Last year was marked by many successes despite the impacts of the ongoing pandemic. Through the guidance of the governing body and the efforts of staff, the City of Gardner made significant strides in increasing our economy, improving citizen services and addressing the infrastructure needs of our growing community.
Residential development continues to thrive, accommodating our increased population. According to the Census results last year, more than 23,000 people now call Gardner home- a nearly 18 percent increase from the previous Census, which speaks to the need for more housing options. Last year, 134 housing units were built or under construction, adding nearly $30+ million in property valuation for Gardner. We also saw progress in private development projects, including the opening of the Warren Place Venue event space and construction of the 262-acre mixed-used Grata Development Project on the southeast side of town.
The city launched a new mobile version of the city’s website, housing some of our most frequently visited pages in one central location to provide a more user-friendly experience and enhanced communication. We also improved customer service by installing electric and water smart meters that provide real-time usage. This new infrastructure allows more customer control over electricity and water consumption, costs, and bills.
The city advanced infrastructure by successfully expanding the Hillsdale Water Treatment Plant. Gardner can now treat up to seven million gallons of water per day, securing Gardner’s water supply well into the future.
The city put taxpayer dollars to good use on several key road improvement projects, including completing Phase 1 of Waverly Road, Phase 1 of the I-35/Gardner Road Interchange and the Santa Fe/US-56 projects. We improved pedestrian access and increased safety with the construction of the crosswalk at the Kill Creek Road and Mustang Street intersection, a signal installation at Gardner Road and 188th Street, and completion of the Safe Routes to School project that included installing a new sidewalk on Moonlight Road, from Warren Street to White Drive/Woodson Lane.
Those are just a few of our accomplishments of 2021, and 2022 is off to a great start with the opening of several new businesses and the beginning of the US-56/Main Street reconstruction project. While I’ve been the mayor for only three months, I’ve been fortunate to serve on council for many years, and I know it takes the collaborative effort of the Governing Body, city staff, businesses and local partners to help this community flourish. Many thanks to all of these groups for a successful 2021, and I look forward to another prosperous year!
Gardner growth continues despite COVID-19