Mayor Billy Phelps State of City 2018
The State of the City address falls on a unique time in the year for the City; it comes at the beginning of the new calendar year in the middle of the budget fiscal year. In this way, the State of the City is simultaneously a year in review and a progress checkup. This is an opportunity to show the city's achievements, in addition to, informing the Council and community about the current state and the future of our town.
As in the past yeas, the City had progressed despite the financial challenges that we have faced. Because of the strain imposed by the Kentucky Copper situation, the City has become leaner and equipped to meet the challenges of the future. We have chosen to make the best of a bad situation and spend conservatively as we can to ensure that taxpayer funds are wisely and fairly spent. While this time period has not been easy, we have made several notable achievements in the past year, such as:
Achievements, audits, and ordinances
- Received a $45,000 grant from TVA to develop the Industrial Park
- Largest budget in the City's history
- Perfect audit with no findings
- Doubled savings in our City funds
- Sidewalks to School Project
- The Council passed the Code Enforcement Ordinance and hired a Code Enforcement Officer.
- Ethics Ordinance
- Professionalized Budget Ordinance
In addition, the City has received notable state and national recognitions:
- ICMA Recognition for the Renaissance Project
- KLC Recognition- Enterprise City Award for the Renaissance Project
- Chief position as Chairman of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police Legislative Board
- Mayor position on KLC Board of Directors
As we move into 2018, we can finally see the end of the Kentucky Copper debacle and the beginning of our own City's future. We can put into action all the plans and strategies we have been creating over the past years with the financial freedom we are about to embark upon. This new potential allows all of us to have a discussion about what kind of City we want to be. There are ample amounts of projects and improvements that need to be completed, and now is the time to discuss how these improvements are to be made with an emphasis on planning, strategizing and long-term planning. The City is 205 years old and will be here for another 205 years and beyond, so it is essential that we make the best decisions for the long-term health and viability of our town.
After I receive the check for the Kentucky Copper Building, I will immediately call an engineering firm to renovate of the Park. The City Park has been in decline for many years, and it is time to invest in the park infrastructure, in our community, and in our youth. We have budgeted $200,000 to spend on Park improvements, and I intend to make that my priority. Furthermore, our roads are in a disastrous state. We haved budgeted $270,000 to repair and repave streets. Other notable spending categories are $30,000 for sidewalks, continuing our Sidewalks to School Program, $20,000 for police equipment, $25,000 for Facade Grant for downtown, and $30,000 for City events. The City will invest more money in infrastructure this year than in the last five years combined. This is all made possible by the sale of the Kentucky Copper building and conservative spending and saving by my administration.
It is imperative that we stave off the decline of our city, change the trajectory of our path, and meet the potential that we have. We will market our city, improve our city and make our citizens proud to call Morgantown home.
Morgantown is on the rise.