HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights Mayor Jeff Gore pointed out the city’s accomplishments and spoke about his plans for the future during his State of the City address Monday night.
Gore gave the address at the beginning of the city council meeting.
“As I stand before you tonight, I’d like to report very confidently that the state of our city is very healthy,” he said.
Gore spent the first part of his address pointing out the city’s recent successes. He then outlined what he sees as the city’s future.
He said he hopes council will be able to work with the city manager and staff to focus on policy goals and initiatives.
“The more streamlined this council can make the policies that the staff is responsible for implementing the more efficient and productive the city will become overall,” he said.
“We have stabilized our management with a new city manager contract and one of the main reasons I’m excited we accomplished that is because I firmly believe that Mr. Schommer is the right person for the job when it comes to developing strategy to implement the policy goals that will be set by myself and by this council moving forward.”
Gore shared highlights of the city’s accomplishments in a variety of areas:
- Housing. “The reason Huber Heights is so popular with people looking to purchase a home is because we have the variety of homes and home values that fit every financial demographic,” he said. In the last three years there have been 420 new homes, 520 new apartments, 101 assisted living units and 46 senior villas built in Huber Heights. In 2014, 567 homes were sold; in 2017, that number increased to 781. In that same time, the average price of a home sold in Huber Heights went from $100,006 to $118,411.
- Planning and Development. Gore cited the Brandt Pike Revitalization Study, the parks and recreation master plan, the new Hilton Hotel on Executive Boulevard, the Digestive Specialist building on Shull Road and the Dayton Children’s Urgent Care center as a few of the highlights in this area. He also mentioned a number of companies that have renovated their facilities.
- Finance. Gore said concerns about a $2 million budget deficit are misplaced, since the city has a large carryover balance. “Overall, the carryover balance from 2017 into 2018 was a little over $49 million,” he said. “The projected amount to carry over into 2019 is a little over $47 million, and the general fund actually grew in 2017 by almost $1 million to $5.8 million.”
- Police. In 2017, the dispatch center answered 108,786 calls and dispatched 48,872 calls for service. Gore said the police department has started three new programs in response to the opioid overdose epidemic: Getting Recovery Options Working, a follow-up educational program; the Front Door Program, which directs victims to treatment; and the Narcan program. Police officers administered the life-saving drug 45 times in 2017.
- Fire. Gore talked about the purchase of new vehicles, addition to the Code Red alert system and upcoming lightning detection system and the added protection provided by new Fire Station 25.
- Public Works. Public Works employees spent 32,291 hours in maintenance and repair of parks, properties, buildings, vehicles, equipment, snow removal, road repairs and other projects.
- Engineering. The city-side water softening project is in the design stage with a planned completion date of late 2019 or early 2020. Construction on the project to increase water pressure north of I-70 should be completed this year. Seven new bus shelters are scheduled for installation this year and the Chambersburg Road improvement program is entering its second stage.
- Human Resources. The city’s human resources department has received rebates from the Bureau of Workers Compensation, has received grants for protective hoods for firefighters and hired 96 seasonal employees at the Rose Music Center.
- Taxes. The city’s tax revenue increased by 5 percent in 2017 and the tax department moved to a new office.
- Technical. The city’s IT department installed new wireless systems and high-speed fiber Internet service along with new backup systems.
- Zoning. “In an effort to keep the standards in all of our neighborhoods we’ve taken a more proactive approach to code enforcement,” Gore said. He also said there is a decline in vacant and foreclosed homes.
- Recreation. The Kroger Aquatic Center had 37,036 visitors in 2017. The YMCA had 241,570 visits in 2017. The Rose Music Center has had almost a quarter million visitors since it opened and has generated income of almost $17 million.
“Moving forward, this council will be defined by its results,” Gore said. “I refuse to let us be defined by how much we talk about what we want to accomplish. Let me say that again … we will not be defined by our words, but rather our results.”
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU