To the citizens of Cassville:
Thursday, June 19, will mark two years since I became your city administrator. In that time, much has been accomplished and much remains.
In the past two years, the community has seen the resignation of one alderman who moved and the appointment of another to fill the remaining term. We have seen the election of two new aldermen and a new mayor.
In two years, we have hired a new finance officer, added additional police and public works personnel, a new court clerk and, most recently, added a top-notch economic development team to help us enhance what we already have and also attract new industry and opportunity.
Our public works crew has completed many city projects to include 2,200 feet of new water line along County Farm Road at 10th Street, 15th Street water line addition (to increase water pressure for the school district), Sherwood Forrest sewer expansion, 17th Street water line improvement and significant city water well repairs (too numerous to list). We've also added over $40,000 worth of new playground equipment in our parks, repainted the swimming pool and replaced a broken pool slide, built a new picnic pavilion and larger yard waste disposal site along with installing 1,700 feet of new water line along Sale Barn Road.
We've chip and sealed streets in the Wildwood subdivision and the city wastewater treatment plant. Significant public monies have been saved in contracting with the Springfield-Monett Area YMCA to manage our pool and park facilities. We've also started a sewer maintenance program to regularly clean any debris from the city sewer lines to avoid sewage backups throughout the year.
Our largest project, by far, has been the creation of a new, and larger, police department and Highway Patrol zone office at City Hall along with the new parking lot needed to support city staff and the public. All these things in addition to the day-to-day tasks that keep the entire city staff busy and the city running as smooth as possible.
In recent weeks, some might have noticed city crews out "sprucing up" the city. I have directed that every Friday will be used as a 'beautification day' and that those smaller items that can sometimes get overlooked be given new attention. We will be, and have been, painting, pulling weeds, picking up trash, sweeping and trimming tree limbs among many other tasks. Our goal is to impress those who live here, those who might visit and those looking to possibly locate their business in our community.
We are soon to start work on the First Street/Old Exeter Road improvement. In addition to milling and uniformly widening this throughway, we plan on adding curb and guttering in those areas where it currently doesn't exist in order to better direct storm water runoff to its appropriate location. Additionally, on First Street at Main (Business Highway 37), we plan to put in a left-hand turn lane to assist with traffic congestion in this area and to aid in any future expansion we might identify.
Along the lines of public safety, and specifically our children's safety, the city has been working with MoDOT, Barry Electric and the Cassville R-IV School District to improve Highway Y by adding a new pedestrian sidewalk. Further, the city and the school district are working together to build a new bus relief route from the school bus barn to Meadowbrook Drive adjacent to Flat Creek trailer park. These improvements will help to relieve vehicle traffic along Highway Y and keep pedestrians out of the roadway.
Yes, in two years we've completed many projects and planned for many more. I thank you all who have called with supportive words for me and my staff. We all work very hard every day to ensure the city runs as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, we can't solve all problems all the time due to many factors but, rest assured, we will look at any problem to see if, and where, we can help.
With sales tax revenues falling in recent months and cost of living increasing, we may have to do more with much less. However, your Board of Aldermen and city administration are committed to heading off any crisis by aggressively pursuing an economic development plan, which will bring new jobs, opportunity and revenue to the city while maintaining what we currently have.
In closing, I thank the Board of Aldermen of the past two years for their continuous support of me as your city administrator. Every day, for me, is a new adventure and a renewed commitment to the city of Cassville.
Please know that if I can make it happen, I will.
Mike Hayslip, MSW, MPA