to maintain high quality services will be the challenge for West Columbia as it becomes bigger.

“Pre-vitalization” is the term Partin used to describe the City of Cayce’s growth strategy.

Partin said the city held its first Soiree on State to draw attention to Cayce’s former commerce district. Artists set up in some of the old, uninhabited buildings to show the functionality of the structures. She said the effort has helped draw new business to the district, and the revitalization of some older properties.

Partin said the second annual Soiree on State music and art festival will be April 14.

Ross said growth in Blythewood has been “good growth.” He said more population has resulted in traffic congestion. He also said Blythewood has a need for infrastructure upgrades.

Other topics discussed included flood recovery form 2015. In Cayce and West Columbia the Riverwalk has been repaired. In Lexington, three dams are being rebuilt.  Ross said Blythewood was not affected by the flood.