Reflecting on 2019, we remain quite proud we were able to accomplish so much as we continue steady, mindful commercial and residential growth -- all while staying focused on the individual needs of our community members.

Grove City remains a hot-spot of interest for new and expanding businesses. In 2020, there will be continued focus on infrastructure and planning as we maintain a high priority on safe, functional roadways and meaningful development.

Movement continues on enhancements to our beloved historic Town Center. With input from the community via surveys and public meetings, we continue to pinpoint a policy to guide the implementation of public realm enhancements as well as infill and economic development initiatives. There is an ongoing and supportive desire to maintain the unique history and character of Town Center.

Residents will recognize marked progress within the Beulah development in 2020, as builders continue their work on one of central Ohio's most exciting mixed-use neighborhoods. The area has already attracted the attention of the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio as Beulah will host the Parade of Homes this summer, attracting residents and prospective new business.

Preserving and growing our green spaces, parks and outdoor entertainment areas are important facets of planning. Upcoming projects include an amphitheater at Beulah and a community space in Town Center on the site of the former library. Grove City's parks and recreation activities, festivals, parades and celebrations will continue to be combined with creative learning opportunities, addressing social needs and historic enrichment. One of our many key focus areas for 2020 is environmental sustainability -- using fewer resources and creating less waste -- building on the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission's sustainability agenda. Grove City's Environmental Sustainability Committee will continue to focus on positively impacting the environment by reducing energy consumption, preserving natural resources, fostering economic opportunities, creating sustainable neighborhoods and developing overall collaboration. As a bonus and a measure of our ongoing efforts, the goal for 2020 is to earn MORPC's Platinum Status, recognizing we are leading the way for regional sustainability. This year, the U.S. Census Bureau will conduct its decennial count of every person in America, which requires cross-sector collaborations with many organizations and municipalities. We're gearing up to support the efforts and look forward to Grove City residents providing a good response, making certain our area is well-represented.

It's true 2019 brought good fortune and blessings to Grove City. We now enter a year that promises to be filled with exciting activity, necessary enhancements and welcome transformations.

Richard "Ike" Stage is the mayor of Grove City.