Washington Evening Journal
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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 13, 2017

Council’s 2016 goals a work in progress

Nov 28, 2017

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

While the Washington City Council will work on setting city goals for the coming years, the goals that the council set in 2016 are in various stages of completion and work will continue on them through the coming year.

Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said the goals are made to direct the city for at least two years. He said each year the council selects between three and six goals for the year and this sets the pace for the coming years. While the city regularly updates the goals, a two-year window recognizes many major initiatives take longer than a year to complete, he said.

“We have made progress on all of them,” Hinson said. “Some are completely done and some aren’t done yet, but the idea was that it is a two-year process.”

The goal-setting for the coming years will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, in the Washington Public Library.

The first 2016 goal was for the city to construct major sewer inflow and infiltration improvements in the southeastern sewer system. Hinson said this will be a 2018 project and the city has gone through the planning process for the project.

The second goal was to place a hotel/motel tax on a 2017 ballot. On Aug. 1, Washington voters approved implementing the hotel/motel tax. Collections of the tax will begin on Jan. 1 and the first revenues to the city are expected in July 2018. Revenues from the tax, which are projected to be about $30,000 to $40,000 annually, are state-mandated to be used to promote the area. It can be used for tourism, community improvement or promotion.

Council also set the goal of making the final decisions of the direction the new fire department, police department and municipal building will take. On Nov. 7, the council received the conceptual designs for both the new fire station and the renovated municipal building that will hold city offices and the police department. Input is currently being taken from the community on the designs. Construction is expected to begin in September 2018.

Another goal was to promote the improvement of parks and recreation through construction projects. Hinson said the biggest piece of that is the wellness park. Earlier this month the basic design of the proposed Wellness Park to be constructed on 46 acres along Fifth Street and North D Avenue was unveiled to the community for input.

Hinson said that the council also identified in the capital improvement plan several other smaller projects in the parks.

The last goal was for the city to actively promote residential housing development. Hinson said the city still is working on a project on South 15th Avenue.

Hinson said the progress will be reviewed at the meeting and the council will give input.

He also said some coming goals will be based on a survey from the council.

The survey got 60 responses from the public and an additional seven from elected officials and 16 from city staff.

He said there are a few areas with very good agreement.

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