Last Friday a thousand Aiken residents went to a High School basketball game with their children, neighbors and friends. And then the unthinkable happened. Outside of the School, someone pulled out a gun and shot three of our neighbors. Chaos ensued but our Department of Public Safety professionals where there and responded as they have so often recently. Over the past seven days, these dedicated staff worked night and day to find the shooter. And today we learn that their hard work paid off and we have an arrest.
AIKEN – The City of Aiken has received four proposals from developers who wish to form a public-private partnership to undertake a proposed Downtown Revitalization Project. The deadline to receive such proposals was 3 p.m. today.
As we work to revitalize Downtown Aiken, we know the key to the success of any plan to spur economic, architectural and cultural vibrancy doesn’t just depend on bricks and mortar. It depends on people. People walking the streets and frequenting the stores, eateries, churches and green spaces Aiken has to offer. It requires more and more people who will call Downtown Aiken “home,” not just a place to visit on occasion.
We have heard it time and time again from developers, realtors, business leaders, Millennials and young retirees. We keep hearing the same thing. “People want housing downtown,” they say. “ We want to walk to the shops, to recreational spots and to church. We want to be downtown.” That desire and demand is good for our City and the mission is clear. We must act to provide what people are seeking. When we talked to interested development teams about the Revitalization Plan, they kept saying the same thing too.
I am pleased to introduce to you my Blog, and hope that you will find it informative and helpful. All too often, I hear the comment, “I read our local paper religiously, but I don’t understand why City Hall is proposing or implementing something” or “ I don’t understand what the justification is for a certain action.”