During my annual State of the City address to the Chamber of Commerce earlier this year, I talked about Arvada in terms of an annual health checkup. My diagnosis then and now is that Arvada is strong …
During my annual State of the City address to the Chamber of Commerce earlier this year, I talked about Arvada in terms of an annual health checkup. My diagnosis then and now is that Arvada is strong and healthy.Arvada has experienced many successes in 2017. To name a few: the Hilton Garden Inn in Olde Town welcomed its first guests in March. The Super Walmart in Ralston Creek North opened in August and the shops on the north side of Ralston Road are taking shape.
Solana Olde Town Station began leasing to new residents. The shopping center at W. 52nd Ave. and Wadsworth Blvd. has undergone an amazing transformation and we are thrilled at the new shops and restaurants available. A new Sprouts opened in west Arvada and we look forward to the opening of a King Soopers in Candelas by the middle of next year.
We’ve added over 150 primary jobs in targeted industries with companies like SAS and the Colorado Visiting Nurses Association Headquarters. Majestic View Nature Center celebrated its 15th anniversary and the Arvada Police Department achieved its 10th accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Taking advantage of the major upgrades underway by Comcast and Century Link, the City co-located over 11 miles of fiber conduit, and joined the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance. The community came together for many wonderful festivals and events, including old favorites like Independence Day and the Kite Festival, and new events like Arvada Days which celebrated our heritage. And we are looking forward to a completely renovated West Woods Golf Clubhouse which will open in early 2018.
We are experiencing some growing pains, to be sure. If there is a downside to a robust economy, it is that infrastructure sometimes can’t keep pace with growth. We have some catching up to do, particularly with our streets, which is why in 2017 the City increased our annual street maintenance budget by $4 million to $10.2 million — by far the most we have ever spent on street maintenance in one year. This was not easy — we have had to cut other areas from our budget — but we are committed to improving our transportation system.
One issue that continues to cause us aches and pains is the delay in the opening of the G Line. My prognosis for 2018 is that the G Line will finally arrive! In the meantime, this past February we opened the 600-space Olde Town Transit Hub and businesses and visitors now enjoy ample parking in our vibrant downtown.
We have also taken on the difficult issue of homelessness. I am so proud of the efforts of our police department in balancing the rights and needs of the homeless with the concerns of the larger community. We also established a Severe Weather Shelter network for the first time this year.
In closing, I want to acknowledge former City Councilmember Don Allard for over 40 years of public service to the Arvada community. Don retired from the Council in November, and we are thrilled to welcome our new at-large Councilmember Dot Miller to the City Council.
On behalf of the entire City Council, I wish you and yours a blessed holiday season, and great things for 2018.
Marc Williams was elected mayor of Arvada in 2011.