By BRAD KELLAR
The past year was a busy one, and in a good way, for the City of Greenville.
One major thoroughfare was expanded during 2012, another new road was nearing completion by the end of the year, the city dedicated a new wastewater treatment plant, a revamped Graham Park opened to rave reviews, a project was started to add miles of new sidewalks in the city and plans were unveiled for a new water park.
— The commute along Traders Road got a little bit easier, and faster, during 2012.
The former two-lane asphalt roadway was widened over the summer to a four-lane curb and gutter thoroughfare between State Highway 34/Wesley Street and FM 1570/Jack Finney Boulevard. Shortly after completion, the speed limit along Traders Road was increased from 40 to 45 mph.
— Getting from Interstate 30 to Paris Junior College in Greenville or Greenville High School should be a direct connection in the near future. The construction of the Monty Stratton Parkway began in May and was scheduled for completion by the end of this month. The parkway will be two concrete lanes with a raised median and open ditches on either side between the interstate and Lions Lair Road. A sidewalk will run along one side of the roadway and two crossovers were included under the project.
— City of Greenville officials formally dedicated the city’s new Wastewater Reclamation Center during a ceremony at the plant in May. The $23 million facility replaced the former plant, which was built in 1953, expanded 10 years later, and received its last upgrade in 1980. The new plant will allow for the expansion in treatment capacity from 4.23 million gallons per day (annual average) to 6 million gallons per day (annual average).
— Huge crowds turned out in October to be on hand to be among the first to enjoy the new version of Greenville’s oldest community park.
A grand opening and dedication ceremony was conducted at Graham Park, which had undergone a $1 million renovation effort. The City of Greenville received a $500,000 grant from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife for the effort to renovate Graham Park and provided a $500,000 match. The improvements under the project included the fountains, pier, playground equipment and disc golf course, along with a walking trail, a dog park and a splash pad.
— As 2012 ended a project to build miles of new sidewalks in Greenville was expected to get underway early this year.
Massoud Ebrahim, director of public works for Greenville, said he hopes to begin construction on the Safe Routes To Schools project during the first quarter of 2013. The effort is designed to build more than 15 miles of new sidewalks in Greenville.
— Officials with Splash Kingdom have agreed to build a water park in Greenville, provided the city does its share to help establish the park in the proposed Greenville Towne Center development. Negotiations concerning specifics of the park are reported to be continuing and no formal development agreement has yet been approved. According to a letter of intent, the city agreed to provide an economic incentive, a tax abatement and water and sewer line improvements. In exchange, the Canton-based company agrees to build a water park costing at least $5 million on approximately 14 acres of land.