Mayor Jordan: The state of our city is sound

Photo by Todd Gill / Enlarge
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan gives the annual state of the city address during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Despite difficult economic circumstances, the state of the city is sound, said Mayor Lioneld Jordan, during his annual address Tuesday night.

Read the full address

By cutting $2.8 million from the budget and reducing the size of city government through attrition – not layoffs – Jordan said his 2010 goal of reducing spending while maintaining programs and services has been met.

He promised to keep it that way, too, adding that in 2011, the city will offer no new programs funded by general revenues.

“It is always easy for politicians to promise new programs,” Jordan said, “but it would be neither honest nor responsible until our economy improves.”

Jordan used the next 30 minutes going over a long list of the city’s 2010 accomplishments. Here are some highlights:

“Economic sustainability is essential for the future we want in Fayetteville.”

  • Secured funding for a Green Jobs Training Center in Fayetteville
  • Launched the “Find It In Fayetteville” campaign
  • Grew the creative economy and supported working artists (gallery guide, First Thursday)
  • Welcomed 33 new businesses and brought in 172 new jobs

“Economic sustainability also includes adequate infrastructure to support smart growth.”

  • Annexed 99 acres of prime commercial and industrial property
  • Completed over 9 miles of asphalt overlay and 6,000 feet of new sidewalk
  • Upgraded six miles of existing streets with bike lanes or shared lanes
  • Developed and implemented a paid parking program to fund a parking deck
  • Renovated Block Avenue including a new water line, curb and gutter, bio-swales, and more
  • Acquired the deed to a ten-acre water tank site, saving $100,000 in future expenses

“We have also strengthened our social-sustainability practices.”

  • Secured a $500,000 grant to build 40 Energy Star-certified homes for low- to moderate-income families in the Walker Park neighborhood
  • Celebrated a record year of pet adoptions at the city’s animal shelter
  • Launched a pet food bank that provided food for 208 dogs and 156 cats
  • Added new trails, connections and extensions to the city’s trail system
  • Approved construction of a new Fayetteville High School
  • Approved plans for expansion of the Walton Arts Center

“Another pillar of a sustainable community is environmental sustainability.”

  • Strengthened the Hillside/Hilltop Development ordinance
  • Enacted a Low Impact Development code
  • Made great strides in streamside protection
  • Developed the Ecological Fayetteville program to help residents track their environmental footprint
  • Began a commercial paper dumpster program at 27 locations
  • Continued efforts to restore the tree canopy damaged by the 2009 ice storm

“Fayetteville is the light and the example of excellence for other Arkansas cities,” said Jordan in closing. “We are that city on the hill that cannot be hidden, a diverse community working together to honor our past and to continue our progress toward an even brighter future.

That is the state of our city as we begin this new year.”

» Read the full 2011 State of the City address

UPDATE: A reader commented and asked what Mayor Jordan said about 2011. Listed below are excerpts pulled from the speech regarding the coming year.

“In 2011, we will offer no new programs funded by general revenues.”

“…our goal for 2011 is to support expansion of existing businesses and industries, recruit additional green industries, and secure a commitment for a minimum of 300 new, good-paying manufacturing jobs to our community.”

“Another community garden will be developed near the Senior Center in 2011.”

“In 2011, we will complete construction of the Oak Ridge Trail, construct a connecting trail from Scull Creek Trail west to Mt. Comfort Road, and complete construction of Lake Fayetteville Trail.”

“During the coming year, we will overlay almost 10 miles of city streets and construct more than five miles of new sidewalks throughout the city.”

“Among the more important changes in 2011 will be improvements to assure greater public participation in the City’s Public Access Television Channel, with more accessible hours and free training for Fayetteville residents, and operation of the City’s Education Channel by the Fayetteville School District.”

“A primary focus for 2011 will be exploring the possibilities of a Green Building Code for both commercial and residential construction.”

“In 2011, we will expand our non-residential recycling program with the Broyles Avenue Recycling Drop Off and Education Facility that will include green space, energy-efficient lighting, swales to manage stormwater runoff, and artwork from recycled material.”