Mayor Billy Phelps State of the City Address
"We now enter a new year, to reflect upon the accomplishments of the past, and to focus on the potentials of the future. This time is marked by the creation of New Year resolutions, whereby people challenge themselves to goals and achievements they hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. This is the spirit in which the City of Morgantown enters this new year, to aspire to be greater than we’ve ever been.
Four years ago, when I took office, Morgantown was in a much different place. We were on the verge of financial ruin due to the mismanagement, and eventual failure of a private industry. Through perseverance, and tough decision-making by this administration, the City is now on to greener pastures, with a bright future ahead. At this point, financially, the City is the strongest it has ever been in its history being able to provide needed emergency services, infrastructure repairs and renovations, service needs, capital outlay expenditures, and projects that will propel us into the future. While we always face forward to the challenges ahead, we must also look back at some of the great things accomplished this past year.
Some notable successes for 2018 were:
· The selling of the Kentucky Copper Building for 1.35 million dollars, and the subsequent payoff of all city debts.
· Blacktopping many of our City streets for an amount 0f $389,000
· Nearly $50,000 in new and improved Fire Fighter Turnout Gear
· A new sidewalk along North Ward Ave to allow kids safer passage to school
· New speakers on our street in downtown
· As well as an investment of 6.1 million to Corvac Composites resulting in 30 new jobs
2019 will be a promising year for our City, without the past debts holding us back, and with the hard work and dedication of our staff, officials and boards we are looking forward to meeting all the challenges that lay ahead.
In 2019, we will focus on our downtown, the heart of our city. We will start our own transportation services, something unheard of in a city of our size. Small businesses and entrepreneurs must have guidance and funding to get off the ground, this is something the City will focus heavily on this year. We must update our Comprehensive Plan and strategies to ensure that our trajectory continues into the future and for years to come. We will continue to create new and repair existing roads and sidewalks, providing access for safe passage for our youth and elderly citizens. We will emphasize the importance of improving and renovating the City Park, to be enjoyed for generations to come. These are just a select few of the many, many initiatives and projects to come this year.
In 2019, the City begins its MORE LIKE HOME marketing campaign, much like the award-winning Renaissance Plan of 2016, this campaign provides goals for us to achieve, all while marketing our City. This campaign is a challenge to both the City and Community to be “more.” It is about challenging ourselves to push the limit, expand and be greater than we were before. The City is no longer merely surviving, we have to be striving.
Being more, isn’t about a quantifiable amount, but about aspiring to be greater than the years in our past. Expanding opportunities, providing access, pushing forward and challenging ourselves to be a stronger administration, town, and community. You’ll hear a lot this year about how Morgantown plans to be “more,” by providing more parks, more transportation, more fun, more shops, more history, and so on. A City is made up of all of these elements, and we will strive to provide every service and opportunity we can for our citizens. We hope to inspire our business leaders, community members and residents to be “more” as well. Help us push Morgantown into our future, it is only together that we can make this goal a reality.
Help us make Morgantown more like home.