Mayor Gary W. Starr delivered his “State of the City” address to a sold out audience at the Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce luncheon on April 13, 2017. During his speech, Mayor Starr discussed new business and development in the city, the Middleburg Heights Central Park and the city finances.
Mayor Starr stated that 2017 is shaping up to be another prosperous year for business expansion and development. Two international hotels will now call Middleburg Heights home. The Marriott Residence Inn, a 112 room hotel scheduled to be completed in early 2018 and Hilton Home 2 Suites, a 111 room hotel which is now open for business. Construction of American Veteran’s Parkway, off of Fry Road, is complete and is part of the new Office Building Park, anchored by the new operations facility for Quadax, Incorporated. Also, Fat Head’s Brewery and Restaurant is expanding and will be investing $12 million dollars in a new craft beer brewery and 250 seat full service restaurant which will create 74 new jobs in Middleburg Heights. In 2016, the direct efforts of Mayor Starr, City Council and the Economic Development Department helped create and/or retain over 6,962 jobs with an annual payroll of $206,188,720 in the city of Middleburg Heights.
Continuing to look ahead, the Mayor’s strategic 20/20 Vision Plan, which was announced in 2009, and a new public park, is becoming a reality with the successful acquisition of several properties on Bagley Road. Once all the properties have been acquired by the city, the plan is to preserve the land for public parks and green space. The city’s “Central Park” will connect to the MetroPark trails, city neighborhoods and the city hall grounds across the street. The city’s new state of the art, 16,000 square foot library will be part of “Central Park” with construction scheduled to begin soon. “Central Park” will create a new energy and excitement for the city of Middleburg Heights. Property values will increase and more new businesses will be attracted to Middleburg Heights.
Mayor Starr discussed the financial health of the city. Our success is having a detailed economic development growth plan that has increased revenues, and controlled costs. Unlike other cities, Middleburg Heights has had no layoffs, no cuts in city services and no tax increases. Mayor Starr reported that the city finances continue to be solid with the city credit rating ranked in the top 4% in the state of Ohio. Middleburg Heights also continues to prove its prosperity with its property valuation nearly tripling in the last 30 years and its old debt from the Community Center and Service Center being completely paid off in 2018. Middleburg Heights continues to be a prosperous, vibrant and livable city.
Fire Chief Galgas and the City Council recently purchased an aerial ladder and platform for the Fire Department to improve the department’s aerial height and reach capabilities. Middleburg Heights also became the first suburb to use the Cleveland Clinic’s new lifesaving mobile stroke unit staffed with specially trained personnel and equipment designated for immediate diagnosis and treatment of strokes. The recent appointment of John Ligato as Safety Director/Veteran Affairs brings unmatched skills and experience as an FBI agent, a member of the military and a distinguished teacher to the city.
Additional exciting developments for Middleburg Heights includes the recent approval of a new maintenance building for the Cleveland Browns in Middleburg Heights, the Mayor’s plan to reorganize and offer more services to the city’s senior population and the scheduled recreation improvements to city hall park, pavilions, dug outs and more.
Mayor Starr finished by saying the city is more than bricks, mortar and finance, it’s a close-knit community where children can walk to school without fear and where neighbors help neighbors, as they did during the recent power outage, sharing food and batteries. It is Mayor Starr’s goal that the city continue down this established path of excellence.