Last year, 2014, was one of growth and improvements all around Cape Girardeau. Here are a few of the things accomplished throughout the year.
Enhancing our Position in Economic Development
Attracted businesses to our Business Park: Infrastructure – roads, water, sewer, electric and gas being installed; Pepsi under development; five additional prospects.
- Developed a new use for the building when the Commander Premier issue at the Airport was resolved. Stihl rented space at the hangar; also being used for airplane storage. Currently marketing the space through MAGNET. Also, constructed new T-Hangars at the Airport, and all are rented.
- Further development of entrepreneurship and building partnerships to strengthen and market our strong workforce: New entrepreneurship space downtown; partnership with University, Isle to develop local MBE/WBE; Hire a Hero job fair; paramedic education program through Career and Technology Center.
- New jobs and business: Walmart Neighborhood Market, Ruler Foods, Codefi, Family Dollar.
Improving the Safety and Health of our Citizens and Employees
- New enforcement efforts through targeted patrols.
- Anonymous tip line for reports now available.
- Refined the police station needs and secured funding.
- Prioritized radio interoperability; staff committee moving forward with plan.
- Coordinated electronic ticketing (e-ticketing); currently in development phase with the “go live” scheduled for April 2015.
- Prepared for critical power shortages by installing power backup on priority traffic signals, downtown pump stations, and the Shawnee Park Center.
- Secured critical customer data off-site.
- Continued public safety staffing study.
- Retained three previously grant-funded firefighters.
Keeping Fiscal Discipline Visible
- Reformatted our current operating and capital improvement budgets to make them more customer/citizen friendly and understandable with a new online tool to be available soon.
- Focused on innovations to reduce ongoing costs, including e-ticketing and energy savings.
- Secured voter approval by renewing the Fire Sales Tax for another 20 years.
- Studied our medical plan issues to control costs and have healthier employees and family members; added employee narrow health plan option and fitness/wellness position to improve health of community and employees.
- Focused on sustainability to secure City services into the future: Transfer Station Plan, Automated Leaf Pickup Program, new Wastewater Treatment Plant now online; lowered city utility bills.
- Started the study of the city’s street system and the best ways to preserve it via the TTF-5 committee, public input, pavement management review, and a special City Council planning session in January.
- Hosted Neighborhood Development Initiative meetings in the Ward 2 and Red Star areas to empower residents to address priorities in their neighborhoods.
- Reviewed incentives to revitalize neighborhoods.
- Continued overall improvement of the buildings in the city: 21 condemned, 6 repaired, 14 demolished, 20 still pending.
- Initiated a lengthy, in-depth process to review the 2015 building codes for adoption.
- We continued to develop the residential rental licensing program: 722 licensed landlords, 6267 registered rental units.
- Continued beautifying Cape Girardeau through the Public Works Department’s Clean Sweep program; established Keep Cape Beautiful Beautification Committee and their Beautiful Business Property of Month program.
- Updated nuisance ordinances for compliance/collection; focused on graffiti removal and Clean Sweep street program with input from residents.
Streamlining Citizen and Business Interactions with the City
- Started the Coffee With Cops program, completing three citizen visits at various locations.
- Added or enhanced online and mobile interaction capabilities: Online job application began in April 2014; many forms/applications updated online; changed business license ordinance for process improvements; contractor licensing go live and utility billing go live coming soon; Parks and Recreation online class and activity registration, and park shelter reservations, should start in 2015.
- We are working toward developing the Citizen Services Department vision: working on options for one-stop shop; developing Service Improvement Initiative.
Other City and Partner Events/Programs
- Hotel/motel/restaurant tax continued by agreement.
- Joint Study Commission and Council support Indoor Sports facility.
- Cape Splash speed slide designed.
- Capaha Park – new pavilion and playground.
- New outside workout equipment at Arena Park by tennis court – “Fit Zone”
- Gone Girl Premiere.
- Downtown Community Improvement District sales tax approved; board established.
- Independence Day Downtown Fireworks.
- Tough Winter 2013-2014: CPR Program (Concrete Repair Program)– approximately $250,000 additional spent on pavement repair.