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Traffic roars past road equipment along Getwell Road, the subject of a road expansion project expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2017.

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite said the City of Southaven's ambitious road projects this past year have paved the way for an auspicious start in the new year ahead.

"We've improved $2 million worth of city streets," Musselwhite said during his 2016 "State of the City" status review of his city this past year.

Musselwhite said it was the first-ever city-wide pavement management plan put in action.

Additionally, Musselwhite said the city has embarked on eight new drainage projects and modernized and improved four major intersections across the city, including Goodman and Tchulahoma and Getwell and Stateline roads.

While work continues along the Getwell to Stateline corridor, a widening project expected to be completed by April, most work along Goodman Road— including the installment of intelligent transportation signalization— has been completed.

Road work also continues along Rasco Road, the city's other major east-west corridor, to connect a portion between Swinnea and Tchulahoma. That project could be finished in March or April of 2017.

Musselwhite said he was also excited about the fact that the city had begun the city's first-ever bike-pedestrian plan.

Along with other "firsts," the City of Southaven completed and opened the long anticipated Senior Center at a lower cost than originally proposed.

The completion of mini-stadium seating and concessions at the Snowden Grove ballpark enabled the city to extend its contract with the Dizzy Dean World Series officials for the next 10 years.

Musselwhite thanked administrative assistant Kristi Faulkner for her idea of hosting both the Kansas City Barbecue Society competition and Memphis Championship Barbecue sanctioned competition at Snowden Grove during the city's annual Springfest celebration.

Springfest had 80 teams as a result, the most the city has ever had. Faulkner said the idea was presented to her but she "got the ball rolling."

Placement of 16 wrought-iron decorative signs at city entrance points also helped to spruce up the city's appearance, according to Musselwhite.

"It beautifies our city," Musselwhite said.

Musselwhite also lauded the fact that the City of Southaven received glowing back-to-back financial audits which placed Southaven in the "top five percent" of cities across the nation which receive special designation for keeping their financial affairs in order.

"It's been a great year," Musselwhite said. "2016 has been a great year for us. We have so many things going on. We've obviously moved the ball."

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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