This month, I thought I would share some information from my State of the City talks that I give to various civic groups and organizations.
Willoughby finished 2016 in good financial shape with a fund balance of $5,629,205. We increased our fund balance by approximately $600,000 from the year before. Our forecast for this year, however, is that we will probably finish with a lower fund balance. Typically our fund balance will vary from year to year; sometimes upward and sometimes downward. While we expect to finish this year with a lower fund balance, we should still be in good financial shape at the end of the year.
Some of the highlights from last year in various departments include the following:
Calls for service to the Police Department have risen steadily for the last several years, from 29,000 calls in 2013 to over 39,000 calls last year. The heroin epidemic in our country has led to an increase in crime in virtually every community and Willoughby is not immune from this. As a result, we are adding an additional fulltime officer this year and will continue to evaluate the Department’s needs if this trend continues.
Also, we are all aware of police incidents around the country that have created a drive to improve community-police relations, as well as, focus on standardization of police training and requirements. In response to national events, the State of Ohio established the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board. From this Board have come recommendations’ in training and standards in departmental policies, including a new certification process. I’m pleased to report that the Willoughby Police Department has attained this new certification.
Calls to our Fire Department also increased last year, from 4,800 in 2015 to 5,200 calls. Our Department remains one of the busiest in Lake County. I’m pleased to report that we received two large federal grants totaling $521,939 for the purchase of a new rescue truck and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. The SCBA units will have a life expectancy of 15 years and the rescue truck should last well beyond 20 years. The cost to the City was only 10% of the total grant.
Our Parks and Recreation Department had a very busy year. I’m very proud to report that Willoughby Pools were selected as a “Best in Aquatics” by Aquatics International Magazine; the major trade publication for the Aquatics Industry. We were selected for “Innovations in Safety.” The incorporation of the Note & Float program, new signage, additional swim lesson times and reinforcement of the rules from our staff helped us achieve this honor. Additionally, 395 children attended summer camp and there were 568 swim lesson participants, ranging in age from six months to age 51 (we now have Bucket List Swim Lessons available for adults who never learned to swim). Other highlights included improvements to Osborne Park with the installation of the walking path and additional parking by Lake Erie. This spring will see the additions of a new playground and pavilion.
I’ll share other highlights with you in future months. Have a great month (and a great Spring).
- Fiscal Review Implementation Report April 2012 Update (4.3 MB)
- Meeting Room Application (71.7 KB)
- Solicitors Application (465.0 KB)
- Trash Collection Resident Letter 2012 (222.9 KB)
- Waste Management Letter 2012 (1.6 MB)
- Willoughby City Council Considering Redrawing Wards (43.3 KB)
- Willoughby Fiscal Task Force (501.6 KB)
- Willoughby Public Records Request Form(2) (59.3 KB)
- Willoughby Ward Map (Jan 2014) (1.4 MB)