As we near the end of 2019, it is a great time to reflect on the important successes and challenges our City encountered during the past year. Financially, the City did an excellent job of managing ever-increasing costs, with a relatively stable income. Thanks to the efforts in managing expenses by our Directors, we will finish this year with a solid fund balance. It should be noted costs are rising at a faster pace than income. Our Director of Finance, City Council, and I will be closely monitoring this over the next few months. Our economic development team has worked tirelessly in bringing new business to Willoughby, including seven new businesses to Downtown Willoughby and providing two storefront renovation grants in our Lakefront District. We are also excited about the completion of the Weston building at Jet Center Place, and the announcement of Marc’s to locate at the shopping center at Euclid and S.O.M. Center Road. Proceeds from the sale of the former Memorial Junior High School were returned to the Willoughby-Eastlake School District as promised. Finally, a Request for Qualifications is underway for the Glennridge project to be located on Glenn Ave near the Todd Field parking lot. We anticipate this project will bring enhanced parking and access for our Downtown. Submissions will be received and reviewed in January.
We have been active in bringing new and exciting programs to our City, including Wildroots Modern Market, Live Well Willoughby, growing merchant organizations in Downtown and Lakefront Business Districts, and an expanded summer gazebo concert series. With recent improvements to Osborne Park, we are planning to host live music and other family-friendly events at the lakefront next summer!
We are also thankful to our Police, Fire, and Service Departments for their exceptional work. These departments continue to work with a staff committed to public service and are constantly researching better ways to serve Willoughby.
Finally, we are delighted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our annual Christmas Tree Lighting. This year we have a very special addition added to our program to celebrate!
From all of us at the City of Willoughby, we wish you a happy, healthy holiday season!