As we prepare to celebrate this holiday season, I want to take a moment and thank all the residents, businesses and members of City Council for what we have been able to accomplish this past year.
With your support, our accomplishments are astounding considering the unprecedented challenges and adversity our City has faced due to the Global Pandemic, a shut-down of our economy, one record-setting rainstorm after another, a savage windstorm, and a record-setting snowstorm – the likes of which we haven’t seen in years.
Despite what would be considered insurmountable challenges, Middleburg Heights today is in a better fiscal condition than when we started this year. Our local economy continues to grow with new development, redevelopment, and continued investment by businesses and we have tackled capital improvement and infrastructure projects that have been long-standing legacy issues confronting our community.
We have been able to accomplish this because of purposeful planning and due diligence.
Last year we put in place new procedures to modernize our operations and develop efficiencies that facilitated cost savings.
We established the first-ever, long-term five-year capital budget plan.
We instituted regular, weekly reviews of the budget and our performance to ensure that we stay on track and are able to make timely adjustments based on changes in revenue.
We stuck with our plan, we stuck with our procedures, and that has allowed us to continue to work effectively and efficiently. We can do more with what we have because of sound financial planning and management.
While many communities cut services and canceled large capital and infrastructure projects, our solid financial planning and management has allowed us to be flexible and rise to the occasion to meet, and exceed, the level of service that our residents have come to expect. We have been able to not only maintain our high level of services, but in fact, increase some services.
This year we were also able to continue with a truly significant amount of planned capital and infrastructure projects:
- Resurfacing of Pearl Road and 130th
- Total reconstruction of Middlebrook Blvd., Bartholomew, and Sprague Roads
- New general pavement services contract that allowed us to repair and resurface countless side streets at a reduced cost
- Community Center improvements including skylights and Pool renovation
- Two new park pavilions
- Plans developed for former library to be converted into the new Police Station
- Process underway for detention basins between Pearl Road and Big Creek Parkway; will be the first tangible project to address flooding concerns for hundreds of residents
- We continue to formulate plans for new Senior Programming, and ultimately a new space for our seniors
All of this considering that, based upon the federal and state formula, Middleburg Heights received less CARES Act funding than most of our neighboring communities.
While we don’t yet know the future of additional CARES Act funding, we will continue to be aggressive in seeking and obtaining grants to stretch our money for capital and infrastructure projects.
Despite all we have faced, and all we have accomplished, we will end this year with one of the largest cash balances in Middleburg Heights history.
This is because we stayed with our plan. Our plan worked because we have a strategic vision, and the financial management to move us forward to achieve that vision.
Regardless of all of its formidable challenges, the pandemic hasn’t, and won’t, shut down growth in our community.
- Two of the largest buildings in the last 40 years are currently under construction
- The Southland Redevelopment Plan has been well received by the property owners in the Southland Business District, and we continue to make progress on the redevelopment of the Southland area
- There continues to be investment in the redevelopment of commercial areas in the City
- IHOP / Tropical Smoothie Café / Jersey Mikes
- Raising Cane’s / Car Wash to name just a few…
- Progress continues on the first Master Plan for Middleburg Heights in 50 years
- The first complete update of our Zoning Code in over 35 years is well under way
Ultimately, our goal is to provide the best services to our residents, and to make sure our community is sustainable. It’s not just about today – it’s about our future.
For all the challenges we have faced, and all of the challenges we will face in the coming year, I see a light at the end of the tunnel – not just a light, but a spotlight on the future, and that future is positive.
Again, I want to thank all the residents, businesses and members of City Council for all their support and leadership this past year. I wish all of you a safe and enjoyable Holiday!