Hodges shares city vision

Published 8:45 pm Friday, January 24, 2014

By Jonathan Rowe

For the Daily News

Thursday night at the Democratic Women’s meeting, Mayor of Washington Mac Hodges made one thing clear: Washington is moving forward.

After an introduction by Beaufort County Clerk of Superior Court, Marty Paramore, Hodges addressed several issues regarding Washington’s needs as well as recent construction and implementation of grant-funded projects around the city. He spoke about the need to create revenue by tourism and plans to execute this need by updating the landscape of the city. Among the issues facing the city, he commented on the cost of electricity.

“We’ve actually put some really good people on the electric advisory board to see if there is anything they can come up with regarding that situation,” Hodges said.

As a result of Washington’s need for economic growth, upcoming projects for Haven’s Gardens are scheduled for the next two grant cycles. There are plans for a bulkhead, a public pier, and a walking trail that will extend from the park down through Third Street at Veterans Park. Plans to reconstruct the shelters at the park are also in motion.

Hodges explained the next ongoing project as an incentive for more air traffic to Washington’s airport. While the airport’s new runway was mentioned, Hodges believes plans for a new, updated terminal, scheduled to take about a year to construct, will appeal to pilots. He explained that pilots look for certain accommodations and airport features when determining their stops such as a kitchenette, fuel services, hotel availability, restaurants and tourist attractions. He added that several restaurants are scheduled for construction in Washington such as Waffle House and Cookout. Zaxby’s, the most recent addition to the city’s menu, has already been built and opens this week.

Hodges answered several questions from the audience regarding Washington issues. One question about the crime rate in Washington and how Greenville plays a role in that statistic was answered with the fact that last year there were no murders and very few reports of other serious crimes.

Mavis Burns, vice-president of the Democratic Women, thanked Hodges and introduced Marty Paramore and Valiant Scales, who are both running for office. Paramore is seeking reelection as Clerk of Superior Court and Scales is one of nine candidates in the upcoming race for Beaufort County sheriff. Each stood and gave brief speeches on their desire to serve in Beaufort County and their appreciation for support throughout the community.

The Democratic Women hold meetings every fourth Thursday of the month and invites the public to join them. For more information, visit the Democratic Women’s page on Facebook.