« Mayor's Position Paper on the Alternative Revenue Task Force Recommendations | Main | Correction to ThisWeek article on Livingston improvements »
Friday
Dec282012

Bexley's 2012 In Review

As we prepare for a busy and exhilarating 2013, I want to take a moment to look back on 2012 and remember some of the key events and ideas that shaped our year.

We can’t celebrate the year without celebrating the life of Mayor John Brennan, and commemorating what he brought to the community over many years as Recreation director, City Council member, and Mayor of Bexley. Mayor Brennan is missed and remembered every day at city hall, and will be for many years to come. One way we’ve honored John’s memory is by moving forward to continuously improve our community. Here are some highlights from that effort over the past year.

A Year of Firsts

  • Capital's Blackmore Library added a new entryway off of Main Street, opening up the campus to Main Street.
  • Bexley Recreation pulled off a superb First Annual Bexley Family Community Campout at Jeffrey Park. 
  • City Council passed legislation allowing for the serving of alcohol at special events at Jeffrey Mansion, subject to the Recreation alcohol policy. 
  • The inaugural LoveYourAlley contest concluded with a winning individual alley on South Roosevelt and a winning alley block between Bexley Park and Brentwood. 
  • The City launched a communications initiative to alert residents of upcoming property hearings via blue signs on the subject property. 
  • The building department launched the Bexley Home Maintenance Assistance program, connecting volunteers to residents in need of assistance with property maintenance. 

Accolades and Achievements

  • Bexley High School was ranked as the #2 High School in the state of Ohio by US News & World Report, topping the list for central Ohio high schools and bringing national attention to Bexley’s excellent educational system. 
  • The third year of the Bexley Farmers Market started and finished stronger than ever, with an increase in vendors and traffic, and a steadily building reputation as one of the key farmers markets in central Ohio.

Infrastructure Investments

  • The South Cassady Avenue and College Avenue water line replacement and street reconstruction projects were completed in 2012. 
  • The City resurfaced six alleys in 2012, and worked with Columbia Gas to resurface alleys on the north side of Main Street.

Communications Enhancements
Enhancing the city’s communication was a top agenda item for 2012. This year, we released a revamped www.bexley.org, started the Bexley Blast weekly email updates (sign up at bexley.org/blast), and started live streaming and video archiving of City Council and Commission meetings.

New Grant Opportunities Shape the City 
With the launch of the Bexley Community Foundation, and the City’s strategy to increasingly seek out grant opportunities for project funding, the City was awarded grants for: 

  • Sidewalks for the entryway to Jeffrey mansion that will flank both sides of the drive (Bexley Community Foundation grant) 
  • Kayaks and canoes for Alum Creek (Bexley Community Foundation grant) 
  • Main Street water line repair, street resurfacing, and traffic signal upgrades (75% OPWC grant for 2013) 
  • Bexley community branding grant in partnership with the schools, the library, Bexley women’s club, and the Bexley Celebrations Assoc. (Bexley Community Foundation grant) 
  • Bexley Alum Creek Park planning grant (Bexley Community Foundation grant and Jeffrey Fund grant) 
  • Movies on Main grant - free family movie series on Capital’s front lawn during the summer of 2013! (Bexley Community Foundation grant)

Preparing for 2013 and Beyond

  • The City prepared and adopted the first post-estate tax balanced budget for 2013. 
  • The City worked on plans for infrastructure and streetscape upgrades to Main Street for 2013. 
  • Bexley was awarded the 2013 Chautauqua. The Chautauqua will take place on the front lawn of Capital University in mid July.

2012 was certainly busy, and we have plenty to keep us occupied in 2013 - we'll be releasing goals for 2013 over the coming weeks.  Until then, have a safe and happy New Year!

See you around Bexley,

Ben Kessler
Mayor