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  • Paul Shewmaker

Before and after

Maybe you haven't thought about this too much. How much change there has been in just the last four years. Positive change. Some of it is subtle. You might have missed it. Other changes are pretty noticeable.


No more contractor waste disposal. Ace is gone and we brought this activity back under Public Works. Brand new garbage trucks. Service you can count on. If there's a problem you get resolution right away. It's a big change. Before it was a guess if the garbage was going to be picked up on the designated day. Now you can almost be sure down to the time it will be picked up. Even swooping up the leaves in the fall. Before was bad. After is pretty great!


Some of the before is just in how things look downtown. Before Burdette Central opened it was weeds and boarded up windows. Look at it now! Now you might be thinking that I'm taking credit for all this change. No, this is primarily the success of the business owners and developers. Folks like John and Joe Pazdan with McMillan Pazdan Smith (RIP Joe, we miss you), Jesse with 1885 Taproom, and Andy with SIdewall Pizza. Props to all of you.


But keep in mind that the changes you see downtown are also the result of city business development efforts and our use of creative ideas like the Innovative Development zoning designation. This is why before and after is so different from just four years ago.


Another great example of the power of innovative development is The Warehouse at Vaughns. The Wirthlin brothers have put together an amazingly popular venue. Congratulations to them on their success. Having a food hall venue in Simpsonville is pretty neat. While the City is definitely promoting business development, we don't pick and choose winners and losers. We put the building blocks in place and this is the result.



Do you remember before? When the facade on South Main Street was in bad shape? We made the property owner aware they could access grant money to help pay for a facelift. And what about the great murals on either end of this building? I'm proud to say the concept for the drive-in art was my idea. Of course the mural artist is the real talent. This is a great example of before and after.


Our business development been successful. The before and after proves that it has. We now enjoy 100% occupancy in our business district. When businesses are successful and the business district appearance improves, it attracts more business and creates an even better appearance. And we're not done with our downtown revitalization efforts. There is definitely more to come.


Wait a minute. That word 'revitalization'. I'm not a fan, at least not when it comes to Simpsonville. We're already a place that is chock full of vitality. This isn't revitalization, it's amplification! That's what I'm all about, just turning it up a notch. Beginning in early 2024 we're turning it up another notch downtown. First up will be improved traffic flow, with new one way streets and repaving. And yes, the islands on Northeast and Southeast Main are going away. South Main Street between Curtis and Trade will see improvements with new pavers, landscaping, and a gateway arch to make it a better "festival" street. Sidewalks will be widened. New wayfinding signs will put in place. It will be simply better!

The next big thing coming is a nearly three mile extension of the Swamp Rabbit Trail down to Heritage Park. Fountain Inn is building their first part of the trail and it will connect to the south edge of Heritage Park and extend through their downtown. That will be 9 miles of protected trail! And even though it almost looks impossible to connect with the main trail network in Greenville, if we get this much trail in place it will begins to look inevitable.


Here's another new thing we didn't have before: dedicated pickleball courts! These are located in College Park and have proven extremely popular. It's not too surprising, considering the explosive growth of the sport. We also have indoor pickleball available at the Activity and Senior Center. The amenities we have available in our Parks and Recreation Department is just fantastic.



At the time of this posting paving is under way on East Curtis Street. This will extend from just east of the park to the city limits and will include a new traffic light at the intersection of Fowler Road and East Curtis. This will address a serious safety issue at this intersection and will be helpful to our residents in Wagon Creek and Wemberly. The new traffic pattern will be one travel lane in each direction and a center two way turn left.


We have added six new patrol officers--on the street--since I became mayor. A brand new Fire Station Six has been built. New police headquarters, fire department headquarters, and Fire Station One are under construction. I have wholeheartedly supported our first responders and it's reflected in our staffing and retention levels, and in the improving pay for our finest.




Yeah, before and after. I believe I have made a difference. I am making it happen. Vote for me on November 7th and let's keep it going.


Mayor Paul

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