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Huntsville’s Visit To Greenville: What’s Next?

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WHNT News 19 followed civic leaders on their trip to Greenville, taking action to get you exclusive insights into the future of our community.  In this report, we look at where Huntsville plans to go from here.

"People tend to look at downtowns as sort of a place of the past, not the future, and they've got to begin to see, no, it can be part of the future," said Greenville Mayor Knox White.  "It can be successful."

It's appropriate that Huntsville city leaders wrap up their trip to Greenville with a brainstorm.  They create a vision for the future.

"How many rooms do we have right now?" someone asks.

Someone writes a list on a large drawing board showing strengths and opportunities.

They find their fuel in Greenville's strengths and opportunities.

"You look at their river that comes through Greenville, and it's about as big as Pinhook Creek, and we've talked a long time about having a river walk," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.  "We've talked a long time about doing some mixed use developments, which we're working on right now with the Councill Courts developments."
   
But with watering mouths, city leaders look for immediate improvements.  They see the chance to make some quick and meaningful changes.

"Signage downtown.  If you look around and look at the signage and the branding that they've done, super job," said Mayor Battle.  "Just some little things that we can do just to enhance our downtown feel."

Because to build a city, these Rocket City leaders believe you need to build a downtown.

If there's one thing you learn in Greenville, it's how many people can appreciate that effort.

"It belongs to everybody.  It belongs to southeast, southwest, northeast and northwest, and it's all of our downtown," said Mary Jane Caylor of Huntsville's Big Spring Partners.

A number of city offices are holding meetings now to figure out specific steps forward following the trip.