Schmidt reflects on past, looks toward the future
Here’s what he had to say:
-- Planning for the Highway 59 realignment and Highway 26 bypass. The state in 2009 plans to move about a quarter-mile of Highway 59 south to intersect what is now Highway 26. In 2012, it plans to create a Highway 26 bypass around the east side of the city.
Schmidt said he’s proud Milton convinced the state to move up the Highway 59 project a few years. The realigned highway will bring more traffic past Milton and open more industrial and commercial sites in the Eastside Industrial Park.
-- Communication improvements. Schmidt helped lead an effort to update the city’s Web site, making it more informative and accessible, he said. The city also has started sending an annual newsletter and monthly departmental e-mail reports.
-- Creation of the Community Development Authority. The group has helped create and amend tax incremental financing districts, implemented a façade improvement program and taken an active role in downtown redevelopment, Schmidt said.
-- Street improvements. The city has taken advantage of low interest rates to borrow money to repair and maintain roads, Schmidt said.
-- Creation of MACCIT. The Milton Area Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Tourism formed in 2007 from three pre-existing groups, and the city council agreed to help fund the organization in its first three years.
-- Continue to accomplish the goals of the city council as established in its strategic plan adopted a few years ago. Schmidt hopes the city will create another citizen satisfaction survey in the next two years to update and track its progress on the plan, he said.
-- Solicit senior housing developments and create local transportation options.
-- Continue working on a collaboration with the YMCA. The city and the YMCA have been talking for a year and a half about jointly developing Crossridge Park. A conceptual design released in 2006 included a YMCA building, sports fields, playgrounds and a skatepark.
-- Come to a boundary agreement with the town of Milton. The city and town created a draft boundary agreement in 2007, and attorneys for both sides are going over the details, Schmidt said.
-- Look at community facilities such as the public works department, city hall, fire station, police department and parks.
“Community facilities are all aging … yet our community around us is growing,” Schmidt said.