- The CEO of Greenville, Fla. announced he is stepping down.
- The community is still awaiting a long-promised supermarket.
- Watch the video to see when the store is expected to open.
The CEO of Greenville announces he's stepping down as the town, in the middle of a food desert in Madison County, awaits the completion of a much-needed grocery store.
I'm Ava Van Valen in Greenville, and now many who live there are questioning the fate of that store which was supposed to open this Fall.
Ken Flanagan lives in and owns the building next door to the supermarket being built on Old Mission Avenue. When it's completed it will be the only full-service supermarket with fresh produce, a bank and a pharmacy within about 15 miles of Greenville. For now the partially finished store stands empty amid construction debris. Flanagan says no work has been done in a year.
"It's hard to find who knows what is going on."
Flanagan says he is concerned that Greenville's Town Manager is leaving his position.
"I'm concerned about it, because someone has to be in charge of what goes on with this. I know they have a general contractor for the build out, I'm not sure who runs things and who's keeping an eye on all the many things that need to be done to successfully complete. So I am concerned and I hope it doesn't effect the opening, but we'll see."
In 2020, ABC 27 reported that Greenville received nearly $2 million dollars in federal grants to build a grocery store. Three years later, it's still not open. Despite stepping down, Greenville's current Town Manager, Lee Jones says he'll see the project through to the end.
"These major projects are going to be going into 2024, and I just want to be able to make sure they don't lose any traction or get delayed in transition."
We also spoke to Greenville's Mayor Brittani Brown who confirms Lee has given his 90-day notice but that he will be signing a short-term contract to make sure the grocery store and several other important projects get completed.
Lee says the opening date for the grocery store has now been pushed into next year due to supply chain issues.
"The completion date is now Spring to Summer, sometime between April or June."
Jones originally came on board as Greenville's CEO in 2020 during the height of Covid due to short staffing. It was only supposed to be for a couple months, but he said, "the community's needs captured my heart so I agreed to stay for a year, that turned into 2 years and that turned into 3. And now we're past 3 ½ years – I think it's time for me to get back to other things."
In the meantime, neighbor Ken Flanigan says he hopes there will be someone new overseeing the project soon.
"I'm hoping there is going to be someone I can talk to about my concerns. And once operations start if there are problems, somebody we can resolve it with."
As for that town manager position Mayor Brown says they are pooling applicants and will start the screening and interviewing process very soon.