As we leave 2013 behind, the City Council, the staff and I always take a moment to look back and note the progress and projects we have worked on during the year. This year will be forever marred by the flash flood of Aug. 6 and the deaths of Jessica and Ely Lee.
The loss to the city in infrastructure and assets is estimated at $880,000. Our citizens continue to struggle with damage to their homes and the emotional and financial impact of the event. The city is determined to address as many mitigating factors as possible, as we plan for 2014.
Working with FEMA, setting goals, and working with our elected officials, we hope to make many improvements in the city, as they relate to the Roubidoux and the Mitchell Creek area. I will keep you abreast of our plans as we move forward in the new year.
The past year was full of national exposure for our city and community. From the general's daughter on "The Bachelor," two contestants on the "X Factor" and a WHS graduate on the"Bar Rescue," Waynesville was highlighted as "small town America."
We end the year celebrating the choice of Sgt. Christiana Ball as the U. S. Army's "Operation Rising Star."
Early in the year, we joined some select cities as "Purple Heart Cities" along the Purple Heart Trail of I-44. We are honored to have that distinction.
Here are some other examples of the city's progress throughout this year:
* We have had many economic development projects this year. OTC has opened its doors to record setting enrollment. The B and B Cinema has begun construction on a new Patriot 12 Cinema atop the hill in West Waynesville. Phelps County Regional has begun construction on their $24 million medical clinic, located adjacent to the VA Clinic on G. W. Lane St. McDonald's completed a major renovation of their restaurant on Ichord Ave. The High School Campus Completion Project was dedicated in November.
Downtown has seen the opening of the new Roubidoux Plaza on the square and is offering several new businesses. Many other businesses have opened in Waynesville this year.
* Many infrastructure projects highlight the determination of your Council to improve the City's service to our citizens.
We have extended our water line in Hunter's Point to the new Industrial Park, also to the new Cinema site and the new medical clinic.
We are building a new sewer line to those areas, as well. We have made several improvements to our Sewer Treatment Plant and that has improved our efficiency in the treatment of our water.
We have rebuilt the Electric Feeder line # 1, which serves Ward One. We have added re-closures to our lines to help with reliability and service.
Page 2 of 2 - * We also have begun the building of a sidewalk system from T Highway to the downtown area. This will take time, as we are relying on grants to build this needed addition.
We have finished the downtown lighting project and built the Trail of Tears site in the Laughlin Park area, with plans to install signage and a walking trail in the coming year.
We added ten lights and new sidewalks to the Roubidoux Walking Trail.
We have begun plans to address the congestion at T Highway and to build a three lane addition to Route 66 from the I Bank to T Highway.
We have begun the Waynesville Industrial Park, adding utilities and road beds. This year a water tower will rise from that area, as we begin building there.
We added a new Welcome sign on Highway 17 North. We built a new pavilion in the Roubidoux Park and announced a large donation for the Parks system from the Dial family. We addressed the low water crossing on Old H and built a new bridge structure there, in order to keep that road open during rain.
We hired a new police chief, Dan Cordova, with the retirement of long time chief, Bob Carter.
We have organized and supported the Waynesville Downtown Business Association and the Waynesville Community Foundation. We continue to use grant monies to improve the Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport, with a new community hangar and a new fuel system. We added additional parking along Benton Street at the Park entrance and will be paving that in the new budget.
We have completed our third year with the DREAM initiative for downtown.
As we begin a new year, the Council and I are reviewing goals for the coming year. Our upcoming budget is $17.3 million, with many infrastructure projects listed. I will give you a rundown of them in my January note. The Council, the staff and I wish you all a wonderful New Year.
Remember to shop local!