State of the City

Kettering Mayor Don Patterson recently gave his annual State of the City presentation, celebrating the successes Kettering enjoyed in 2019 and announcing the major city projects and initiatives planned for 2020.

The text of the Mayor’s 2020 State of the City address appears below  the video of his presentation.

Hello.  I am Don Patterson, and it is my honor and pleasure to be your Kettering Mayor. On behalf of the entire Kettering City Council, I share with you the State of City.

One of my most important responsibilities is to share with you the successes of the previous year and the projects, initiatives and service improvements we have in store for the Kettering community in the year to come.

Behind every success is a strong relationship.  As Kettering’s Mayor, I see the relationships that strengthen this City every day.  I see neighbors helping neighbors keeping their landscape and homes beautiful.  I see volunteers delivering mail to city offices, taking seniors to doctors’ appointments and putting that extra care into services we offer.  I see businesses flourishing and a strong network between stakeholders to ensure momentum remains strong.  I see City employees with expertise in every area needed to help citizens, business owners and even other municipalities.  I don’t think there’s anything more satisfying than witnessing a handshake, a high five, a hug or a smile after collaboratively accomplishing something.  And, as those accomplishments begin to multiply, the relationships grow stronger and the network increases.  And, I believe these collaborations are the reasons so many of us feel that Kettering is home.

I am honored to work alongside my fellow City Councilmembers, Bill Lautar, who served as Vice Mayor the past two years, Jacque Fisher, and re-elected members Bruce Duke, Joe Wanamaker, Tony Klepacz and Rob Scott.  Thank you for sharing your expertise and unwavering community advocacy.

As I prepared the highlights from 2019, I was, once again, overwhelmed with pride in all that the City accomplished throughout the year, and I am excited to share some of the fantastic developments on the horizon.  As taxpayers, you are stakeholders who invest in this city.  And, we make certain your investment is handled with the utmost care and ensure your return is fruitful.

To highlight one of the many examples that your tax dollars are in brilliant hands, let me take a moment to brag about our award-winning Finance Department.  First, after an official review with Moody’s Credit Rating Services in July, the City’s Aa1 bond rating was reaffirmed.  Second, Finance received the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the City’s 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report marking the 37th consecutive year of receipt of this award.  Third, they received the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the City’s 2019 Budget marking the 34th consecutive year of receipt of this award.  And, fourth, they received the Ohio Auditor of State Award with Distinction for the City’s 2018 audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.  We take our jobs very seriously to provide optimal service.

Let’s take a virtual tour around Kettering so you can see the continued progress upon which this great city was founded.

Let’s begin at the Government Center, 3600 Shroyer Road.  This is where ideas become reality.  Ideas from our residents and business owners, as well as projects City employees create to maintain and exceed the exceptional amenities and services we offer.  This is the place relationships are fortified–The place where teams of residents, business and city employees continue to enrich this great community.  This is where you can visit if you have questions or if you want to come to public meetings such as City Council.  3600 Shroyer Road is truly the hub for action.

And, you can walk right next door to Lincoln Park Civic Commons to relax and watch the world go by, enjoy a show at the Fraze or take a walk.

During 2019, we continued our dedication to redevelopment and reinvestment in Kettering.  We enjoyed watching many of those projects come to fruition leading to another year of vital expansions.

 Let me show you what I mean as we head over to the Miami Valley Research Park.  The research park continues to be a large economic driver for Kettering.  In late 2017, the City of Kettering completed the purchase of more than 300 acres of unimproved land from the Miami Valley Research Foundation. As a land-locked community, the opportunity to acquire land for redevelopment is rare and exciting. The property is located in the northeast quadrant of Kettering and is surrounded by Woodman Drive to the west; Aragon Avenue and State Farm Park to the south; County Line Road to the east and the City of Dayton Corporation line to the north.

In 2018, the City entered in to an agreement with the Kettering Development Corporation for assistance with marketing the newly available acreage. KDC, a private non-profit corporation, has entered in to a partnership with a commercial real estate firm to accomplish this. Because of the purchase, Miami Valley Research Park will see a surge of improvements to both existing facilities and available land in the coming years.  The City will work with KDC to aggressively market the land remaining for development and work with existing tenants to explore expansion opportunities.

Community Tissue Services broke ground in 2018 for a 132,000 square-foot expansion at its Miami Valley Research Park facility. This expansion will more than double the current footprint, allowing for additional processing capabilities, marketing, distribution and supply chain management.  When completed in 2020, the project will create more than 200 jobs primarily in the manufacturing and support fields at the company’s Center for Tissue Innovation and Research.  As one of the largest providers of tissue allografts in the world, CTS distributed more than 700,000 tissue allografts in 2019.  They are the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of skin grafts for burn patients. The expansion of this facility will position CTS to be on the leading edge of new graft development and biotechnology furthering the organization’s commitment to meeting the growing worldwide demand for quality tissue grafts.

In 2019, we completed the extension of College Drive in the Miami Valley Research Park near Community Tissue Services.  This critical infrastructure project will link existing businesses and make way for additional future development.

We worked in partnership with Beavercreek to analyze traffic patterns, host a public meeting and ultimately to plan for significant improvements to County Line Road in 2021.  The project will add a lane of traffic in each direction in order to ease daily vehicle flow and will also extend the multi-use path from the edge of the Miami Valley Research Park all the way to Dorothy Lane and Stroop Road.  Ultimately, this will connect to the recently constructed multi-use path that leads to Indian Riffle Park, the Rob Dyrdek Skate Plaza and the Kettering Recreation Complex.

Tenneco made significant improvements and major equipment purchases at their facility on Woodman Drive during 2019. Tenneco has increased their employment from 475 people at the end of 2016 to 624 people through the middle of 2019.  We anticipate their employment numbers will continue to rise through 2020.

Kettering also welcomed the Dayton Vet Center on Woodman Drive during 2019.  It is our privilege to host a place for our military veterans and their families to receive services they so richly deserve for their service to our country.

Now let’s take a look at the Kettering Business Park, formerly Gentile Air Force Station created in 1996 to offset the loss of more than 2,500 jobs at the former base. Today, the Kettering Business Park employs more than 3,000 people at Synchrony, PriMed Physicians, Alternate Solutions Health Network, N12 Technologies, Kettering Municipal Court and Kettering Health Network.

In 2017, the City and representatives from Kettering Business Park businesses worked together to design a new signature entrance for the thriving business park on Wilmington Pike. Those improvements to the landscaping and entrance signage for the Business Park’s main entrance were completed in 2019.

Alternate Solutions Health Network, a long-time Kettering based business founded in 1999, is a national leader in post-acute strategic partnerships. They collaborate with health systems to build a post-acute continuum of care focused on technology, efficiency, and performance.  Alternate Solutions Health Network is dedicated to transforming the quality of care for both partners and patients. In early 2016, the company purchased a 200,000 square foot facility at 1050 Forrer Boulevard in the Kettering Business Park from the City. After three years, Alternate Solutions Health Network continues to thrive and expand in their new headquarters with expected growth in employment of 340 jobs by 2021.

In late 2018, Kettering Health Network began construction on their state-of-the-art command center in the Kettering Business Park.  The opening in 2019 brought 25 jobs to the park and allows the facility to handle all scheduling and patient management for the entire health network. The facility could eventually house up to 300 employees

In 2019, the City sold 14 acres of land and a largely vacant and underutilized 200,000 square foot warehouse, Building #2, in Kettering Business Park to a developer. Building #2 was demolished to bring an Amazon “last-mile” package distribution center to Kettering Business Park. The site now holds a 100,000 square foot distribution center and associated delivery vehicle parking areas.  The Amazon facility began processing and delivering packages in July 2019, and is now fully staffed and operational.  Nearly 400 part-time Amazon employees are working in the facility with 6 companies providing drivers for the operation.

As you drive the picturesque streets of Kettering, when you see a lot of hustle and bustle going on, it’s all to maintain exceptional quality of life for residents.

As I mentioned earlier, among the largest and most visible construction projects is the Community Tissue Center expansion.  Other projects include the Fairmont Career Technology Center and classroom additions to Oakview and Southdale Elementary Schools.

Also, Kettering Health Network, with their flagship Kettering Medical Center on Southern Boulevard, remains not only our largest employer but also one of our most loyal community partners.  In 2019 they completed another two floors of patient care space in the Kettering Cancer Care Center, expanding a world-class oncology facility right here in our backyard.

We remain a leader in the community as the only jurisdiction in the county and one of few in the state that is 100% digital in plan review and permitting. We also provide advice and information to other local communities on digital services. We are proud to be honored with awards and recognition for our public service and cherish the regular positive feedback from our community.  Our goal is to make processes easier for residents and business owners.

We are thrilled with the private redevelopment and renovation projects taking place throughout our community. As you know, the City of Kettering is committed to reinvestment, as well. Kettering has grown significantly over the past 60 years and the City strategically devotes a great deal of resources to maintain infrastructure and promote both residential and commercial development and redevelopment.

We certainly place a great deal of focus on attracting new businesses and helping those already in Kettering grow and thrive here.  In Kettering, the vast majority of our amenities and valued city services are funded by income tax.  If we don’t have the jobs, we don’t have the resources to support the infrastructure, facilities and services our residents and business communities treasure.  In the end, our goal is to protect the investment that you made when you decided to call Kettering home. That means that we invest in our commercial centers to support job growth, as well as our neighborhoods and world-class amenities.

Making our way down Dorothy Lane to Prugh Woods Drive, we come to the Prugh Woods residential development, an enclave of 37 new construction single family homes in a park-like setting.  Construction on the development began in 2017, and there are only a handful of lots remaining.  As a land-locked community, opportunities for new construction homes are rare, so when they do happen, they sell quickly.

During 2019, 12 new single-family homes were built including 5 in Prugh Woods and 4 at Villas of Kettering Point.

The housing market in Kettering remains strong throughout the community. Properties in every style and price range continue to sell, often within days of listing.  We are also excited about some of the reinvestment taking place in our neighborhoods as private real estate entrepreneurs purchase, renovate and place updated homes in highly-desirable locations back on the market.  One by one, these like-new properties spark momentum for more improvements to those nearby.  And soon, house by house and street by street, the property values of the entire neighborhood begin to rise.

City of Kettering residents are proud of their homes and constantly spruce things up and maintain their houses.  Thirty-one years ago, our volunteer office began the Neighborhood Pride program to showcase the tireless efforts of Kettering homeowners.  The program honors residents who made significant improvements to their homes or commercial properties, or consistently maintained their properties year after year. Property owners can nominate themselves for the program’s award, or they can be nominated by friends and neighbors.

Each year, the program receives about 450 nominations, with only 36 properties receiving the award. A group of 18 local volunteers donated a total of 476 hours to serve as judges, visiting the properties and giving them scores based on specific criteria. This past year, the award winners included Orchard Park Elementary School, Christ Church United Methodist and McAfee Heating and Air Conditioning.

Congratulations to all of the 2019 winners.  Thank you for your efforts to make your property and our neighborhoods something special.  I extend my gratitude to the Neighborhood Pride Committee for their efforts to review nominations and select the winners.

Not only has this initiative fostered positive energy, but it has built relationships and camaraderie within the community.

There’s an initiative to re-invest in our neighborhoods that is very unique and special to me.  When I ran for office, I saw the need to revitalize Kettering neighborhoods and housing stock. Together, we combined our ongoing participation in national Make a Difference Day with Cities of Service to develop an ongoing neighborhood revitalization initiative.

Since 2011, the City has done just that, by “adopting” a neighborhood each year and leading efforts for reinvestment.

Following the “adoption” of a neighborhood, a group of city staff takes a look at a number of elements including the number of foreclosures, property maintenance violations, crime statistics and more. This initiative is in partnership with the City’s Make a Difference Day and the national group, Cities of Service programming.

We focus on areas in which we think we can build some community spirit.  In 2019, the neighborhood selected included Sunny View Acres, Irelan Estates, and Rubicon Heights bordering East Stroop Road, Marshall Road, David Road and Hempstead Station Drive. The group kicked off the initiative by hosting a community block party to allow neighbors in the area an opportunity to get to know each other. On November 1st, the efforts continued with a group of 80 volunteers planting trees, clearing 1.75 tons of brush and debris and handing out emergency disaster preparedness starter kits, among other initiatives.

During 2018, the Haverstick neighborhood was adopted as the focus of Cities of Service.  This neighborhood borders on Tabor, Forrer, Gary and Wilmington.  Since the neighborhood does not have a public park, residents, Kettering City School instructors, Cities of Service Committee members and the City of Kettering’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department (PRCA) joined together to create Bee Ambitious–a series of sidewalk mosaics comprised of several popular sidewalk games permanently installed the Haverstick neighborhood.

Placed in 11 locations around the neighborhood, Bee Ambitious includes a broken beehive represented in a 29-foot mosaic and 10 mosaic bees scattered throughout the neighborhood. Each mosaic location includes a plaque with information about the artwork, a web address to find out more about the artwork and hints to play the games. The ten mosaic bees hold clues to a word scramble, and the bee hive is the hub of the artwork with a total of nine games.

This is another way Kettering fosters a strong network by bringing residents together through fun and education.

Throughout the city, our Community Development team works one-on-one with residents who desire to make improvements to their homes or who wish to buy a home in Kettering and need financial support to make that dream come true.

Kettering’s “rehabbing a home” initiative has a number of low-interest loan programs to encourage and assist homeowners with financing for home repairs and remodeling efforts. The program is primarily tailored to those with low to moderate incomes, but also assists those in emergency situations where an income is limited. A few examples of repairs and improvements include roof replacements, new windows and doors, and heating and electrical system replacements.

The program also provides home counseling to those looking to buy a house or needing assistance with navigating a mortgage.

Typically, the city serves 20 to 40 people a year, depending on the amount of individual applications received. The city also carries out larger projects, tearing down vacant houses that are in bad shape and collaborating with owners of rundown properties to improve the space. In addition, Habitat for Humanity houses are built throughout the city, with one located on Dorothy Lane and several east of Woodman Drive.

Overall, the city’s goal is to make Kettering as accessible as possible and grow its housing reinvestments.

The possibilities are endless when people join together and share their expertise and desire to make positive changes.

Let’s make our way to Wilmington Pike, an area where the City has placed significant focus in recent years.  As you know, Wilmington Pike is an essential corridor in Kettering, passing all of the way from our northern to southern boundaries.  It is also a stretch of town that fell into a less than desirable state over the years.  In 2013, I assembled a group of Kettering business leaders, residents, real estate experts and City Council representatives to create a strategic plan for this critical corridor.  The task force, known as the Wilmington Pike Improvement Committee, established priorities and outlined phases for re-development that will result in a rejuvenated thoroughfare.

Though we aren’t there yet, significant progress continued during 2019.  In total, 3 properties deemed unsuitable for reuse were demolished, and the sites were cleared for redevelopment.  We installed landscaping and street banners to enhance aesthetic quality.  Eudora Brewing entered into a lease for the deteriorating vacant Pep Boys building and completely transformed it into a destination brewery.  Construction on the new Wilmington Stroop Library branch was completed, and it reopened in 2019.

On the west side of the corridor, an eight-foot-wide, multi-use path offers a connection to existing regional bikeways and improved pedestrian access to businesses. The City has purchased properties along the corridor and demolished the outdated buildings to make way for new development.  The City constructed a new bikeway connection to join the existing bike paths in the area with the entrance to the library.

Our investment in the Wilmington Pike corridor is paying off. Valvoline recently purchased a long-vacant lot and constructed a new stand-alone location at the Dorothy and Wilmington intersection.  In 2019, Popeye’s Chicken and Burger King constructed new restaurants near the Stroop and Wilmington intersection. The City also sold an existing office building and adjacent property at 3809 Wilmington Pike to Robert K. Jones Insurance, who will redevelop the space for their use.

Several businesses including Redline Automotive, Anytime Fitness and Eudora Brewing took advantage of the Facade Improvement Program in recent years.

We are dedicated to the Wilmington Pike improvement process, and we are excited to watch as it transforms into a vibrant corridor.  And, because of the relationships we’ve built from the project’s inception, we are on our way.

The City of Kettering itself is almost 70 years old, and some of our neighborhoods nearing 100!  Like anything that has been around this long, we have places that are starting to deteriorate. City Council has made reinvestment in infrastructure a critical priority because we want to maintain a city that is well-kept, attractive and vibrant.  We want our City to grow older with grace and enhance its rich character by continuing to strengthen the foundation upon which it was built.

With our partners at Montgomery County and Vectren, major reconstructions projects on bridges, roadways, intersections, water mains and gas lines will be critical.

We are putting just as much care into Kettering neighborhoods as we are on major thoroughfares with our prioritized residential reconstruction and repaving programs.  We know that while our residents are investing in improvements beyond the curb, it is our responsibility to reinvest in the streets, drives, boulevards and avenues that connect our neighborhoods.  Whether we lead projects to repair or install new curbs and sidewalks or maintain roadways, the city is committed to putting every neighborhood on a rotating schedule for improvements that prevent deterioration.

If you ever have a question, concern or suggestion regarding City services, I encourage you to visit www.ketteringoh.org.  You will  see a place right on our homepage where you can get quick answers to frequent questions, as well as report issues of concern that need the City’s attention.  This feature works on both our website and from our Facebook page and is easy to bookmark to the home screen of your smart phone or tablet making the help you need from the City just a touch away 24/7.

In 2019, we received approximately 1,200 requests for police records and nearly 1,000 requests for city assistance through our website.  One of the most popular, with more than 115 reported through the website, is our easy method to report potholes.  This quickly identifies areas that need attention from our streets crews, cuts down on the amount of time it takes to get the potholes filled, and has dramatically reduced overall complaints about pothole maintenance citywide. We appreciate your efforts to help us serve you better.

Certainly exceptional city services make Kettering unique in the region.  Among the most treasured city services is the protection offered by our Kettering Police and Fire Departments.

We completed the Fire Station Modernization project at the end of  2018 with the grand opening of our final new facility, Station 37 on Dorothy Lane. Each of our four new stations are staffed 24 hours a day with personnel trained and equipped to the respond to your calls for service.  In 2019, the Kettering Fire Department responded to nearly 9,000 calls for assistance.

Our Fire Department received the American Heart Association Mission Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award for medical services provided to patients who experience the most deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication. Our paramedics are specially trained to rapidly identify if a patient is experiencing a suspected heart attack, promptly notify the hospital emergency department, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

Kettering Fire Department members collaborated with the talented staff from Miami Valley Communications Council to create a Fire Prevention Week video. This video was viewed more than 4,000 times through the use of social media and shown to all students in Kettering in grades K-5. This includes 196 classes totaling 4,894 students from each of our public, private and parochial schools.

The Kettering Fire Department prides itself on community interaction and held its second annual Fire Prevention Month Coloring Contest. Kettering students from kindergarten through fifth grade were able to highlight their artistic ability. This winning entry from Chloe at Prass Elementary was selected based on its artistic presentation and fire prevention message. This entry will be used as the cover of the 2020 Kettering Fire Department Coloring Book.

To better serve our citizens and first responders, a new computer-aided dispatch and records management system will be implemented in the Police and Fire departments in 2020.  The system will track and categorize calls for service, reports and will generate statistical information.

We continue a multi-year replacement project for the software that runs our emergency dispatch center.  We completed a technology advancement which ensures the continuity of our Emergency Operations Center and backup dispatch operations, a safeguard to protect all of us should a catastrophic natural disaster occur. These are only a few projects that will dramatically improve our ability to reach you in the case of an emergency.

Another project completed during 2019 that will be critical to our public safety operations as well as our efforts to attract new businesses in the creation of a fiber optic service ring in partnership with 7 neighboring communities.  Data service is now a highly demanded form of infrastructure for companies and a critical resource for public safety.  Partnering with our neighbors to install the fiber-ring makes the project more affordable and allows us to connect our emergency operations centers to theirs increasing the reliability of our system, particularly in the case of a disaster or citywide outage. We were proud to lead the way on this regional project and know that offering this modern infrastructure amenity will be highly valuable.

Not only do the members of our Kettering Fire and Police Departments protect OUR community, when disasters strike regionally or nationwide, they offer their rescue and emergency expertise to other impacted communities.  In 2019, Kettering Police and Fire Departments provided critical support to neighboring communities during a rally, a mass shooting and tornadoes.  And, several City of Kettering employees outside of public safety were able to help, as well.

After the Memorial Day tornadoes tore through our neighboring communities, employees from our Streets Division, Vehicle Maintenance Center and Parks Division were deployed to assist.  The City of Kettering provided debris removal and hauling assistance to the City of Dayton, City of Beavercreek, and Butler Township in neighborhoods impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes.  During a three-week span, from May 28 through June 14, 2019, the Streets Division provided 2,145 labor hours and 3,049 equipment hours to assist with this effort.

It’s all about relationships and helping one another achieve positive outcomes.

As we leave Fire Headquarters, let’s pause for a moment here at David Road.  In 2019, this section of East David Road from Wilmington Pike to Ackerman Boulevard was resurfaced, and the drive approaches and curbs along the roadway were replaced.  We were able to leverage our investment in this project to secure nearly 40% of the funding needed for this project from federal sources.

Another great success story in 2019 was the completion of resurfacing of East Rahn Road from Wilmington Pike east to the Centerville boundary.

As we make our way back across Kettering, I want to take a moment to talk about property maintenance.  Here in Kettering, we have expected standards that apply to each and every property regardless of location, size or value.  We have a dedicated team of inspectors who systematically review property concerns and work with residents to resolve issues. We ensure our property maintenance cases close with violations remedied by the property owner in a very short period of time.

Recently, a revised Nuisance Abatement Code was adopted giving the city additional needed tools to address property maintenance issues in Kettering

Here we are.  Certainly this is a place you all recognize.  Fraze Pavilion is the crown-jewel of Kettering and one of the things our residents love about calling Kettering home. The Fraze Pavilion’s successful 2019 season included multiple sold out or near sold out shows including The Menus, Little Big Town, Weird Al, Diana Ross, Jake Owen, Bad Company, Frankie Valli, Get the Led Out, and JoJo Siwa. The 2019 season also showcased first time Fraze performers: Charlie Wilson, Lake Street Dive, and Morrissey. We had more than 75,000 visitors, hosted 10 free festivals, and ticket sales for paid concerts reached $3.9 million.

Nothing compares to a night under the stars at the Fraze with friends and family.

Now we are going to head across Lincoln Park Boulevard to the Kettering Police Department.

A long awaited and significant project will be getting underway at the Kettering Government Center campus as we begin construction of a new Police Headquarters in 2020.  The new headquarters will have an added second story above the existing police facilities, and the current space will be renovated to meet the needs of a modern police department.

In recent years, the Kettering Police Department has placed great emphasis on the relationship our law enforcement professionals have with you, our residents.  The design of the new Police Headquarters will reflect that, with a new welcoming public entry on the main government center plaza.

Another significant and meaningful expansion took place in the Kettering Police Department in 2019.  Our School Resource Officer program grew from 2 officers to 5, placing a dedicated Kettering Police Department Partner at Fairmont High School, one at both Van Buren and Kettering Middle Schools, and two additional officers who will serve the Kettering elementary schools.  Students who have a positive law enforcement role model are less likely to engage in risky or illegal behavior. By establishing a presence in each school, the School Resource Officers can build trusting relationships with students by participating as active members of the school community, and on the premises in the event a safety matter arises.

In 2019, we rolled out our community crime mapping tool.  Through a link on our website, you can search by address to get a report of all police activity in the area during a specific period of time.  I encourage you to use the tool for information.

Our police department continues to partner with you in offering voluntary registration of home security cameras through a link on our website.  If you have a camera on your property, please consider registering it with us.  In the case of a suspected crime or public safety matter in your area, Kettering Police Department will then contact you and ask to review any footage your camera may have captured during the time of the suspected occurrence.  This effort has already helped KPD resolve some issues, and we appreciate your willingness to partner with us to enhance the safety of our neighborhoods.

In 2020, KPD will continue to focus on innovative ways to protect our neighborhoods and keep our community safe.

Police partnering with residents has proven powerful time and again.

Let’s head over to the northwest side of Kettering.  As I mentioned earlier, as our community ages, maintaining and replacing our infrastructure is vital.  Throughout Kettering, several bridges are reaching the end of their useful life and in most cases require complete replacement.

As many of you know, an exciting partnership began in 2019 as the Schantz Avenue Bridge over South Dixie Highway underwent a complete replacement.  Rather than reconstructing another unremarkable concrete bridge structure with utilitarian chain-link fence, we collaborated with our CitySites Public Art Program to seek an artist who designed a one-of-a-kind public art installation.  The art will integrate seamlessly in to the new bridge and will create a signature entry feature for Kettering, reflecting the artistry of the trolley cars which once traveled the Dixie corridor and the designs on the historic cash registers showcased at nearby Carillon Park.  Replacement of the Schantz Avenue Bridge is complete, and the art piece will be installed in spring of 2020.

The Ridgeway Road Bridge will also be replaced.  In late 2017, following significant public engagement efforts to collect feedback on project alternatives, our City Council directed city administration to pursue grant funding for the purpose of reconstructing the Ridgeway Road Bridge. We learned in July 2018 that the Ridgeway Road Bridge Replacement was awarded project funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Municipal Bridge Program. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in late 2020 or early 2021.  This project will also include an art installation to reflect the surrounding landscape of Hills and Dales Metro Park.

Now let’s travel through the Hilton neighborhood near the corner of Dorothy Lane and South Dixie Drive.  At the beginning of 2019, the city collaborated with Montgomery County Water and Vectren gas on a multi-phase project to replace water mains, gas lines and ultimately the entire roadway in this neighborhood.

Time and time again, I find myself overwhelmed with pride when I hear of the generosity of our Kettering community. I’d like to end my presentation this year with a couple of shining examples.

In 2018, the City added a full-time Compliance and Inclusion Manager to our team to help us ensure that our facilities, projects and programs meet ADA standards, and city staff is trained to lean toward yes in support of requests from the public.  The manager works with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Advisory Committee to address citywide access and inclusion matters. The City fully supports the access and inclusion process for individuals with disabilities participating in programs, events, enrichment opportunities and camps throughout the City.

It’s one example of how we, and our community partners, are making a difference in ways large and small.

As some of you may know, the City of Kettering Volunteer Program celebrated its 40th year of service!  What began as a group of volunteers planting marigolds in the medians in 1979 has blossomed into a force of more than 1,124 active volunteers who continue to foster the mission of the volunteer program—to assist city staff by expanding city programs, enhancing city services, building an understanding of city government, and encouraging community pride.

We were proud to honor our volunteers for contributing more than 31,831 hours of service this year and saving the city $787,499.  And, since 1979, because of our volunteers, the City of Kettering has saved over $23 million dollars in staff time!

You are truly the essence of Kettering’s community spirit, and we are grateful.

I extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of the Kettering residents who take their commitment to serving our community to the next level by serving on our numerous boards and commissions.  Their leadership is critical, and their input vital.

And, to every resident, thank you.  In Kettering we highly value engaged residents, opportunities to have meaningful dialogue and active participation in the leadership of our community.  I, and my fellow members of City Council, truly enjoy hearing from those we represent.  We encourage you to join us for a City Council meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month at 7:30 PM and to stay connected to our city communications to ensure you are always in the know about the latest city projects, service announcements and alerts.

In 2020, I hope you will consider the ways you or someone you know might get involved in a leadership role in the Kettering community.  Everyone has a talent, and together we are unstoppable.

Our Kettering Leadership Academy and our various City boards and commissions are frequently looking for new members. These are great opportunities to learn more about the city and create a path to additional leadership opportunities.

Looking back, I am so grateful that I took the exact step I am asking you to take.  Serving Kettering initially as a City Council Member, and now as your Mayor, is one of the greatest honors and most rewarding experiences of my life.

I am grateful for the relationships we enjoy as friends, neighbors, coworkers and stewards of service.

Be assured that all of us on Kettering City Council and your city administrators are dedicated to serving you and to ensuring you remain proud to say Kettering is home.

May you and your families be healthy and prosperous in the New Year; and, on behalf of City Council and staff, thank you for allowing us to serve you.  God bless!

 

The archive of the video from 2019 State of the City presentation is below:

 

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