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Mount Pleasant, SC’s Mayor Billy Swails recently met with business leaders to discuss the future of the quickly growing town. Since taking office in November, Swails has emphasized the town’s commitment to being business friendly. A short meeting at Alhambra Hall was called in an effort to inform the public of the status of Mount Pleasant’s budget.

Focusing on promoting businesses throughout the area east of the Cooper is a rather difficult task, especially this year. The fiscal 2010 budget is a whopping $4 million less than that in 2009. Instead of raising property taxes, Swails has developed a consolidation strategy to save money.

The town has eliminated 32 vacant positions while implementing a wellness program in an effort to save money. This particular program will reduce employee insurance costs dramatically. Additionally, the sanitation department will begin using different trucks, thus reducing operating costs.

Economically, Mayor Swails is taking a calculated approach. He stated that the town is focused on attracting and retaining businesses. The strategy will fill the vacant storefronts before expanding and building new locations.

Another point of interest was the lack of a Main Street. The town of Mount Pleasant is looking to expand roadways to create more investment corridors. These roads include Coleman Boulevard, Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, Long Point Road, Patriots Point and Oakland Plantation.

The town is also looking to benefit from Boeing’s recent decision to put a manufacturing plant in North Charleston. Mount Pleasant is hoping that many spin-off businesses and vendors locate within its city limits.

Over $150 million in road and intersection projects are planned for the upcoming year. The major projects include: $70 million for widening of Johnnie Dodds Boulevard from the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge to the Kmart property at Bowman Road; $50 million for the overpass at Interstate 526 and Hungryneck Boulevard; and $15 million for the widening of U.S. Highway 17 from the Isle of Palms Connector to S.C. Highway 41.

Despite the numerous changes and ongoing roadway construction, Mount Pleasant, SC is one of the most highly desired areas for homebuyers in the nation.