Marysville Mayor Chris Schmenk presented her State of the City Address Thursday night, highlighting accomplishments from the last year along with the city's efforts in planning for the future.

Marysville Mayor Chris Schmenk presented her State of the City Address Thursday night, highlighting accomplishments from the last year along with the city's efforts in planning for the future.

"Overall, your city is in good condition," she said. "We have held our own during this period of economic recession, we have experienced employees in place who are capable of managing through these challenging times, and we are planning strategically for our future."

Schmenk began by addressing the city's finances from the previous year - while enterprise funds (funds used for sewer, water, stormwater and sanitation services) fluctuated compared to 2008, the city's 2009 general fund revenue was down 2.1 percent from the previous year.

"However, we were able to adjust and decrease spending so we could maintain the necessary level of cash reserves," Schmenk said.

"First, we cut over $1.1-million from our initial proposed 2009 budget," she continued. "Capital expenses were $356,888 less than 2008. Only one replacement police vehicle was purchased during the year to replace two vehicles lost in weather related accidents open employee positions were not filled. All street paving was cut unless it was to be funded by grants."

City leaders also tried to address the budgetary shortfall through the vote, with a proposed increase to residents' municipal income tax. Schmenk said that although the measure was unsuccessful, she believes an increase is still needed.

"The needs are still there, and they will not go away," she said. "Many residents have told us that we should try again. We are therefore determined to go before our voters again this May, and we appreciate (city) council's help in advance.

"Make no mistake, we cannot continue with our usual services to the public at a one percent (municipal income tax) rate," she continued. "If we fail again in May, further cuts will be needed."

Schmenk then discussed several of the positive aspects of 2009, including employee wellness (the city had a savings of $45,209 on medical costs by implementing Health Reimbursement Accounts and Health Savings Accounts for its workers, she said); the revision of the city policy manual (new policies were created to address the executive valuation process, violence in the workplace, retiring equipment procedures and other issues); a revision of the city's hiring process; and the completion of several traffic studies, examining potential traffic issues within the city.

Schmenk said Marysville also experienced several positive building projects in 2009.

"In spite of the recession, our city saw new developments still occur," she said. "Construction starts included the Inn at Halcyon Village, a new Scotts Miracle-Gro office building and a new Scotts production facility and warehouse; Aaron Rents in City Gate, and Crazy Burrito in Coleman's Crossing."

The city's new water reclamation facility also went online last year, Schmenk said, doubling Marysville's wastewater treatment capacity from four million to eight million gallons per day. The city also completed work in mid-summer on the reservoir on Raymond Road, the inflatable dam on Mill Creek and the Mill Creek pumping station.

"Additionally, the city is proactively working to address future water supply, treatment and distribution needs and ever-tightening regulatory requirements," Schmenk said. "To meet these needs and requirements, the city has begun the design for a new water treatment plant." That design process will take about two years, she added, with another three years to build.

Schmenk focused heavily on efforts to anticipate the future in 2009.

"While we didn't have money to spend, we knew that the economy will turn around eventually, so we felt that this past year was a good time to prepare for the future," she said.

That effort was focused primarily on a new city comprehensive plan, she added.

"The Comp Plan was created to develop a shared understanding of Marysville's future needs and best strategies for ensuring a successful future," she said. "The Comp Plan is a tool to help the community lay the groundwork for making great things happen. We are in the process of finalizing the Comp Plan and, when completed, it will provide a vivid statement of guiding principles for the city's future and an ambitious, but achievable, program of improvements that will give the city the capacity and methods for achieving those guiding principles."

Efforts to create a parks and recreation master plan were also achieved in 2009, Schmenk said.

Although the past year included hardships, Schmenk concluded, she believes Marysville is positioned well for success in the future.

"In concluding, I advise you that the state of our city is strong," she said. "2009 was a year of planning and ensuring that we have a strong foundation for the future. And, our future continues to be very bright."