Springifeld City Commissioner David Estrop and City Manager Jim Bodenmiller walk past the flowers planted in front of the McDonald’s restaurant on South Limestone Wednesday, May 30, 2018. The city was recognizing businesses that kept their properties clean and beautiful. Bill Lackey/Staff

Springfield honors businesses, residents for commitment to southside of city

Keeping the South Limestone corridor clean and welcoming is a priority because its the doorstep to Springfield, city commissioner David Estop said.

Several businesses and homes on the street were recognized by the city government for having well-kept property.

“This is all about when people come to Springfield, they have a good experience and they will be able to see we are very much in business and we take great pride in our city,” Estop said.

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The city gave out certificates to businesses they felt go above and beyond to keep their property beautiful.

“We thought this was a way for members of the city commission and the city manager could go into the community and say to people and to businesses who are going the extra mile to keep our city clean to say thank you,” Estop said. “We appreciate you making Springfield a welcoming place by keeping your business establishment and residence looking good.”

Two of the businesses that won awards are Rudy’s Smokehouse and The Rocking Horse Center. They said it is important to them that they keep their property clean.

“We are a restaurant and cleanliness is a top of the list and we are in the hospitality industry it’s important that guests feel comfortable here,” Dennis Merchant, the kitchen manager at the restaurant said.

Rocking Horse wants to represent itself and the city with well-kept property, CEO Kent Young said.

“We take pride in the services we provide and we want our building to reflect that,” he said. “The appearance of the building is important.”

No one wants to open a business or move a family to an area that is filled with blight and litter, Estop said. Reinforcing that the city is committed to the southside is important, Estop said.

“It is so important that we do everything we can to make our city attractive,” he said. “We want to be a place where people want to come and want to visit and live.”

The Springfield commission is looking to make improvements to the South Limestone Street corridor by improving existing business properties and offering new incentives to potential home buyers and people who would transform the properties, according to its goals and objectives.

A study of the corridor was completed and the commission’s considering preliminary design plans for the area.

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Estrop said the city can offer tax abatements and other incentives to attract people to the prospect of redevelopment in the corridor.

“There is a lot of housing and business along that stretch,” Estrop said. “There are nice homes that are there, but there are also homes that are boarded up and some that just aren’t cared for. We have wonderful opportunities to purchase homes for people that will rehab them.”

Mayor Warren Copeland said the corridor is important to the city because improvements to it would be a good way to attract attention from potential business owners looking at it from the interstate.

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