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'Vision and Values' for 2018 State of the City

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City Administrator Scot Simpson delivers the State of the City presentation at a Chamber breakfast event Thursday, Jan. 24. Gretta Stark / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

City representatives presented the State of the City video for the City Council Tuesday, Jan. 22, and for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce, Thursday morning, Jan. 24.

Mayor Dan Toland told chamber members the city's success was tied to their success.

"You guys succeed, the city succeeds," he said. "So I just hope everybody here knows how much the city appreciates everything you guys do."

City Administrator Scot Simpson acknowledged the council and the council members' dedication to the city.

"It's been another year of growth and progress," Simpson said. "And the council has made a lot of thoughtful contributions."

He said the city has gone "back to the basics" this year, reviewing the city's strategic plan and vision for what the city wants to do in its future.

"I'm able to work with some really talented folks to take us down that path, including the community," Simpson said. "And it does make us trendsetters for good governance and mindful stewardship."

2018: A year of vision and values

The State of the City video shares the city's values and more detail about how the city addressed each of these in 2018.

• Put people first: The video discusses the city's priority on customer service, and support to residents, library patrons, event participants, parks and rec programs, and more. The video also noted that a record 70 percent of eligible voters in River Falls cast ballots in the November election.

• Serve the community: In this category the video said the city puts people first, often working behind the scenes to provide services. For example, 5,249 feet of sewer pipe were lined in 2018, 45 electric outages were restored, 148 lane miles were plowed during 23 snow events, 248 fire calls were handled and 1,515 ambulance transports were given.

City employees also worked to educate and inform the public, especially youth, from planting trees on Arbor Day to stormwater management presentations to children.

• Pursue excellence: In this area the city has been recognized by state and national organizations for its work. For example, the public works team received an excellence in snow maintenance award from the American Public Works Association; staff was also recognized by the American Planning Association.

• Act with integrity: The city focused on transparency efforts in 2018.

• Embrace change: The city continues to work on its Capital Improvement Plan projects, and also has seen development in the city, such as a new Anchor Paper Company location in Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park, the city's purchase of the former RiverTown Multimedia building at 2815 Prairie Drive for use as a future Police Department, and the Falls Theatre's new second screen.

• Consider future generations: The video highlighted The Kinni Corridor Project as an example of the city's efforts at planning for future generations.

See the full State of the City Video at https://bit.ly/2MER0yj.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(651) 301-7849
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