In preparation for a talk here in our community before a group of residents, I began to look back on 2013, and the accomplishments of your municipal government. To help inform those I serve, I developed my list into several categories; Government, City / Civic, Development / New Business Efforts, 2014 Plans.
As the Chief Elected Official, I have put this list together to help inform our residents and quash misinformation that floats around our community. I have utilized our twice yearly city newsletter to provide our residents with information regarding happenings in municipal government, business, development and redevelopment news and information. While this list is not all inclusive of the events in 2013, it does provide our residents with information regarding many things which have occurred here in 2013.
As Mayor, it is my responsibility to provide leadership and move this city forward. I also appreciate the support and willingness to better our community set forth by the Common Council, Community Development Authority, Plan Commission, the Department Managers and Employees, and all other Boards and Commissions that serve our citizens. Together, we strive to make this great community even better.
• In December, approved contact for solid waste disposal to outside contractor, saving community $229,900 annually was approved by the Common Council.
• In November, passed Municipal budget after public hearing with 1.06% city tax increase, more funding for road repair and library.
• In November, the Common council and CDA approved the manual for the City of Cudahy Neighborhood Improvement Loan program. This program is designed to foster duplex conversions and attic additions to change properties from nonowner to single family home owner occupied.
• In November, the Council also approved a company for a total revamp of our website which has not been since implemented in 2002. We look forward to this new look and allowing new potential residents and businesses to view the city website in the 21st century rather than the Stone Age.
• In October, testified before Milwaukee County Economic Development Committee for administration and recommendation to the County Board on Community Development Block Grants. The City of Cudahy fared very well, thanks to the support of Supervisor Jursik and the Committee in the applications for Interfaith, Care for Cudahy Property Maintenance Program and an intersection city project. Also, I supported an application by Milwaukee County for funding to repair the Sheridan Park Pavilion, which has not seen any major improvements since 1959. $66,000 was allocated toward this effort. I will continue to fight for our residents for things important to our community.
• In September, had representative of Brixmor (owner of Packard Plaza) before the Common council on ways to gain more tenants in the mall.
• In September met with the new owners of the Apartment buildings next to Pick N Save 5779/81 Packard Avenue sold to a new owner vowing to clean up the property and problem tenants living there.
• In August, Chronic Nuisance properties, 4 owners cited and charged $13,500 for police and fire services after a public hearing before the common council.
• In June received financial audit from Auditors that the City is in good shape financially and that controls are in place and working acceptably.
• In May, bond refinance before the Common Council which saved $400,000 in costs, and resized debt from 6.3 million to 5.9 million.
City / Civic Items
• In December, there was an overwhelming generosity to the families displaced by the fire on Somers Avenue.
• In December, the Common Council recognized Benjamin Pitzo and Richard Payne for their heroism where they went into a burning building on Ramsey Avenue and rescued a resident.
• In November, celebrated Hometown Holiday at Cudahy Family Library and Veterans Day Program at Cudahy High School.
• In October, the Common Council recognized the 88 years of volunteer service of two retiring Cudahy Auxiliary Police Officers, Roland Elenich (50 yrs), and Sgt. James Hersil (38 yrs).
• In September, celebrated 125th anniversary of Patrick Cudahy.
• In September, celebrated grand reopening of Trustone Financial Credit Union.
• Summer of 2013 kicked off the Free Little Library program with three libraries build as a joint project between the School District of Cudahy and the City of Cudahy.
• In July, celebrated cities largest Civic Celebration, the Fourth of July with parade and day long events, entertainment, capping off with Fireworks.
Development / New Business Efforts.
• In December / January 2014, the City was approached by a developer interested in a development at corner of Packard and Layton, and development further down the block on Layton Avenue. Development will included a 3 story facility, 1st floor 7m, square feet of retail, with the 2nd and 3rd floors being residential.
• In December, opening of Angelic Bakehouse on Layton Avenue.
• In December, Demo photography 4766-68 South Packard, Mr. Demos retired and sold the building to a gentleman who will be opening up a small grocery store and deli in that building. The owner is a local Cudahy resident and is making a substantial investment in getting the store up and running, and is currently looking at contractors to remodel the inside to accommodate his store.
• In December, Plan Commission approved conditional use for CBRF on Barnard Avenue at a value of $3.2 million 48 bed facility to be located on Barnard Avenue west of the rail road tracks on City /CDA owned land. This item was also before the Community Development Authority for approval since the facility will be built on City / CDA owned land. A certified survey map is in the process before the Plan Commission and Common Council in January which will allow this process to continue forward.
• In late December, meeting with a developer showing initial interest in a coffee shop in downtown Cudahy. Information was forwarded to him on available sites in January.
• In December, the City acquired two properties at Negotiations with two property owners at 4854 and 4858 South Packard (two taverns) regarding potential acquisition of properties, because City owns land at Carpenter and Packard. Site will get a development RFP in 2014.
• In December, the Plan Commission approved preliminary site plans for a new building at Joymark, Inc. 5935 South Pennsylvania Avenue, to be constructed between old Rite Hite Building and their current building in Norse Avenue.
• In November, closed on the project of Squire Village Apartments 3500 block of Squire, three 6-unit buildings, $1.8 million in value, ground breaking spring of 2014.
• During the summer and early fall of 2013, the City made several presentations to a potential new business for 16 acres on the former George Meyer site. While the city was not successful in landing this development, we continue to attempt to solicit the site for development.
• The city of Cudahy continues to work with the Cobalt Partners on the development on Pennsylvania and Layton Avenues for a large development on this site.
• In June, the Plan Commission approved Expansion of Lippmann Manufacturing Van Norman Avenue, 42,400 square foot addition, $2.5 million in value, breaking ground in spring 2014.
• In May, the Plan Commission approved Sunset Investors 5133 S. Pennsylvania, 8 unit self storage and 1 retail building on site, clearing land, received their state approvals in fall, and construction will begin in spring of 2014.
• In May, the Plan Commission approved C R Industries 5757 South Pennsylvania, 14m square foot addition on existing building, can’t see it from road because on back of lot, which was completed in fall of 2013.
• In May, the Plan Commission approved Playfield concession stand at General Mitchell Elementary by Cudahy Bulldogs, which was dedicated in September of 2013.
• In April, the Plan Commission approved Covenant Health Care (Fine Lando Clinic), Ramsey Avenue, broke ground in August on new clinic, $3.1 million in new value, and should be complete by February 2014.
Goals for 2014
• Continue to push business retention, new business growth, and development and redevelopment efforts.
• Hold absent landlords accountable for their properties, multiple city departments, holding of chronic nuisance hearings (one pending in January).
• Updating of the City of Cudahy 5 year capitol Financial Plan, borrowing money for street replacement and repairs.
• Implementation of the Neighborhood Loan Program offering revolving loans for duplex conversion to single family home owner occupied properties and duplex conversions into livable space.
• Oversee the reconstruction of Packard Avenue in 2014, trying to provide minimal disruption to residents and businesses.
• Find a way to reduce, eliminate, or simply the current dump fee.
John R. Hohenfeldt
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