The Mayor of Battle Ground and the community team present the virtual city state address
Department heads, city employees and volunteers featured in the video address
BATTLE GROUND – Yesterday, the Mayor of Battle Ground, Adrian Cortes, shared the annual State of the City address virtually through a crisp video presentation with help from the team.
Public works, the police department, the city engineer, the Battle Ground Rotary and even the students of Chief Umtuch Middle School contributed to the refined presentation which showed the accomplishments of the past year.
“In 2018, we asked you, what future for Battle Ground? What do you want your community to look and feel like? Cortes said. “Your responses resulted in the Community Vision and Strategic Action Plan. This plan now guides our work as a city. And with your support, we will continue to move forward.”
The mayor opened with an overview of the preservation of the roads that connect the city. Cortes explained that in recent years, the city has allocated $ 300,000 for street preservation projects. As this year approaches, the city has tripled that budget to $ 900,000.
City engineer Ryan Jeynes explained that much of this new funding goes to complete stripping and repaving of roads, as well as filling in chips and cracks in preparation for slurry sealing. The city will operate from a multi-year plan that guides the work and seeks to maximize profitability. The teams should start working this summer.
The mayor then made the transition to deal with the city’s increased funding for its police department. An additional half a million dollars will go to the agency this year, Cortes said. Three new police officers have already been hired and a fourth will soon be hired thanks to grants.
Julia MacPhee spoke as the new traffic cop for the Battle Ground Police Department (BGPD)
“I will focus on improving public safety with what I call the three Es,” she said. “The first E is education: working with citizens to improve understanding of Washington’s revised highway code. Then there’s engineering: working to identify areas of the city that might be statistically difficult from the point of view of the vehicle operator and advice on corrective action. The end goal is law enforcement: enforcing the existing highway code at Battle Ground to protect our community. “
Cortes and Officer Clint Fraser also took the time to introduce people to the new BGPD member: the adorable Charlie, their new K-9 unit.
In the process, the mayor explained that more than $ 80,000 will now be allocated to improve public spaces, parks and sides of streets. This project will be carried out by the city’s public works department and also maintains relations with volunteers.
“To be profitable, we are recruiting temporary crews who will work alongside our regular team over the next several months,” said Public Works Supervisor Todd Klein. “Our staff are very proud of the work they do. We are delighted to have additional resources to help with beautification efforts. “
Cortez explained that the city will streamline all code compliance, to allow for faster improvement of neighborhoods and the spaces that connect them.
“The places we live, connect with each other and raise our families will always be the foundation of our city, and the livability of any neighborhood takes everyone’s effort,” Cortes said. . “Our goal is to ensure that all city codes are respected in order to preserve the well-being and quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
Explaining this same mission, Cortes said the city enjoys partnering with organizations such as the Battle Ground Rotary Club and students from Chief Umtuch Middle School. Both groups have done a tremendous job of improving Central Park and publicizing their respective goals.
Rotary spent several days with a small army of volunteers improving the landscaping of the park, as well as installing classic plaques and new park benches. Another group also helped install bicycle racks.
The middle school students, who are part of a group called the DREAM team, also help with landscaping; plant red tulips to remind people to support the youth of Battle Ground and for the youth to live drug free.
“The benches all along East Main Street are lovingly restored by members of the Battle Ground Rotary Club,” a voiceover read during the speech. “Two years ago the club adopted East Main Street in Old Town as part of the city’s adopted street program. Their beautification efforts, including weeding and garbage removal, added to the welcoming nature of the whole city.
At the end of his remarks, Cortes reiterated a forward-thinking attitude. He explained that the city will review and receive feedback on new park and outdoor recreation ideas to be implemented in the near future.
“Residents and businesses of Battle Ground, you have faced real challenges and hardships over the past year, and you have once again proven the importance of a caring and connected community,” Cortes said. “I have high hopes for our future and am very proud to call Battle Ground home. In the city, we have a clear direction. We continue to count on your participation and support as we work to create the future. “