With the end of 2022, we want to pause and reflect on what the prior years of uncertainty tell us. We‘ve learned we are a resilient city capable of withstanding multiple challenges simultaneously. A pandemic, inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain issues have tested our residents and businesses, but our sense of community remains strong.
This year marked the return of all our community events which were much anticipated and met with great attendance. Events created in response to the challenges of recent have become part of our annual events. The Santa Parade is one example. This event was so successful that we are continuing it this year on December 17 and 18th, when Santa will visit all of our neighborhoods courtesy of the Willoughby Fire Department. Details for this and all holiday events are on our website and Facebook.
We are also pleased to announce that we are continuing our planning efforts for Osborne Park and Todd Field/Chagrin RiverTrail. The Osborne Park project is a bold plan to reimagine our lakefront with the initial objective of managing erosion and stabilizing our shoreline. Funded with a State of Ohio Emergency Erosion Assistance Grant (EEAG), our initial focus is on erosion control, and we are actively seeking other grants for additional work. We had two public meetings to review the Osborne Park findings, and we hope to begin engineering for the erosion control project in the coming months. We had our first public engagement meeting for the Todd Field project in June to gather community input. We solicited further public comments from a survey based on the community meeting. Also, we have been simultaneously working to secure adjacent properties that would allow a trail connection from Daniels Park to Todd Field. The trail will provide about a one-mile walking experience along the Chagrin River. Finally, we have been actively pursuing other local, state, and federal funding for the trail.
Over the past several years, we have been studying improvements to our Willoughby Police Station, given its age, condition, location, and size. This summer, we were alerted that the owners of Meister Media Worldwide intended to sell their office building on Euclid Ave. at Grove Ave. In conversations with the owner, a longtime supporter of the city and our police department, he agreed to sell the building to the city for the appraised value. After several tours through this facility, including our police, service department, administration, and city council, we agreed to purchase the MMW building. We are now developing budgets and schedules for this project, and we recently had our first community meeting to review the history and condition of our current police station and chart the next steps in the process. We are planning a second community meeting after the holidays.
Finally, we are pleased to announce that Downtown Willoughby is the recipient of the American Planning Association Ohio Chapter’s “Great Places to Live in Ohio” award. This honor reflects what we have known for many years: Willoughby is a great place to live.
We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and happy new year.