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Mayor Teresa Ervin talks about city's many partnerships

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FLORENCE – City of Florence Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin said it is recommended that Florence needs up to 1,000 residential properties or people in downtown to keep it flourishing.

“So we are working with builders to be sure that we have plans to have new homes basically downtown,” she said.

Ervin told Florence Rotary Club at their meeting Monday at Victors Downtown that housing plans will include some combination of apartments and other homes for the downtown area.

Plans are already in place for one area of downtown to develop more housing opportunities.

“When you get to the area called Urban Square, which is located at the corner of Evans at the development of retail, hotel and homes on that site.”

Ervin said it will be important to have some green space there also.

“When you think about economic development understand that when you build homes that is a serious part of economic development,” Ervin said.

She said when you build homes you have create an atmosphere for businesses to open where people work and make purchases and banks make loans.

Ervin said when it comes to community development, as a city Florence still needs to develop homes; especially in areas she calls catalytic areas

“These are areas that have not experienced a lot of growth,” Ervin said.

These areas are important, too, she said. These areas are important because when industry comes and looks at the city and county they want to see how the whole of the city is not just the area you want to guide them to, she said.

Ervin said, “How you treat the whole of your city is reflected on your leadership and management.”

Ervin said the best PowerPoint you can see is a drive around the city to see for yourself the progress that is being made.

Ervin said the city of Florence and Florence County are working together to improve. She said we need to be reminded that the city lies within the county.

Ervin talked about some of the many partnerships the city has developed.

She said the Mayor’s Youth Initiative has as many as 16 partnerships that come together for the betterment of our youth and families. The Mayor’s Youth Initiative is a strategic partnership aimed at promoting the health, well-being and success of the youth of Florence.

She said strengthening our families strengthens our youth. Industries are coming to look at what kind of workforce we have. She said we not only need a strong workforce but individuals who are ready to be leaders.

Working with the mayor on this Youth Initiative is a committee that includes Dr. Ronald Murphy of Francis Marion University and Florence School District 1.

She said Florence has a strong educational system in Florence 1 Schools, Francis Marion University and Florence-Darlington Technical College. She said working together they have everything needed for success.

“We just need to pull it all together,” she said.

Ervin also said she is also thankful for the partnerships the city of Florence has with Florence County and law enforcement agencies serving Florence County.

“As a city we will be developing more partnerships, so we can have one of the most successful cities there is,” Ervin said.

Questions from Rotarians touched on crime and economic development.

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