Mayor Drury spoke for about 20 minutes on Monday evening, recapitulating 2020 and looking forward to 2021.
Aurora City Mayor Mark Drury will announce his address for the state of the city on Monday evening. Photo provided.
(Aurora, Ind.) – There’s a lot to see in the city of Aurora this year.
Mayor Mark Drury announced his address for the state of the city on Monday evening. The speech included a summary of 2020 and an outlook for things to come in 2021 and beyond.
The Mayor began his speech by thanking city workers, volunteers, first responders, and everyone else who has brought Aurora forward over the past year.
“Nothing happens in town through one person, whether it’s thoughts or actions that several people need to accomplish things,” said Drury. “So my heartfelt thanks go to everyone who leads Aurora into a bright future.”
As in any other year, public safety is one of the city’s top priorities in 2020.
“Let me make sure that our police, fire and rescue services are ready to take calls even during this challenging time of COVID,” said Drury.
The fire department was able to purchase a greatly reduced ambulance from the city of Lawrenceburg at a greatly reduced price. New chief and deputy chief vehicles were also purchased to better serve the community.
“These things are work vehicles. When they respond to an accident, they have the equipment they need to do the job,” said Drury.
He added that the fire department continues to focus on recruiting, training and retaining volunteers to continue serving the community and even encouraged those who can join the cause.
At times the police managed to get one of two officers less, with one officer serving in the military. According to Drury, the city sent two officers through the police academy in 2020 and will go to the academy again in 2021.
Last year was also a challenging year for EMS, in which around 1,163 incidents were responded to.
Numerous improvements were made in the city of Aurora in 2020, with an emphasis on utilities. The city has completed redevelopment of the water tower, upgraded the aqueducts under Pleasant View and Third Street, and allocated $ 2.2 million to upgrade the metering system. A shovel cart was also given to the city of Greendale.
Drury said the city is using “whatever opportunities we can to save every penny we can to get the job done.”
However, further improvements of approximately $ 16 million are required. The city has applied for a grant to raise up to $ 600,000 for a $ 1.1 million project that will get the ball rolling.
Other projects completed in 2020 include the full rebuilding of Third Street, expanding the facade improvement grant program, opening several new stores downtown, and installing new play equipment at Taylor Field
This year, the city will continue to expand its facade improvement grant program so that all properties within Aurora city limits can be applied for for projects to maintain, restore or refurbish outdoor areas.
Other exciting developments in 2021 are:
- The Port Freight opening at the River Creek Village Mall
- Conwell Street Project – Work on stone retaining walls, 600 feet of new sidewalk
- Possible meeting point or restaurant in the recently sold VFW
- Potential alfresco dining in downtown alleys that are not used often
The city is also planning several road projects in 2020. The hope is to use Community Crossing Grants to fund some of the projects, including a successful application to work on Pleasant View and Hilltop.
Other plans include work in the following areas:
- West Fourth Street, lower side of the tracks
- Upper / Lower John Street
- Section of Hillview
- George Street
- Reconstruction of Market Street (future residential corridor)
Perhaps the biggest project in 2021 is to raise enough funds to complete the rebuilding of the city pool. The city has agreed to fund a $ 2.5 million project to revitalize the city pool. However, another million dollars must be raised to realize the city’s “dream pool”. The new pool has laps for outdoor swimming events, a water volleyball court, a slide, a zero-entry area with a play function for children and a heating element to extend the pool season into early spring and late autumn, and a two-way -Concession booth for park and pool guests, public WiFi and more.
A fundraiser has been launched to help meet the million dollar goal starting with 3v3 basketball tournaments in March. Other fundraising events take place throughout the year.
“It has long outlived its useful life. We have tried to replace this. The only way to make this happen is if everyone gets on board,” said Drury.
Aurora residents can also look forward to the return of many of their favorite annual events. Mayor Drury says the city plans to push Main Street events, Farmers Fair, July 4th Fireworks, Miracle on Main, and many other events forward in 2021. However, these events are subject to change.
“Aurora continues to be a beautiful river city that we call our hometown.” We continue to attract people to the city and the region. We face many challenges and enormous needs in the next few years. Nothing happens as fast as we like it, but we continue to eat the elephant one bite at a time. Hard choices and sacrifices have to be made as we move forward. Our aurora will keep moving forward. We achieve a lot with what we have, ”said Drury.
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