If we had a time machine and could go back only 10 years, many of us wouldn't recognize Cicero. Most of our streets, including Route 11, were narrow two-lane roads. Instead of the neighborhoods we now call home there were idled fields and swamps.
And there wouldn't be much where Cicero's retail district now stands.
A decade ago our town didn't have the shopping centers, the wide selection of stores and scores of restaurants it now has. Also, the numerous technology companies and other businesses based in our town today, such as Syracuse Research Corporation and JADAK, Corp., did not exist a mere decade ago.
Ten years ago, Cicero did not have a vibrant housing stock. Developments such as Lyons Landing, The Pastures, Miralago and dozens more simply did not exist. Today, Cicero boasts nearly 13,000 homes, an increase of nearly 2,000 in the last 10 years.
Most importantly, in a decade where the majority of Central New York communities were struggling to hold onto their populations, Cicero experienced a 13 percent increase in residential growth-one of the largest growth rates in the state. Today, according to the recently completed 2010 federal census, 31,632 people now call Cicero home. The first decade of the 21st century truly has been one of unprecedented growth Cicero.
There are many reasons for Cicero's prosperity.
The town is fortunate to have land available for development. It is lucky to be located near major highways making commuting easy. And, with Oneida Lake, it is blessed to be one of the most scenic towns in Central New York. But there's more to it than location and luck.
Over the last 10 years, the town board, on which I have pleasure of serving, has been very pro-active. We scrupulously monitored development to ensure it is reasonable and well planned. We encouraged economic growth that is stable, will be a lasting source of much needed sales tax revenue and will strengthen the town's economy.