The Daily Guide asked Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman to reflect on some of the challenges, changes, and best moments for the City of Waynesville in 2017 and what the city would like to accomplish in 2018.
The City of Waynesville had several accomplishments in 2017 including completing several projects that had been in the works for a long time.
One of those projects was also mentioned by Hardman as one of the best moments for the City of Waynesville. The Little Heroes Playground, was opened and dedicated in November, after two years of fundraising and planning.
Hardman said, “The community is to be congratulated for adopting this project as their own.”
Other accomplishments Hardman mentioned were:
The City moved into a new Municipal Center and held an Open House in January.
The Dyer Street Bridge was completed, removing both low water crossings from the City.
A Comprehensive Improvement Plan was implemented for the City.
12 new fire hydrants were installed throughout the City.
Water pressure valves were installed in Pioneer Ridge.
The City completed an annex building for the Animal Shelter to offer expanded services to the animals in our community.
Hardman said one of the challenges the City of Waynesville faced in 2017 was repairing damage from the April/May flood.
Hardman said that the flood damaged the electric feeder line in Ward One and after years of being flooded and several times even destroyed, the electric feeder line was rerouted off the banks of the Roubidoux.
The City accomplished rerouting the feeder line with help from FEMA/SEMA. This project is now completed, mitigating future problems because of flooding.
Another challenge the city faced was squirrels or trees interfering with the lines. The City began to install re-closures, devices that reset the system automatically, on the lines. With just a flicker, the system is back on. The City will continue to install these every year and have several planned for the coming year, Hardman said.
Hardman told the Daily Guide, “The installation of the closures will save citizens many hours of outages and save all of us money for manpower and overtime.”
In 2017 the City of Waynesville saw growth in several areas including business and recreation. For example, the Waynesville Industrial Park got its first speculative building in 2017 and with a partnership with the Pulaski County Growth Alliance, hopes to see its first tenant in 2018, according to Hardman.
Also in the area of business improvement, Hardman said the Waynesville/St. Robert Regional Airport was able to win over $8 million in grants and the city continues to work on commercial development in West Waynesville.
In the area of recreation, Hardman said the the Youth Sports program was successful in offering activities to over 1500 youth of the community.
Infrastructure was another area Hardman said she felt the city has many improvements in their plans, pointing to Waynesville’s $17.2 million budget including purchases for new equipment and many infrastructure projects. In 2018, the city plans to complete the G. W. Lane Street project, by installing a third lane and sidewalks along the north side.
In the area of recreation, the city plans a new accessible bathroom facility in the eastern area of Roubidoux Park.
In 2018 the City of Waynesville will celebrate 175 years as the chartered county seat of Pulaski County. The City will also observe the 95th birthday of an original Route 66 bridge over the Roubidoux.
On behalf of the City Council, herself and the City staff, Mayor Hardman’ s wish for 2018 is “to continue our work to make Waynesville a safer, cleaner place to live. We are proud of our natural Ozark setting and the historical nature of our town. We send our best wishes for a great new year for you and your family.”