On Monday, May 30th, several hundred of our community gathered at City Hall to reflect for Memorial Day. The ceremony was coordinated and led by the Barber Williams American Legion Post 609 and could not happen without the help of so many. Our special guest speaker, Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Ken Wyban, reminded those in attendance of the sacrifice by so many Americans that died for our freedom. We also had a chance to recognize Eagle Scout candidate James Gotch for his excellent leadership as he designed, coordinated, and with the help of other local Scouts and their families, built an American Flag retirement center at the memorial site. A special thanks to the Garden Club and Kirtland Kiwanis for the work they do at our Veterans Memorial and around City Hall in preparation for Memorial Day. We are so fortunate to have these civic groups in Kirtland.
Leading up to Memorial Day, our Service Department adorned the downtown area with Hometown Hero banners, American flags, and another sensational crop of hanging flower baskets along Route 306. For the second year in a row, the majority of the cost of these baskets was covered by Divine Word and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Thank you.
Earlier this week, Kirtland City Council held a third special community road funding forum. Over the course of these last few months, the Administration and Council engaged in many hours of fruitful dialogue to discern the best path forward for road funding in Kirtland. With helpful input from our residents, it looks as though a ballot issue will be presented to the voters of Kirtland this November.
Throughout this discussion, we worked to find the right long-term funding strategy to fix and maintain our roads. The discussion covered hard choices made over the last two and a half years in an effort to spend your tax dollars more wisely. We reviewed Kirtland’s consolidation of Emergency Dispatch with Willoughby, the restructuring of our Service Department as well as a reduction of full-time administrative staff. These efforts to save where possible and better allocate resources to provide the best possible City services have certainly paid off. These changes to our City government, and with the help of $700,000 in federal ARPA funds, will have enabled the city to perform nearly $3.3 million in road work, in just two seasons, when this year’s paving season is complete.
Knowing we still have over $15 million in immediate road funding needs, and by planning well into the future, with voter approval of the plan, we can finally put the road funding question behind us. By implementing a long-term paving and maintenance strategy now, the City can better focus on future planning and responsible economic development for Kirtland.
The road funding mechanism likely to be presented to the voters in November will be a Charter amendment to the municipal income tax. The income tax adjustment will not affect senior retirement income and will give income earners that live in Kirtland as well as those that drive from elsewhere and use our roads to work in Kirtland a chance to share in the cost. I’d like to thank our Council and all our residents that participated in the discussion for their input leading to the decision to present this option to our voters.
Please see our city website and Facebook page for updates to upcoming events, including concerts at the library with accompanying City, Faith, and Beauty nights.
See you at the Strawberry Festival!