Let me begin by saying that 2010 was a banner year for the City of Milton. We were able to trim our budget while, through more effective partnerships, increasing services to citizens. We truly established Milton's Parks and Recreation Department, which will pay huge dividends in terms of quality of life throughout the history of the city. And we improved in nearly every area of service to our citizens, reaffirming our commitment to being the best, most well-run government possible.
But this is a look to 2011, and the point I want to make right off the bat is that we will not rest on these accomplishments. Instead we will continue this drive for excellence into the coming year and endeavor to meet our citizens' high expectations. Let me take you through a list of the highlights we see coming in 2011.
Summer camp, new programs and a new park.
Summer 2011 will see the first two Milton day camps – Camp Joyful Soles at Cogburn Woods Elementary and Camp Bethwell inside the renovated Bethwell Community House. This city-owned building will also be the staging area for new recreation activities and classes and available for citizens to rent throughout the year.
In addition, 2011 will see the execution of the city’s first intergovernmental agreements with Milton’s schools to run flag football and soccer programs on their unused field space, bringing an end to a number of parents paying out-of-city fees.
Milton’s Parks and Recreation Department will also oversee the construction and opening of two new parks: A one-acre plot at the corner of Deerfield Parkway and Webb Road and a two-acre space in Crabapple between Northwestern Middle and Crabapple Crossing Elementary schools. This is in addition to scheduled improvements to Bell Memorial Park and implementation of the first phase of Milton’s Trail Plan.
Future city sites.
In March 2011, Lew Oliver Inc. Home Town Solutions will hold a charette, or design meeting, that will revisit and revise the Crabapple Master Plan. The purpose of this work is to lay the ground work for a Milton City Center in the coming years.
In addition, the City of Milton is evaluating the options for purchasing property on Ga. 9. A portion of this land will potentially go to a road helping alleviate future traffic from the under-construction Bethany Bend High School. This property will also be the future site of a public safety complex to house the city’s police and fire headquarters.
Intersections and paving.
The design concepts for two intersection improvements – Hopewell/Francis/Cogburn roads and Mayfield at Mid-Broadwell to Broadwell roads – will be created in 2011. In addition, the two existing intersection projects – Birmingham Highway at Providence/New Providence roads and Arnold Mill Road at New Providence Road – will move through their final design stages toward construction in 2012.
The City of Milton Public Works Department will also oversee the paving of a little less than seven miles of roads, including major thoroughfares Thompson, Freemanville, New Bullpen, and Webb roads and residential streets like Thorntree Run, Drummond Pond Road, Kensington Farms Drive and Powers Court.
Public Safety improvements.
Milton’s police force will gain one additional officer in 2011, allowing an existing law enforcement professional to become a member of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force. This position will mean seized dollars for additional crime fighting measures.
Residents can also expect increased fire service. Because of a recent hiring strategy, in January 2011 Milton’s Engine Company 41 will become an Advanced Life Support unit, the second in the city providing both paramedic and fire assistance. In addition, the Fire Department will add an air and light trailer to its response vehicles, meaning additional resources for firefighters at the scene of a major incident.
2012-2015 Strategic Plan.
The culmination of more than three years of work, our 2012-2015 Strategic Plan began as a list of ideas and concepts born in yearly City Council retreats. Those ideas are now being turned into a guidebook for policy decisions that, when coupled with our Comprehensive Plan and yearly budget process, will give Milton staff a clear direction for our expected progress across every department.
These are just the major highlights. I could go on and on mentioning our Community Development Department creating tax incentives for equestrian and agricultural residents to protect our rural culture. Or our commitment to make 2011’s special events and charity programs more successful than ever before. Or our continued progress in reducing the City of Milton’s waste and energy use – but I think you’re getting the picture.
Every year Milton just keeps getting better, and 2011 will be no exception. Thank you for letting us be your local government, and don’t hesitate to bring your ideas to the table as we move forward through the year.
-Mayor Joe Lockwood