Grove City, central Ohio's only city twice voted best hometown by Ohio Magazine, is embarking on another incredible year.
The best hometown sentiment is supported by the biennial community survey that reported 91 percent of our respondents rate Grove City as good or excellent. This rating is at a 25-year high.
We will end 2018 with nearly 1 million square feet of new medical services from surgery to long-term care, well on our way to becoming a regional medical services destination. The new facilities, services and 2,000 professionals working for Mount Carmel, OhioHealth, Veterans Administration Clinic, Orthopedic ONE and many others combine to dispense the ultimate in quality medical care.
Economic growth and development continues throughout our community, and a preliminary development plan was just approved for a mixed-use redevelopment of the 211-acre Beulah Park site. Two new hotels are approved, providing another 264 rooms complementing the city's existing 1,400, maintaining our position as the second largest suburban hospitality destination in central Ohio.
We remain careful about our growth by consciously investing in preserving our well-earned community reputation of enjoying a high-level quality of life centered on an active and ever-improving parks and recreation system.
After more than 132 years at its current site, the Grove City train depot will travel to Century Village and join other structures from the 1800s. Volunteers from the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society will renovate the building, adding to the village's historical experience.
Our community's well-recognized charm stems in part from the city's tradition of treasuring its history, events, places and people.
Spring will bring the opening of a brand new splash pad at Fryer Park in partnership with the YMCA.
Our community's trail system also is growing -- join us for a spring ribbon-cutting of the winding West Water Run trail through the center of Beulah Park. The trail will connect the Town Center to Westgrove and Central Crossing High School.
Lastly, thanks to unprecedented community participation, the GroveCity2050 document will be released, providing an important framework to proactively share where and how our community will sustain its quality development.
As we continue to grow, rest assured we will preserve our community spirit and small-town charm.
Richard L. "Ike" Stage is serving his fifth term as mayor.