Starkville mayor gives town updates during Rotary

Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill was the speaker during Thursday’s Rotary Club program, and she gave updates of the growth and development of the town.

Spruill said during her campaign and now that she’s mayor, she has focused on keeping Starkville a great place to live, work, play and learn by focusing on education for economic development and community quality.

Spruill said the consolidation of the school district has been completed, the sixth and seventh grade Partnership School with Mississippi State University broke ground and should be completed in 2019.

Spruill said the first half of the median project on Highway 12 was complete, and medians, signs and lights have been added to increase safety on the roadway.

“Highway 12 is the second worst place for wrecks in the state,” she said.

Spruill said trees have been added to the median on Highway 12 and new signs were installed to improve beautification of the area.

“That’s something I’ve been trying to stress to residents - beauty matters,” she said. “That’s what keeps people coming back and why retirees come.”

Spruill said sidewalks have also been installed on Highway 182, and medians, lights and sidewalks have been added on Russell Street through a project with MSU and Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Spruill said MSU football’s success while Dak Prescott was quarterback, which she called “the Dak Effect," caused economic development and investment in Starkville with an urban area downtown and suburban feel outside of downtown.

Spruill said the new alcohol ordinance in Starkville that was recently passed allowed for business expansion.

Previously, any business was required to be at least 250 feet away from a church to sell alcohol, but the ordinance was changed to the state requirement of 100 feet away from a church to sell alcohol.

According to Spruill, annexation of Starkville is one of her big plans for the future.

Spruill said the current population of Starkville was approximately 25,000, but she planned for Starkville to take over MSU and student housing to the north of town to increase the population by more than 5,000 people, which would bring in a hotel, taxes from the Ford dealership and Cadence Bank.

According to Spruill, the project would take two years and be completed by 2020, but the ultimate decision of annexation was up the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Another project Spruill addressed is an industrial park north of Starkville, which would be a $30 million investment to Starkville and Oktibbeha County.

Spruill said some people hate the nickname Starkvegas and some hate it, but she personally loved it because she wanted students and residents to have fun while in Starkville.

She said Starkville hosts numerous events each year including Bulldog Bash, UnWine Downtown PumpkinPalooza and Cotton District Arts Festival.

Spruill said she also wanted to focus on art and murals and hopefully have murals painted throughout Starkville.

“You in West Point have murals downtown, and I’m so jealous of that,” she said.

Spruill stressed the importance of not only Starkville and MSU working together, but West Point, Starkville and Comubus all working together for the greater good of the Golden Triangle.

“We want the Golden Triangle to be successful, and all entities must work together to achieve that,” she said.