By Kurt Wheeler
Mayor, Village of Cazenovia
As we look back on 2016, it’s hard to imagine that all its events and progress could fit into 12 months. It has been a busy and productive year in Cazenovia and we look forward to an equally exciting 2017.
This past year saw the culmination of many years of planning and visioning with major new additions to our local economy opening their doors or gaining approvals. The start-up of operations for the Empire Farmstead Brewery and the opening of the Hampton Inn and Suites were noteworthy events. Both of these major attractions have the potential to be transformational elements of our local economy, bringing visitors to our community who will also support our other wonderful shops and restaurants. Combined with the approval of the Cazenovia Market, our area is on pace to see approximately $20 million in new investment to boost our tax base, job market and local commerce.
It has been a year of effective partnerships and actively seeking new ways of doing things. Headlining that category has been the harmonious effort by the village and town to investigate the potential consolidation of our municipalities. The goal of both local governments is to provide the best possible service to our citizens in the most cost-effective way and our initial work has been encouraging. Expect to hear more about this effort in 2017.
The village welcomed a new president to Cazenovia College and is very optimistic about our ability to better serve our community cooperatively. The early talks underway about a potential YMCA are an example of the benefits of that cooperative spirit.
As noted by Supervisor Zupan in his column last week, CACDA has been an invaluable partner in so many local initiatives. Not only have they been instrumental in the consolidation inquiry and other government-related grants, but their energy and creativity have been a wonderful asset as we look to revitalize our parks and our local economy.
Efforts are underway, both supported by substantial grants, to transform the public area behind the library and to improve Lakeland Park. Much planning and preparation took place in 2016 and we look forward to the construction of Creekside Community Park and a new kayak launch in Lakeland during 2017. The village is also excited to assist CACDA in their effort to identify and fill gaps in our local economy.
We are proud of the groundwork that has been laid to make our community more sustainable and we anticipate the culmination of those efforts in 2017. After years of research, inquiry and effort, we are in the final stages of planning to convert our streetlights to LED fixtures and also increase energy efficiency in other aspects of our village infrastructure. These changes will improve our village, produce significant savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Simultaneously, we are in the midst of planning a photovoltaic array project that will be installed to generate energy in the village.
Amidst these changes and innovations, I would be remiss if I did not thank our village employees and the many people who volunteer their time to serve the village for all they do to make our community such a wonderful place to live. Their work to maintain our streets, parks, programs and public safety makes a difference in our lives every day and is truly appreciated.
From all of us at the Village of Cazenovia, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We look forward to another great year in 2017!
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.
Dec 10, 2017
Dec 09, 2017