Franklin reveals vision for Town

BLYTHEWOOD – Speaking at the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast on Tuesday at The Manor, the town’s new mayor, Bryan Franklin, talked about his vision for the town over the next four years.

Franklin

Franklin said he ran on a platform of smart growth, building partnerships, building a sports complex, enforcing ordinances and acting boldly.

Touting his accomplishments on council the last two years, Franklin pointed to the 1,300-acre business park that he helped vote in October. He said it would contain “very light manufacturing and a lot of office spaces.”

“The park, located across Blythewood Road from Cobblestone Park, stretches all the way down to Fairfield Electric.” Franklin said. “It is bound on the north by Blythewood Road and on the south by Northpoint Industrial park.”

Franklin said the industrial park will draw restaurants and shops to the 100 acres of newly zoned commercial property on the south side of Blythewood Road across from Sandy Level Baptist Church.

“The Blythewood road improvement involves two traffic circles to keep traffic flowing. And then the extension of Blythewood Road as it goes directly across [Highway 21] and connects to Langford Road a little further past the town hall will keep the traffic flowing more freely.

“There’s no need for property tax or millage on anybody’s property, because we’re in good shape with what we do,” Franklin said. “We’ll only spend money when we need to.”

Planning ahead, Franklin said it’s time to renew the comprehensive plan and the town’s master plan. He also wants to promote annexation to those who live outside the town limits.

Franklin said McNulty Road is going to be the town center and that the proposed Creech extension will extend from McNulty and come out on Hwy 21 by the Blythewood High School stadium.

“An 88-room hotel is coming right behind Hardees,” Franklin said. The Hotel was given an approval last year by the Planning Commission, but has not yet started construction.

“When my vision of the sports complex comes through and we start inviting the travel teams from around the state to bring kids up here, we’ll have the hotel space for them,” he said.

Asked how the town could pay for a sports complex, Franklin said his model is the sports fields at Bombing Range Road which, he said, meets standards for a sports complex – four fields, six-foot fences, restrooms, concessions and parking – for $5.9 million.

“And we can do bonds or maybe public-private partnerships to pay for it. A bond would be the first step,” Franklin said. Then he said he will talk to council, look at the budget and take the plans to the county, what it will cost and what we need from them.

Franklin said he has several ideas of land that could be used for a sports complex.

“One is off Muller Road, about 40 acres behind the Middle School that the county owns. The county has shown interest to sell it” he said. “Another is the Red Gate Community property on Blythewood Road [between Muller and Syrup Mill Roads]. Another is the property behind the old community center. That is available.”