“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” Helen Keller
Twinsburg Mayor Katherine Procop finished her speech with that famous quote, as she delivered her State of the City address to the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. The event was hosted by the Hilton Garden Inn.
The quote from Helen Keller was quite relevant as Procop spoke optimistically about 2011 and the year ahead.
“Twinsburg’s strong and diverse base is accelerating at a rate that few other cities can match," Procop said.
The city saw 600 new jobs in 2011 including new businesses and business expansion, like the General Electric facility.
She was also proud to say how well things were moving with the former Chrysler stamping plant. Now called the Cornerstone Busienss Park, the property could see $6 million in new grants as new businesses look to move in. The first company will be Vistar Foods, keeping the expanding company in Twinsburg.
"We’re very excited about this project,” Procop said.
"When it comes to the future of our community, the planning department is a critical part of success."
She was glad to see the completion of the 15,000 saure foot, 24-hour University Hospitals facility as well as the major opening of the Cleveland Clinic in July.
However, not everything was positive. While the city finished the year with more in revenue ($23 million) than expenses, the city still leans heavily on the 2.25 percent income tax increase passed in 2009.
“We are still highly dependent on that raised income tax,” Procop said.
She pointed out that 2011 was the city's worst performance year in investments, due to the poor economy, at $32,000.
“I just think that’s horrendous,” she said.
Here are some other highlights from the mayor's speech:
- The city will see 50 new homes by new housing developments Canyon Springs and Chase View.
- There is $2.5 million budgeted in capital projects such as State Route 91 and Creekside Drive and others.
- In January firefighters from Twinsburg and Solon rennovated a Glenwood Drive home that was unlivable. "Our fire department goes above and beyond the call of duty,” Procop said.
- Rock the Park saw record attendance with 43,000 people in 2011.
- Twinsburg was ranked No. 32 in Money Magazine's Best Place to Live List.
- Twinsburg Twins Days Festival was featured in National Geographic in January.