Another year has come and gone, and we are thankful for the continued support we received making 2019 a productive year. Stepping into 2020, we’re excited about the opportunities to finalize those projects we’ve been nurturing and begin to launch those that have been in the planning stages, promising a positive impact on the community. The numerous successes from 2019 happened because we believed. We, city staff, city council, community leaders and the citizens of Urbana believed in and embraced prudent changes that improve service to the community, and encourage others to see Urbana as welcoming and willing to pursue new opportunities.
In the reports that follow, you will learn the detail behind many of these projects; for example:
– Vacant since 2008, work continued at the former Q3 JMC site on Miami St. to complete demolition and remediation in anticipation of re-development in 2020.
– Infrastructure improvements made in conjunction with the re-designed roundabout upgrade began in the Spring and continued throughout the construction season, until early winter weather forced a suspension in work until Spring of 2020. While the process inconvenienced some and disrupted traffic as each quadrant was closed for construction, when traffic resumed in late Fall, the re-design allowed traffic to flow smoothly and improved the walk-ability of our downtown. When final paving, marking and landscaping are completed, the overall appearance will improve significantly.
– In late Spring ground was broken for the new Cobblestone Hotel at the northwest quadrant of the U.S. Rte. 68 and State Rte. 55 intersection. The new hotel will provide needed support to area businesses, Urbana University and visitors spending time in the community throughout the year.
– During the summer, the City launched a newly designed website offering an ADA compliant, user-friendly navigation; coupled with our Facebook page, we’re able to share information on a broader level than previous years.
– In September we opened the renovated former 5/3 branch office, providing citizens easy walk-in or drive-thru access to the City’s Business Office for Finance, Utility Billing, Income Tax, and Human Resources. This move allowed the relocation of Engineering, Zoning and Community Development Offices giving the public ground floor access from the E. Market St. entrance.
Local businesses across the city have validated their commitment to the community through investments for expansions and capital improvements; opening new offices; renovating store fronts; and providing the opportunity of loft apartment living.
Our daily commitment is a founding principle that has endured for generations (nearly 215 years). Last year, we navigated through significant changes; today, we continue to look for new and innovative ways to make a positive impact on both the character and the business climate of the community; and moving forward, we will regularly check our results and adjust our efforts to meet established goals. We will constantly look for new ways to partner (collaborate) with local leaders so together we can make a difference, enhancing our service and promoting reliability.
“To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, sometimes against it, but we must not drift or lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
This annual summary of activities in 2019 was submitted by the City of Urbana administration.