Eclectic Mayor Gary Davenport said the town has accomplished many of its goals this year, including reading financial audits.

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series in which Eclectic Mayor Gary Davenport talks about issues affecting the town.

Halfway through the year, Eclectic Mayor Gary Davenport said the town has completed many of its goals. Some goals remaining include road repair and working with the county government on roads.

Did you have any goals for the town this year? Have they been accomplished halfway through the year?

We had several goals basically to finish up with our sewer plan operation, which we have done. The Madix Middle Road project, which has been completed, and then to finish the Aaron Park project. We put lights out there and got that done and to get caught up with all of our audits, which we have done. We’re currently on our audits. So it’s been a pretty busy year but we’ve accomplished a lot. … They were long-planned projects that have taken several years from start to finish and a lot of money which we were able to get grants for, a lot of assistance with different entities, (Alabama Department of Transportation) and Elmore County Highway Department. So it worked out good for us.

Going into the next half of 2019, what is your focus?

We have two major things that we’re working on. One of those is we have to find another retail operation to replace Fred’s Department Store that closed up. That was something that we were not aware of. It wasn’t on the horizon that happened quite quickly with them closing so we worked with the property owner. We have helped him advertise and try and figure out what would be a good fit there, so that property just went up for sale this last couple of weeks.

In addition to that we have been working with Madix to finish up the road construction project and with the understanding between us the town and Madix that there is an expected growth up there (in) traffic with the additional business they have acquired so we had to plan for that.

And now what we’re doing is working on Panther Palace. We have applied for a grant there to redo Panther Palace, refurbish it with some more modern playground equipment, which is very beneficial to the families that live here and come to Eclectic.

When do you want these

projects completed?

We’re looking at probably 2020 for the Panther Palace project if we’re lucky enough to get that grant. Looking at 2020 for anything else would happen … the retail operations in town or the Madix program. So everything is kind of going into next year; no big decisions are expected now or at the end of the year.

In next week’s edition, Davenport talks about the town’s economic condition, the Alabama Cotton Festival and population growth.