Wilson running for reelection

By: Special to The Union Times

UNION — Union City Council District 6 Councilman Jim Wilson says he is running for reelection.

In a statement released this week, Wilson announced that he will be seeking a second term representing District 6 on council. He began by thanking the people of District 6 for electing him to council and asked for their support in his reelection bid.

“It has been an enjoyable experience being able to serve on City Council since being elected in June 2012,” Wilson said. “I would like to thank the people in District 6 for their support and ask for your continued support in the upcoming election.

“If re-elected , I will continue to work for cost effectiveness, economic development, and downtown and community redevelopment,” he said. “My campaign platform is continued progress and sound financial management.”

In announcing his reelection bid, Wilson reviewed the economic achievements of the past four years and what he will do to support economic development if reelected.

“On economic development matters I will continue to support our Economic Development Specialists as they work to attract new businesses and industry to our area,” Wilson said. “The City was able to pass through to the County a loan from Santee-Cooper to build the new Spec building which was marketed by the Development Board and recently sold.

“This agreement also allowed the City of Union to be the supplier of all utilities for this facility,” he said. “This sale should allow for the construction of another Spec building.”

Wilson said that during the last four years “we have attracted new industry and have supported expansions at many of our existing plants. Four years ago our unemployment rate was 13.5% and now it is 6.5%. We will continue to be a business friendly community which will encourage the opening of new businesses and the expansion of current businesses.”

In addition to supporting the growth of industry and business, Wilson said he will support efforts to promote tourism.

“I also will support activities, events, and festivals which bring visitors to town in an effort to showcase Union,” Wilson said. “The donation to the Miracle League Field and playground, support to the Farm Equipment Show, the AG and Art Tour, Coon Hunter’s Events, County Fair, and Uniquely Union are prime examples of this support.”

Wilson also pointed to the new businesses and institutions that opened in the downtown area of the city and on the Duncan Bypass.

“We welcome the Main Street Junction and the Meeting Place (on Main) to our Main Street and the opening of the Fant Building and Fresh Seafood on Main in the downtown area,” Wilson said. “We recently added Boost Mobile and Fastenal to our list of new businesses which have located on the Duncan Bypass in the recent years.”

The growth of local educational institutions and programs is another development Wilson said he wants to support and encourage.

“I would also encourage USC-U to continue to move forward on plans to build dormitories or apartments for student housing,” Wilson said. “This would create a population boost in the downtown area and would open up possibilities for more restaurants, shops, and entertainment downtown. Our recent growth at Spartanburg Community College and USC-U is commendable and I would encourage our citizens to take advantage of the free tuition program sponsored by the County.”

Wilson also discussed efforts to improve the city’s appearance and infrastructure.

“The Catawba Regional Council of Governments is starting to implement a program to purchase, tear down, and remove dilapidated and abandoned houses and to help Union be a more desirable community,” Wilson said. “The City has updated most of our water and sewer systems with infrastructure grants and we should have all systems upgraded within the next two years.

“Our Community Vibrancy Committee continues to work on the beautification of our Main Street,” he said. “We also maintain six Gateway areas on all of the major highways entering the City of Union.”

The Union County Transportation Committee recently allotted the city $40,000 for sidewalk repairs and replacements. Wilson said these funds will be used along with funds the city included in its budget for repair and replacement of deteriorated and damaged sidewalks.

“With 78% of our City streets being in the State Highway System, we have suffered over the past several years while our Legislature and Governor struggled with Highway bills,” Wilson said. “We received $20,000 in C-Fund allocations to match our $20,000 which was budgeted for sidewalk replacement. The bid came in at $60,000 so rather than re-bid a lesser amount of work, we requested an additional $20,000 from C-Funds which was approved. These sidewalk projects are scheduled to begin this fall.”

Another achievement of the past four years has been the animal control agreement between Union and Union County which Wilson said is part of the ongoing efforts to cut costs to the taxpayer while maintaining services.

“The city and county recently combined animal control functions with a cost savings for each government,” Wilson said. “We will continue to search for ways to combine other functions for additional cost savings.”

Wilson concluded his announcement by again thanking the people of District 6 and asking for their support.

“Once again I thank you for your previous support and ask for your continued support November 8,” Wilson said. “I promise to continue to work hard for progress for Union.”

Wilson is opposed in his bid for reelection to the District 6 seat by Sonja S. Craig and Kristina H. Sommer.

Seeking second term on city council

Special to The Union Times

This story courtesy of Jim Wilson.

This story courtesy of Jim Wilson.