On the heels of the successful completion of the new government center, Mayor Herb Adams said he has half a dozen new infrastructure projects in the pipeline for completion in 2013.
The mayor said his administration is working on infrastructure grants to add more sidewalks, curbs and gutters in north, east and west Pacific.
The city has received approval from East-West Gateway for funding to construct new sidewalks on Congress Street from Hawthorne to Fourth.
“This is the old bike trail,” Adams said. “Part of it will be rebuilt.”
Sidewalks, curbs and gutters on Thornton Road from the fireworks companies to Eagles View Subdivision also will be completed.
Additionally, Old Gray Summit Road will be widened from LaMar Parkway west to Ridge Meadows subdivision.
“We are on a gallop to enter the East Osage Community Improvement District (CID) program,” Adams said. “We plan to ask voters in the district for approval, complete engineering and with approval of the voters can begin construction in the second quarter.”
The work will have far reaching effects on the east end of the city making it mirror the west entrance to the city on West Osage, the mayor said.
New curbs and gutters will be complemented by new lighting and street trees.
One much-discussed need that is currently under review is the creation of a special mixed-use zoning district in the oldest section of the city.
“City engineer Dan Rahn is looking into that and it is discussed frequently at administration meetings,” Adams said. “It’s needed and I don’t want to put an exact final date on it, but it’s something I’d like to see finished on my watch.”
Adams said he plans to file for re-election in December.
“If the voters give me another shot, I want to see additional improvements in city government,” he said. “I’ll ask the aldermen to approve purchases of the equipment and services that will enable citizens to pay bills online and allow developers to apply for permits and pay fees online.”
The great pride of the past several decades has been the growth and modernization of the Pacific police department, Adams said.
Beginning in 1978, Chief Jim William began a process to enhance the police department, taking it from officers simply handling bar fights and giving out traffic tickets to having the skills to do detective work.
Under Chief Ron Reed, who served for 20 years, there were new hires and requirements, as well as continued training. The department takes part in mass-incident training, developed agreements with other police departments, and reached into the community with programs like D.A.R.E. and escort service for businesses carrying money, creating a professional police department.
Today, Chief Matt Mansell has brought police dogs, a youth police explorer program and increased staffing with the use of reserve and part-time police officers, all who possess the same training as full-time officers.
The result of two armed criminal actions that were solved within minutes of the time they took place speaks to the skill sets of Pacific police, the mayor said.
“When people call the police they know that a professional officer will respond, one that won’t quit until the situation is resolved,” Adams said.
All this has made it easy when the mayor wants to budget for additional police cars or other equipment.
“The police department received the largest part of the city hall expansion budget,” Adams noted. “This has made us a better city.”