Boozer pushes for prosperity in final term

AMORY – Even though Mayor Howard Boozer is not seeking re-election this year, his list of goals for the city in 2013 are still aimed at growth and prosperity.
“Our industrial park on the waterway is being developed on a five to six year plan. It’s creating large amounts of industrial prospect property we’re able to market,” Boozer said.
The Amory City Rail Spur project is currently completing the last section of rail which will result in 1.7 miles of new rail property. According to Boozer, this project will bring the rail transportation together with the water and highway transportation in the area, making the property attractive to high profile projects.
Boozer stated that all of the rail has been added by the Mississippi Department of Transportation through multi-modal grants at little to no cost to the city.
“We’re the only city in the region with this. It’s a major accomplishment that I’m pleased to be a part of. There has been a lot of plowing and planting. Now it’s just waiting for someone to harvest,” Boozer said.
“The Dalrymple Foundation’s renovation of the old National Guard Armory into a first class civic center is scheduled to be completed this year. This will turn the largest indoor space for the city into a venue for arts, entertainment and education,” Boozer said.
The city has replaced the armory’s roof and central heating and air through a grant.
The MDOT’s Highway 25 project will be actively worked on this year. According to Boozer, the project will go from Highway 8 East, south of Becker and head north. The project will be completed through the interchange on and off ramps at the site location by Wal-Mart.
Boozer stated that the city has budgeted in for new vehicles for the fire and police departments and street resurfacing will continue in 2013.
“We have applied for and received Playful City status, which made it possible for us to get a $15,000 grant to build a new playground at the Gilmore park area,” Boozer said.
Playful City USA is an application-based national recognition program honoring cities and towns that make play a priority. The grants for the cities come from KaBoom!, a non-profit organization.
“Our Main Street has done really well. Our sales tax revenue reflects growth, which is one of the key measures of our local economy,” said Boozer, who believes that the increase can be attributed to the opening of several small businesses.
“Look at the number of people who have had enough faith in our town to open a small business,” said Boozer, who praised the efforts of the Amory Main Street Association’s manager, Lorie Bryant.
Boozer also hopes to see the fountain at Frisco Park replaced by a splash pad.
“Jamie Morgan, acting as city liaison, has organized a formal committee to set up fund-raisers to get this project completed,” Boozer said.
The splash pads in Fulton and Tupelo have been very well-received and Boozer hopes that the addition will  be a draw for the downtown area.
Boozer’s decision not to run in the next municipal elections is due to his daughter’s illness.
“My wife and I have decided to devote our time to our daughter, who has three small children and lives several hours away. I have enjoyed serving the city, but feel that this is what is best for our family at this time,” Boozer said.

EMILY TUBB/MONROE JOURNALAMORY MAYOR-Mayor Howard Boozer's decision not to seek re-election won't hinder his goals to accomplish more industrial development during his remaining months as mayor.

EMILY TUBB/MONROE JOURNAL
AMORY MAYOR-Mayor Howard Boozer’s decision not to seek re-election won’t hinder his goals to accomplish more industrial development during his remaining months as mayor.