Thursday, April 21, 2016

Louisville Mayor Receives National Honor

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Louisville Mayor Will Hill
Louisville Mayor Will Hill and his wife Sarah will travel to Washington, DC where he will be presented with a 2016 Phoenix Award on May 1 during a U.S. Small Business Administration National Small Business Week award ceremony. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will present the awards to Mayor Hill and two other recipients

Since 1998, the SBA has presented Phoenix Awards to business owners, public officials and volunteers who displayed selflessness, ingenuity and tenacity in the aftermath of a disaster, while contributing to the rebuilding of their communities.

Hill will receive the 2016 Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Public Official.

The tornado that hit Louisville on April 28, 2014 ripped a path of destruction that was half a mile wide, and 32 miles long. More than 200 homes and businesses were destroyed or heavily damaged, and 10 people were killed.

Mayor William Hill and the residents of Louisville were looking forward to the creation of 200 new jobs after the city signed a contract with Winston Plywood and Veneer, a manufacturer of specialty plywood products, who would take over a former Georgia Pacific plant. The tornado destroyed the plant, creating another economic blow to the city of 6,600.

After overseeing the search and rescue efforts with local first responders and coordinating the initial recovery, Mayor Hill shifted his focus to Louisville’s long-term economic recovery. He reached out to the parties involved in the Winston Plywood and Veneer deal, which included investors, state and federal officials, to encourage the company to renew their commitment to build the plant in Louisville.

On January 30, 2015, Mayor Hill welcomed Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and officials from Winston Plywood and Veneer for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a new, state-of-the-art plywood mill. The project represents an investment of $50 million and will create 400 new jobs in Louisville.
(press and staff reports)