In the June 21 paper, I wrote about the “State of the City.” In that issue, I wrote about what has been done over the past few years and O’Fallon’s recent accomplishments. In this week’s column, I’ll cover what plans we have for the near future.
Over the past 12 months, the City Council voiced their priorities, and city staff has worked hard to move those priorities forward. As a result, we have put a new emphasis on the city’s infrastructure. We began by first studying our roads, sewer, and water systems to determine the most productive use of the city’s time and taxpayer money. We will focus on maintaining the high quality of our existing infrastructure and smart growth extension of services.
We will be working hard to continue growing O’Fallon’s economy. O’Fallon continues to be the choice for businesses, made evident by Sugarfire BBQ, Dewey’s Pizza, Marriot Town Place Suites, and Marcus Theatres. We will continue to focus on smart growth and attracting good companies to O’Fallon.
We have been working diligently on preparing the area north of Interstate 64, between exits 19 and 21, for development. Since exit 21 was completed, this area has been on the radars of many major developers of logistics, warehouse, and cyber security. We believe this area will be the next major growth area in the entire St. Louis area and will compliment Scott Air Force Base very well. Development of this new area will help create jobs, property tax revenue for O’Fallon schools, and diversify our economy.
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O’Fallon is one of the safest communities in the area. And, although I may be bias, we have the best public safety personnel. The dedicated men and women of the O’Fallon police, fire, and EMS departments are well trained, well prepared, and dedicated to service. In this next year, we are planning to hire three additional police officers.
The investments made as part of Destination O’Fallon are starting to produce positive results. O’Fallon Station is under construction, and should be completed sometime this fall, and the soccer fields at the Family Sports Park are hosting large tournaments, attracting thousands to O’Fallon. We are expecting two new hotels (Marriot is under construction, and Hampton Inn has been approved to be built next to the Regency Conference Center), and hotel use in O’Fallon has increased.
There are many more new developments that I am hoping can be announced soon. O’Fallon is a great community and we are busy working to make it even better!
Finally, City Fest, the first city-sponsored festival in years, will be held on Aug. 17 and 18. Organizers are still looking for volunteers. They have a Facebook page set up for the event.
I have spent over 40 years working in management. Over those years, I have traveled the world and worked with thousands of people. I can honestly say that this past year, serving as your mayor, has been the most enjoyable year “working” in my life. Thank you.
As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.