Mayor Whalen Updates Rotarians

by Pat Moynahan on October 3, 2016

mayor-whalen

Mayor Diane Whalen of Florence.

FLORENCE – The city of Florence continues to see small and large investments in commercial and residential development, according to Mayor Diane Whalen.

Florence has grown into the eighth largest city in Kentucky in recent years with a current population of 32,000 residents. More than 100,000 people a day come to the city to work, shop or eat.

“Interest continues to grow in being a part of the city,” Whalen said.

Whalen, who is in her fifth term and 18th year as mayor, updated members of the Florence Rotary Club on new development and revitalization projects around the city at a luncheon meeting on Monday, September 26.

Costco, Planet Fitness and Dave & Buster’s all have opened in Florence Heights off Mall Road in the past year. Plans for a Menard’s home improvement center are currently on hold. The owner of the company has halted all construction nationwide until after the 2016 presidential election, Whalen noted.

“We hope to see them move forward next year,” she said.

Plans are in the works for a Chick-Fil-A and Outback Steakhouse at that location, too.

New commercial and residential developments are under construction on Hopeful Road. Gabe’s, which offers name brand clothing, accessories, bath and beauty products, and housewares, will open next door to At Home on October 8 in the building that previously housed Bigg’s.

The Villages of Florence, 177 apartment homes for independent senior living, is going up further south on Hopeful Road between Ky. 18 and U.S. 42.

Senior living also is a part of the mix in the revitalization occurring along Dream Street. Magnolia Springs Senior Living Campus is under construction at the intersection of Ewing Boulevard and Dream Street. Demolition of the former Florence Inn is expected to be completed by the end of the year to open more space for redevelopment, according to Whalen.

“We are trying to maintain sustainable resources for generations to come,” she said. “We have not raised the real estate tax since 2008.

“We have been able to function and function well without raising taxes on our residents.”

A key factor in the city’s growth and success has been the work of the city’s public services departments, the mayor said. Although the police, parks and recreation efforts don’t receive as much publicity as economic development, they keep the community clean and safe.

“Public services touch everyone,” she said.