Mayor Thomas Schoaf and Interim City Manager Matthew Williams will discuss the State of the City during a prerecorded presentation available on YouTube on Saturday, Feb. 13.
They will look at 20 items, including updates to the city center project that will begin road construction over the summer of 2021.
City hall enhancements will be a point of discussion as well, along with special events and small-business changes throughout Litchfield Park as they relate to COVID-19.
A live Q&A session via Zoom will start immediately following the presentation. Residents can address their concerns then.
Williams will introduce each staff member, and the Litchfield Park councilmembers will make remarks concerning their views on the state of the city.
“We’re going to explain some of the things that the city has done for over a year now,” Schoaf said. “That includes making some changes to the way businesses are conducted to try to make sure they are done in a safe manner and are consistent with the governor’s proclamations.”
The city hall enhancements will be focused on COVID-19.
“We’re also going to talk a little bit about what we have done at city hall to make it safe for staff members and the public,” Schoaf said. “We will also talk about how we are using virtual meetings for the council and board.”
Special events and festivals will be conducted safely, he said, because most have been canceled.
“We will talk about the changes we’ve made within our recreation and special events,” Schoaf said. “Sometimes we’ve canceled, but other times we’ve figured out ways we can mitigate the risks for both people who are hosting events and attending.”
Commenting on the change in the state of the city’s delivery method due to COVID-19, Williams revealed hopes for citizen participation.
“It’s very important for citizens to understand the projects that the city has moving forward,” Williams said. “It’s also important for city staff and more so city council to understand citizen concerns. The citizens are the city; we need to know the things they want to see happen and things they don’t want. We hope in the future to go back to our regular meeting. This year we cannot hold a large meeting. It’s important for citizens to see the projects are moving forward.”
The mayor will reveal updates to the city center that has been in discussion since 1996. Although the city council is still calculating the project’s budget, Williams said the city center will be finished in three to five years.
“We’re looking for the roads to be cut in for the city center and also the infrastructure to be put in this year,” Williams said. “We expect the roundabout at Litchfield Road and Village Parkway to get underway this year. We’ll also be looking to update the wall at Camelback Park.”
The first phase is estimated to cost $6.6 million, which includes the start of the construction on the Litchfield Road and roundabout, Village Parkway extension, grading and drainage for the full 30 acres, and phase one of the park development.
Finance Director Paige Petersen said the city has $9 million invested with the state treasurer and $6.2 million budgeted for the city center project. Schoaf suggested looking at an additional bond to fund the project.