DATE: February 7, 2017
TO: City Council, Mayor, Staff and Community Members
FROM: Mary Garness, City Administrator
RE: Winter Quarterly Briefing
Dear Members of the Community:
Happy New Year! Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous 2017! As 2017 begins, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the extremely challenging yet rewarding year that has passed. There have been numerous activities, including two major storms that have brought the community together creating a new sense of pride and respect for this place we call home next to the water. It is amazing to reflect on the amount of activity in the community and the continual momentum which has created growth and opportunity. Much of this momentum can be attributed to improvements that have been completed or are currently underway to improve the quality of life in Ashland. While not an extensive list, the following projects and initiatives have either started or have been completed in 2017:
- Housing infrastructure improvement programs and efforts including a rental registration program and enforcement;
- Roffer’s Site clean-up for redevelopment purposes;
- Reconstruction of 22 blocks of 6th Street West;
- Reconstruction of 7 blocks of 7th Ave. E.;
- Draft of 20-year Comprehensive Plan ready for community input and Council approval;
- Completion of the new Fire Station building site restoration;
- Completion of improvements to Prentice Park campground facilities and the bath house;
- Maslowski Beach new playground equipment installed;
- Maslowski Beach artesian well improvements;
- Fire/EMS critical care endorsement;
- Development of a K-9 unit and funding secured through donations;
- Grant award for improvements to Maslowski Beach to mitigate high levels of E. Coli that are present;
- Several mill and overlay and sidewalk improvements throughout the City;
- Staffing changes throughout the City that enhance the efficiency of operations within City government;
- Recovery efforts from a major wind storm and 10-12 inch rain event;
- Exploring and promoting new technology city-wide to improve delivery of services;
- Myriad of other projects that will aim to improve the quality of life in Ashland.
The aforementioned projects would not have come to fruition without the support of the community, and most importantly without the talent and dedication of City employees.
One other very important milestone that occurred in 2016 was the approval of a new City of Ashland logo. This logo was created through the Ashland Chamber of Commerce with assistance from a professional marketing firm from Duluth. After months of community input, a new logo was developed to capture what individuals believe makes Ashland special. The “Find yourself next to the water” tagline and logo represents the connection that we have to Lake Superior and the importance that it has in creating, sustaining and providing for an exceptional quality of life.
As always, I enjoy your ideas and hope that you will contribute to the success of our City by participating in our workshops and meetings as we discover ways in which to enhance our City. The success of Ashland is premised upon staying true to our mission, maintaining shared values and vision, as well as being dedicated to principle-centered leadership.
All the best for a successful 2017!