Around the Town with Mayor Steve: 2015: A Year of Change and of Celebrating our HistoryShare This +
2015 was a year of change and of celebrating our history, as we marked 60 years as a city. Throughout the year we prepared to move into our new Civic Center in Drexel Town Square and in mid-October, the move was official. Much of the thanks for the successful transition goes to our City of Oak Creek employees, who managed to not only do their jobs in the midst of packing crates and "organized chaos" but also kept up with the steady pace of growth and economic development that we've seen over the past few years.
The past twelve months have also seen the completion of several large roadway projects including Howell Avenue (Hwy 38), Ryan Rd (Hwy 100) and 13th Street. Thanks to the State and County for their help in getting the projects completed this year and giving our residents an easier path to move around the city. In 2016, the 27th Street reconstruction will be completed, with enhanced medians and other roadway improvements that should signal the start of future development along that busy north-south corridor.
Several new businesses have moved into the city during 2015 including Joy Global, Water Street Brewery, Stella & Chewy's and Pineapple Cafe, with new buildings currently under construction at Drexel Town Square for Bel Air Cantina, Chick-Fil-A, Emerald Row, and Wired's new Main Street featuring many other small businesses. Immediately adjacent to our new public square, the area is sure to be a hit for residents and visitors to our city. Still to come in 2016, is the start of the Froedtert medical building at Drexel Town Square and a new hotel on the east side of the square.
As we've managed our economic growth, we've been able to launch several new park projects, as well as provide access to a city park that had been previously landlocked. Located in the center of our new Oakview Business Park, Mardeand Park had been donated to the city in the 1980's, but was officially re-dedicated this summer and is a beautiful centerpiece of the Oakview development. A new segment of the Oak Leaf Trail was also added through the park as we continue to make pedestrian improvements all around the city.
Our two newest city parks, Emerald Preserve, located on the west side of Drexel Town Square and Lake Vista, just north of Bender Park along the lake, feature innovative and user-friendly amenities that allow our residents to appreciate the natural beauty of our lakefront, and a slice of nature in our new downtown. If you haven't walked through the Dale Richards Trail in Emerald Preserve, take the family out and walk the .7 mile boardwalk and paved trails through a wetland park that naturally processes all the rainwater that falls on the entire Drexel Town Square project.
Our new Civic Center, highlighted by a 92 foot four-sided clock tower, is home to our new City Hall and Library and features state of the art technology including interactive resident kiosks, digital display boards, geothermal heating and cooling, and expanded public meeting rooms, a feature that many of our residents have asked for. The expanded library offers a warm and friendly environment for reading and studying with space available throughout for mentoring, quiet study, or library programs. It truly is a public space that all our residents should be proud of.
I believe Oak Creek has been and will continue to be a great place to live, work and play. We will see development in the areas that make sense, and expand our green spaces to allow our residents to enjoy the natural beauty of the city. 2016 will be another big year for Oak Creek. Please join me in toasting the successes of 2015 and my hope for an even better year ahead.
Happy New Year!