Mayor Jim Hagaman delivered his State of the City Address Thursday at the UAW Local facility.
Hagaman emphasized that “the state of the city is strong” and aimed to support the claim largely with financial and infrastructural evidence — the latter largely from the Spring Hill Rising 2040 Comprehensive Plan — albeit immediately following a recent seven-day water emergency requiring residents to abstain from normal uses of water like watering their lawns and concerns from officials about growth outpacing tax revenue.
“We are taking the smart and long view on how we build our city,” Mayor Hagaman said. “We need to continue to be resourceful and make good things happen. When smart opportunities present themselves, we should take advantage of them. Our goal is always to serve the best interests of our people.”
One corporate affirmation of the city’s strength, however, is the advent of upscale grocery chain Hy-Vee targeting the June Lake development for its first Tennessee locale, which Hagaman cited as further evidence of the city’s bright future. Moreover, he also referenced development plans for one of the Nashville Predators’ hockey and skating facilities.
The mayor designated the city’s top priorities, mentioning the imminent police headquarters, a future fire station and capital projects. He added that the city has plans to enhance sewer capacity and, in July, launch the clean water booster station, an answer to the seven-day water emergency Hagaman declared on May 18 and ended May 25. It will ensure that the city maintains optimal water reserves for fire suppression scenarios as well as for everyday use.
“I am also proud of our home-grown, medium- and small-sized businesses, including some impressive startups. No city can do well without them,” Hagaman said. “To the shops that are already open and to new ones in the pipeline, together these assets of our city give options for our residents to eat, shop, play and conduct business.”
In particular, the mayor gave a nod to two corporate headquarters for international companies: Groove Life and World Wide Stages.
Hagaman also touted the city’s long-term municipal bond rating being raised by S&P Global from AA to AA+ this past month, which also reflects Spring Hill’s general debt obligation accounting for roughly $40 million in bonds at present. Hagaman said the rating upgrade — achieved shortly after the city made a presentation to the investment community — means the city will spend far less taxpayer money on the aforementioned priority projects.
Hagaman emphasized the major development projects expected to decrease traffic congestion, chiefly those corresponding with the June Lake development. The coming Interstate 65 interchange is expected to be completed by 2025, and the widening and extension of Buckner Lane are expected to take longer. In the meantime, Buckner Lane is not expected to be able to field the traffic flow for which the interchange is being built.