Mayor Nagel’s 2017 Goals

1.  COMPLETE THE RENOVATION OF THE SENIOR CITIZENS BUILDING AT FOUR SEASONS PARK.

With the awarding of the funding grant from Lions International, and with the generous matching funds from the City of Arlington and both the Arlington and the Green Isle Lions’ organizations, the remodeling project is scheduled to begin early this spring.  The community can look forward to a revitalized building with new restrooms, kitchen improvements, new forced air heating and cooling system, a new ceiling surface, new lighting, new entry doors, and additional windows to allow for increased natural light.  Our Senior Citizens group, which now uses the building on a weekly basis, will be relocated to another facility during the renovation project.

2.  MOVE FORWARD WITH THE PROCESS OF INVENTORYING ALL TREES LOCATED ON CITY BOULEVARDS AND IN CITY PARKS.

While the preparedness training component of the Tree Inventory Program has been completed, the tree inventory itself remains to be done.  With the help of the local Boy Scout Troop, the City Shade Tree Committee, and community volunteers; each tree, whether it is in a city park or along a city boulevard, will be inspected and cataloged.  Some trees may not require further attention, some may need a degree of pruning, and some will indeed need to be removed.  The next phase then will be implementing a replanting program to address areas that, for one reason or another, are in need of replacement of either boulevard or shade trees.  The ultimate goal is to greatly increase the diversity of the City’s tree population, which currently is heavily weighted toward maple and ash varieties.  This program is being carried out under the guidance and funding of the University of Minnesota, Department of Forest Resources.

3.  BEGIN THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE OF THE 2017 STREET AND UTILITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT.

After much research into which areas of the City should be considered for a significant street improvement project, it was decided to move forward with the area directly south of the 2015 project area.  Another area of the City under consideration was the East Baker Street and East Clinton Street area, which has notable storm sewer issues. However, to develop an improvement plan for this area will take a considerable amount of engineering effort to arrive at the best solution for the noted problems.

The selected project for 2017 will involve replacement of all water, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer service, as well as, work on some sidewalks, boulevard trees, curb and gutter, and complete street replacement.  As in the past, we will need to be sensitive to the affected property owners’ concerns relating to sidewalk and driveway work, as well as, necessary tree removal and replacement.  Concurrent work on the west side of the Sibley East School project will also need to be taken into consideration.

4.  EXAMINE ALL OPTIONS FOR DELIVERY OF AMBULANCE SERVICE, FIRE AND POLICE PROTECTION.

Due to currently being short staffed in our Police Department, and facing smaller than desired numbers in our Fire Department and our Ambulance Service, we are in a position to examine these areas of vital community services to determine if we can reach out to neighboring communities experiencing similar deficiencies, in an attempt to realign or share any of these services.  The shortage of ambulance personnel, with availability during daytime hours in small communities such as ours, needs to be addressed with innovative changes.  Similarly, with many of our firefighters being employed outside the local area during the normal work day, it becomes difficult for them to respond when a call goes out.  Retention of police officers in small communities will always be an issue.  We will examine any feasible means of delivering law enforcement that is in accordance with our City Charter and doesn’t compromise the safety and well-being of our residents. 

5.  TAKE A FRESH LOOK AT ARLINGTON’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS

With the consulting assistance of recently contracted Municipal Development Group, and the expertise and energy of an experienced EDA Committee, it’s time to take a look at the entire scope of our economic development efforts.  I am urging our EDA Committee to focus on the following areas:  selling the former TSE admin building, assistance in finalizing the access route to the SW Industrial Park, identifying the need for future housing development and the potential location(s) of such, brainstorming potential uses for the soon-to-be vacant downtown Cemstone site, and determining potential future uses for all vacant city owned property.  It is imperative that business retention visits with members of our current business community routinely take place, as they are a vital asset, and deserve any assistance we can offer to retain and hopefully expand their current activity.

~Mayor Richard Nagel (rnagel@arlingtonmn.com)

 

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