Gore: 2012 was 'very succesful' for Marysville
Marysville Mayor John Gore cites a laundry list of things that sum up a good year for the city of Marysville in 2012.
"I view it as a very successful year," he said. "I'm very pleased with some of the things we were able to get done."
At the top of the list are new city facilities and infrastructure improvements.
"We completed the fire station and made great progress on the police and court facility," he said. "We were able to put together a plan for the second fire station we committed to, but also a new Municipal Service Complex."
And it was all done while staying within the projected budget, he said.
The new fire station at 16300 County Home Road was dedicated Sept. 11. The new police and court facility at the corner of Fifth Street and Raymond Road is projected to open in March 2013.
The one facility not on the list at the beginning of 2012 is now another priority for the mayor and his administration in 2013: the Municipal Services Complex.
"What was planned was a second fire station -- remodeling the old one and remodeling this building (City Hall). But once we figured out for $1 million more you could have a brand new facility, then we did that," Gore said.
The Municipal Services Complex will include part of the old fire station at the corner of Sixth and Main streets. An addition will be built onto that facility to make room for some city offices and the Uptown fire station.
But the high point in 2012 for Gore is the financial bottom line.
"We're paying two notes off 10 years early," he said. "We're going to save almost $2 million. All it cost us is a $5,000 penalty. To me, that's one of the biggest accomplishments, not only the buildings and the improvement in our facilities but to pay down debt."
Gore said once the Municipal Services Complex is completed, the next project might be a new water plant.
"We've had discussions about it being a 2014 project," he said. "I personally don't think we're ready to make the commitment for 2014. But if we find the right customers for usage, then we will proceed."
The city has streamlined many operations and consolidated some positions, dropping from 16 departments to 12.
Infrastructure improvements in 2012 include the newly opened and remodeled Maple Street bridge, the state Route 4 bridge over U.S. Route 33 and the project to widen and install traffic lights at the state Route 4 and County Home Road intersections.
Gore is also pleased with the implementation of the Council of Governments, which received a $400,000 loan to work collaboratively with Union County and Marysville schools. The primary goal of the COG was to create a "consolidated data center" and a joint information-technology department to save money for each of the three entities.
The school district is another bullet point on the mayor's list of continuously developing relationships.
"A successful school system lends to a more successful community and we have to be partners," he said. "Anything we can do to partner with the schools to make them successful we will do so."
Gore said customer service is important to him. That's why he schedules "coffee with the mayor" on Saturday mornings.
"It opened City Hall to the owners: the taxpayers,' he said.
The community responded well to new sand volleyball courts at Eljer Park and summer recreation programs for children at city parks, as well as the successful Uptown Friday Nights, Gore said.
Businesses such as Tim Hortons, Union County Memorial Hospital's expansion, and the popular Turkey Hill convenience store are just signs of potentially more to come, according to Gore.
"Our doors are always open for business and we're always looking for more economic development but we want smart development. The doors open," he said.