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Beatifying a blighted neighborhood and supporting economic development projects are goals Lancaster Mayor Joe Shaw and City Administrator Helen Sowell have identified for 2011.
The two recently reflected on the past year while looking forward to what lies ahead for the city of Lancaster.
Sowell said one of the greatest accomplishments of 2010 was the city’s partnership with Lancaster County to reopen the former Springs Industries building on 15th Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
Community Development Block Grant money is paying for the bulk of the improvements.
City public works has already relocated some of its operations there. The building will also serve as a training facility and a satellite office for the police department and sheriff’s office.
Law officers are expected to begin operations there this month.
The Brooklyn area has also received new sidewalks, waterlines and other infrastructural improvements over the past year.
“The results are already being evidenced in crime reduction and neighborhood stabilization,” Sowell said.
The city has continued work on its Streetscape project, which has seen beautification along Main Street. The latest phase has brought new sidewalks, curbing and lighting along South Main Street near Gooch and Emmons streets.
“The improvements in that area are a definite benefit to our community,” Sowell said.
Economic development and infrastructure
County leaders have been discussing a proposed industrial park near Lancaster County Airport that could lure businesses. Shaw said the city has pledged to commit $1 million to the effort.
“We’re going to do everything we’re supposed to do to make this work,” he said. “It has a lot of potential.”
Shaw said he is pleased with the expansion of the city’s solid waste transfer station, which also benefits county residents beyond the city limits.
Improvements continue at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Grant money is helping pay for those renovations as well.
The city has the capacity to treat about 7.5 million gallons of water per day, though it is using only about 3.5 million.
“Four million is sitting there waiting for industry,” Shaw said. “We’re in good shape there.”
Sowell touted the city’s focus on tourism and continued effort to foster a greater sense of community.
“In the area of hospitality tax revenue, we added the Red Rose Festival while continuing to improve our Christmas festivities and the Performing Arts Series,” she said.
Shaw and Sowell each said they hope to see a recycling program begin in the new year.
“We think that’s going to be more economical for our citizens,” Shaw said. “That’s a biggie.”
Sowell said the city wants to continue to improve its parks and to further work on community renovations. She said the city will seek more grant money to support these endeavors.
“City employees have worked diligently this year to make needed improvements to infrastructure and continue to provide the many enhanced services expected by our citizens without increasing taxes,” Sowell said.
Contact reporter Jesef Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (803) 283-1152