FLORENCE — Two candidates are vying to be mayor in the May 10 election. Incumbent Mayor Mary Condon will face challenger David Merideth to see who will serve the city for the next four years.

Merideth, 72, is a retired Florence native who has been involved in the city for decades. Beginning in the 1960s as assistant fire chief, Merideth was instrumental in improving the volunteer fire station, organizing training for members so they could provide better services.

In the 1970s, he helped bring emergency medical services to the area. The local EMS subsequently ended up addressing many of the accidents seen along State Highway 195. Meredith also served more than 10 years on the Florence City Council — most recently in 2008 — and chaired the planning and zoning board in the 1970s.

Merideth said Central Texas has to grapple with several issues, but water is a big one Florence needs to address soon. Water, the state of roads around town and the growth slowly climbing north from the lower part of Williamson County are on the top of his list.

“The growth is coming this way, fast and furious, and the city of Florence needs to get prepared for it, because it’s going to happen whether we like it or not,” he said.

Condon, 61, agreed. Condon, who has served as mayor for the last four years and was on the council for 14 years prior, said the highway loop around Florence will be a chance to redefine downtown. Plus, she said the highway going around the city has the added benefit of cutting down on through-traffic. Water is on her issue list as well.

“We are starting a project in the next couple of weeks that we’ve been working on since 2006 to bring 500-acre-feet of water to the town, surface water ... and the 500-acre-feet will secure our water future,” said Condon, explaining that the city has had some problems with its wells.

Early voting starts Monday and ends May 6. Vote at Florence City Hall, 106 S. Patterson Ave.

Contact Courtney Griffin at cgriffin@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7559

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