Mayor Collins: 'I've never cut more ribbons in my life'
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - The Town of Summerville is riding full steam ahead with more businesses and families moving to the flower town in the pines than ever before.
"The growth in and around Summerville is just phenomenal," said Summerville Mayor Bill Collins. "It seems like I'm cutting two to three ribbons a week - I've never cut more ribbons in my life. I think we are wearing the scissors out."
Collins is not getting off the fast-moving train anytime soon.
The mayor said he signed a contract Monday that will begin a master plan to manage the growth of the town over the next 20 years.
"Because of that growth the biggest challenge that we have now is managing that growth," Collins said. "I don't think we can stop it and we don't want to stop it but we want to manage it in a way that protects the quality of life we have here and yet accommodate that growth."
Summerville's population has ballooned to 45,000 people and is now the seventh largest city in the state, according to the 2012 Census.
"Summerville is like a huge family, of course when you have a huge family, families have good days and bad days," Collins said.
The former newspaper man and past owner of the Summerville Journal Scene said he is having the time of his life as mayor serving the people.
"The reason I ran for mayor is the community has been so good to me and it was a chance to give back," Collins said. "I say it is the perfect Southern town -- it has history, it has friendly people, it has a small town atmosphere, but it has offerings you find in big cities. I can't imagine a more perfect place to live."
Collins was sworn into office in June 2011 taking the reigns of the town from then-longtime mayor, Berlin G. Myers.
Collins says he plans to run for re-election in 2015.
Tune into ABC News 4 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday for a live broadcast from Summerville for the "Your Neighbors" series.