Urbancrest leaders look forward to a year of growth

By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The village of Urbancrest will be experiencing improvements and upgrades throughout 2015.

“It is going to be a very busy year for us,” said Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr.

In March, the construction of a maintenance garage is slated to begin.

The new maintenance building, which will be located at 3373 Central Ave., is a 2,000 square foot facility that will be equipped with storage bays, utility sinks, small offices and a small break room for the street department personnel.

The street department will also be able to house their equipment – mowing equipment, snow plowing equipment, vehicles and extra salt – at this centralized location rather than make a stop at a nearby storage facility when the need arises.

The former location for the street department will house a substation for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Though a move-in date has yet to be determined, councilwoman Veronica Shepherd said she cannot wait for the day.

“I will be ecstatic to see them at all times in the community,” she said.

If a community development block grant is approved, the village will see upgrades to the Martin Luther King Park. The village has wanted an enclosed shelter house at that popular destination for quite some time, and they will get it if the funding goes through.

The Vaughn E. Hairston YMCA would also see improvements under that grant as well. The rapidly growing recreation center would receive a new boiler system, new lighting and framework repairs to the windows in the swimming area.

Repairs to the sidewalks, the addition of new parking spaces and the resurfacing and repainting of the basketball courts would also be covered under the grant.

After many years, Barnes said the sanitary sewer project will be completed in 2015. He also added that a Value Place Hotel will be coming to the village.

Later in the year, federal funding should be awarded to the village to improve the railroad gates at First and Central avenues. Barnes said the new automatic gates would come with flashing lights, signals and bells.

Shepherd said she is excited to see all of these projects come to fruition within the community.

“We’re doing really great and I am pleased to see us on the right track,” she said.

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