Ward 5 candidates weigh in on economic development

October 10, 2013 

  • Upcoming election information

    Rock Hill’s election will be held on Tuesday. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

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    Ward 5 includes many neighborhoods along Albright Road and Saluda Street in southern Rock Hill; parts of downtown Rock Hill; homes near South Pointe High, Saluda Trail Middle, Oakdale Elementary and Sylvia Circle Elementary schools; and some neighborhoods along Crawford Road and Heckle Boulevard.

The Herald this week is publishing comments from the three candidates for the Ward 5 seat on the Rock Hill City Council about issues facing the city.

Competing for the seat in Tuesday’s election are Nikita Jackson, a sales representative with Agape Medical Mart; Mildred A. Moore, a retired teacher and English professor; and Ann Williamson-Morrison, a retired flight attendant.

What new economic development strategies or business ideas would you support in Ward 5?

Jackson: “We need to entice businesses to come to Ward 5...it is in desperate need of some new businesses,” she said.

Jackson would support the city’s offering incentives to business owners to attract more businesses to Ward 5. She says residents have been talking about the need for more shopping and eating options for a long time and recent improvements, such as the widening of Albright Road, should help.

With more housing popping up in Ward 5, Jackson said, there should be plenty of customers for future businesses in the area. They city could beef up its marketing of the area to potential investors, she said.

Moore: “People are looking for places to go,” she said. “They don’t want to go to the mall area. They don’t want to go to Cherry Road. They don’t want to go to Manchester Village. They want to stay in their own ward.”

Ward 5 needs more sit-down restaurants and a grocery store on the south end of Saluda Street, Moore said. The area is seeing a “housing explosion,” which should be attractive to businesses, she said.

Beautification of the area and better marketing of the available land also would help entice investors, Moore said.

Developments under way downtown could boost nearby Saluda Street, one of Ward 5’s commercial areas. With an office building under construction and a hotel planned downtown, she said, more supporting businesses such as restaurants and small shops will be in demand.

Williamson-Morrison: A major concern of existing businesses on Saluda Street is panhandlers, she said. Business owners and customers are put off by people without business licenses selling cell phones and washing cars in parking lots, Williamson-Morrison said.

“People are getting tired of it,” she said. Ward 5 business owners ask “what about us,” she said, when they hear about businesses in downtown Rock Hill and on Cherry Road receiving incentives from the city.

Williamson-Morrison wants to see business owners in Ward 5 band together to improve the area and call attention to their needs, she said.

“I want so bad to have my community look more like ‘Old Town’ does now,” she said, referring to downtown Rock Hill. “We’re going to bring it all the way down the corridor.”

Anna Douglas 803-329-4068

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