I would like to start by wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Our 2018 Budget will be approved Friday, so I hope to again be able to take the time to prepare this update every week.
A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.
• When the Budget is passed this Friday, it will mark the completion of my 8th budget as Presiding Commissioner. This year’s version, especially in Road & Bridge, will reflect an emphasis on the completion of projects for which we have been saving. Highlights include 12 bridges and nearly 40 miles of pavement maintenance and new pavement construction. The new pavement is the first phase of a 5-year plan that calls for a significant increase in the number of hard surface roads in Lincoln County with an ultimate goal of having more than ½ of our roads taken from gravel to hard surface in the next 5 years. Be prepared to see construction throughout the year in Lincoln County.
• Over the past several years, we have experienced growth in both residential and commercial development. This week I would like to focus on the growth in commercial real estate. Our best measure of this is the assessed valuation, which has grown from just under $75 million in 2012 to nearly $96 million in 2017 – a 28% increase! This represents both job creation and outside investment which are the driving forces behind economic development. It appears that this trend will continue through 2018 as there are currently over 237,500 square feet of commercial buildings under construction in Lincoln County which will represent over 100 new jobs upon completion.
• 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year around here, and I encourage everyone to stay in touch and read these weekly updates. It is truly an honor to serve in this capacity for the Citizens of Lincoln County. Let’s get to work!
That’s all I have time for now. As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions. Until next week…