The 2017 edition of Kirksville’s State of the City event highlighted the numerous capital and business development projects in the city.
The event, held on February 13 at the Economic Development Alliance building, was an hour-long overview of the city’s past year and plans for the future. City Manager Mary Macomber began with a four-part presentation highlighting the four city goals – Economic development, fiscal responsibility and efficiency in government, quality of life and protection of city assets. A discussion with heads of seven municipal departments followed, with officials answering questions from the citizens present and viewers on Facebook live.
- The ongoing $250 million expansion project of the Kraft Heinz plant will add 69 new jobs to the city’s economy. The project is behind schedule but is on track to be finished by November of this year.
- A parking lot, to accommodate additional truck traffic associated with the expansion, was built by public works next to the plant. Money was saved by doing the construction in-house.
- The Hampton Inn on North Baltimore is scheduled to open in May or June and the Holiday Inn Express on South Franklin will be ready in September.
- Construction of a Menard’s will begin when there is no more threat of winter weather.
- Renewal of the economic development sales tax that was used to improve infrastructure in the city and to fund the parking lot.
Quality of life:
- New branding and changes to the city website, new city logo, social media engagement.
- New online systems for residents to pay their utility service bills and municipal court fines, as well as see municipal court warrants.
- The city took possession of a plot of land, donated by A.T. Still University to be developed by the Forest Lake Area Trail System as a trailhead.
- FLATS is applying for funds from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to connect the trailhead to downtown.
- Formation of the new NEMO Crisis Intervention Team, an effort spearheaded by police to address legal and mental health issues. In response to an 88 percent increase in calls for service since 2004.
- AEDs have been purchased for all patrol vehicles, trauma kits will be available for all officers.
- Downtown sidewalks have been improved with pedestrian lighting added.
- The city is working on maintenance of water mains around the city in partnership with the Missouri Department of Transportation.
- Kirksville placed at number 26 in Great College Deals’ “50 Friendliest College Towns In America” list.
- Changes were made to the municipal court system in order for the city to comply with Missouri Senate Bill 572, which includes reporting annual court revenue and capping court charges.
- Court revenue accounts for 0.007 percent of the municipal budget.
- Five city firefighters were sent to the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD to participate in top-notch training.
- The city has purchased a curb machine that saved money in the construction of the parking lot and could be used to improve streets and stormwater systems in the future.
- The city’s water treatment plant has changed its treatment process under a new manager. The new system is more efficient, and results have been positive so far.
Protection of city-owned assets:
- A $3 million replacement of the airport parking ramp is underway. The project is behind schedule due to the decision to use higher-quality concrete.
- The city will also be doing in-house work to rebuild Shelby and East Patterson Streets.
- $18 million from revenue bonds is being used to construct a new wastewater treatment plant just south of the city limits, which should be finished by September 15.
- New flooring has been installed in City Hall
- The city is embarking on a long-range capital improvement plan for the E911 Center.