On Monday, Mayor Rob Duncan discussed many of the highlights on the city calendar.
“We’re very excited about the city’s bicentennial coming up in 2017,” the mayor said. “The Jaycees are very involved and we will also be opening a new fire station in 2017.”
The mayor said a group is currently preparing items for a time capsule to be placed at the new fire station.
But, the bicentennial celebration isn’t all that happening.
More on the government side, Duncan has been meeting with county officials about 9-1-1, centralized dispatch and the update of the solid waste district plan.
“We’re starting to hash all that out,” he said.
Economic development is the major part of the mayor’s job.
He said Pat Catan’s is planning a soft opening on May 5, with a grand opening scheduled for May 13.
Pat Catan’s projects to employ 44 people, full and part time.
“It’s great to see local people working there,” the mayor said.
Duncan said he’s also excited about the recent expansion at Norwalk Concrete Industries.
“They’ve hired some people, which is good for the community,” he said.
The Borgers Ohio facility is fully operational.
“Borgers has far exceeded hiring expectations,” the mayor said. “We also have a couple businesses looking at expansion.”
The mayor said Bar 145° is about to re-launch itself.
“There were some concerns about Bar 145°,” Duncan said. “They are going to have a grand opening with the new owner.”
The mayor said new restaurants such as the Freight House and Bohemian Wrapsody are doing well.
A challenge the city faces is the availability of shovel-ready land.
“We are working on this,” the mayor said. “We have a limited supply, now.”
The mayor said the downtown area is solid.
“There is a retail outfit moving into the former Mattress Company,” Duncan said about 32 W. Main St.
“The renovation of the former Waldo’s property is also an exciting project,” he added about the Benedict Avenue location.
“The NEDC (Norwalk Economic Development Corp.) is renovating the downstairs into a development center,” the mayor said.
“The mayor’s job is something different every day,” Duncan said. “We’re already working on the 2017 budget. The budget is always tight.”