We are a week into our new year, and despite current events on a national level and continued COVID-related challenges, Claremore has an exciting 2021 ahead of us.
We are focused on strategic investments in our future. The City has developed a long-term plan to improve infrastructure, including millions of dollars in funding this year. While the endeavor will take several years, 2021 will be the year we see the start of major improvements in transportation, water, electric, storm water and wastewater projects. One of the most significant projects will be the start of replacing the Talbert / Sioux water line. This is one of our oldest water lines in the system, and the cause of many issues in the area.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s State Highway 20 projects will also begin this year. In addition to widening the stretch of road along Keetonville, the State will begin a new project to resurface Patti Page Blvd (also Highway 20) from the Rogers County Courthouse east to the Will Rogers turnpike entrance. While construction will cause short-term inconveniences, these projects will ultimately improve both safety and accessibility for residents.
Additionally, we are committed to improve communications with citizens. Soon, we plan to roll out a new app geared toward making interactions with the city and managing utilities easier and more efficient. We are also exploring additional streaming options beyond just Facebook for our meetings. Please continue to share feedback with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the very near future and in collaboration with our partners at the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority, we will be making some long-awaited announcements regarding new retailers and restaurants in and around Claremore.
We will approach 2021 with a stronger sense of community and remain committed to helping our citizens and businesses navigate the recovery process from 2020. I also want to encourage our local businesses to review the new Payroll Protection Plan regulations recently announced by the Small Business Administration on January 7. You can find additional info at www.sba.gov and from your local banks.
In closing, 2021 will be a year filled with collaboration, rebuilding, growth and a renewed spirit of community. It is my sincerest wish to work with and for the great citizens and businesses of Claremore in continuing make this the best place to live, work, and play. Happy New Year Claremore!
John Feary is the Claremore city manager.