‘Lot of activity’ at Tower building, says Mayor
Rotarians hear State of the City highlights
By Logan Watson
Mayor B.W. Beasley had some “very good news for Milan” when he visited the Milan Rotary Club last Thursday. Mayor Beasley, who delivered some highlights from his upcoming “State of the City” address for the Milan City Board meeting, spoke highly about the recent work done by the city’s various departments, but also dropped some big hints about the possibility of new jobs coming to Milan.
“I know there’s rumors all over town about the Tower building,” Mayor Beasley told the club, “but what I can tell you is that there has been a lot of activity in that building in the last two months.”
According to Mayor Beasley, the site has been toured by “multiple companies” recently, which he thinks will translate into more jobs coming to the city. The mayor says that there are “three major prospects” looking to set up shop in the long-vacant building, but even if none of the prospects pan out, he is very confident that the city can secure a tenant for the Tower building in the near future.
“The dynamics in the country are changing,” Mayor Beasley continued. “If corporate taxes are reduced to fifteen percent, you’re going to see a lot of people looking to get back in the United States. I think that bodes well for our community.”
In addition to his promising words about new industry locating in Milan, the mayor also spoke about the expansion of several current Milan businesses. Beasley noted that Physician’s Quality Care has an expansion in the works, as does another business that Economic Development leaders are keeping very quiet until the official announcement is made in the coming months. Mayor Beasley also announced that Leader’s Credit Union is close to breaking ground on their new location on Highway 45 near Walmart, and applauded the work being done at the Escue Wood Treated Products, which moved into the former ITT site. The plant will treat locally-sourced pine and, when the facility is completed, should be able to produce 60 million board feet of lumber per year and employ around 100 workers.
“This is all really, really good news for Milan,” the mayor said.
Working in tandem with it’s economic development efforts, Mayor Beasley stated that the city is also working to increase the population here in Milan.
“As they say, ‘rooftops translate into retail’. The more people we can bring in here, the more opportunities we have to meet retail demographics,” said Mayor Beasley. In order to increase the population, Milan first must be able to provide the things that people look for when they look to start a family or relocate, with jobs and schools topping that list, the latter being the topic of discussion at a lunch between Beasley and Director of Schools Jonathan Criswell the day prior.
The mayor also announced that the city had received a competitive $50,000 tourism grant the previous day, which he said the city plans to use to create RV stations at the City Park.
“It gives us another opportunity to bring people to Milan, and the more people we bring to Milan and shop in Milan, the more revenue the city brings in.” The proposed RV park will add another feature to the already impressive park, which Mayor Beasley stated had garnered more compliments than almost anything else in town.
Another key in Milan’s future growth, according to the mayor, is land acquisition.
“I don’t know that the arsenal will ever be what it was,” said Mayor Beasley. “We’re looking to try to acquire the land from the arsenal.” Mayor Beasley stated that the deal with the Army could be several years in the making, but that he would not stop trying, going so far as to ask Governor Haslam and Commissioner Boyd of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to write letters to the Army on the city’s behalf.
“I’m always careful of how much I say, because you can’t get the community’s too excited about some of these things, because you don’t know if they’re going to happen. But I feel it’s important that the citizens know that we are working hard to make this a better place to live, and I am very optimistic about our future.”
“It’s a puzzle that we’re putting together. We just have to keep putting the pieces together to make it work,” said Mayor Beasley. “I think we’re seeing some modest growth in Milan and we’ll take that. For now.”