by Joni Astrup
During 2013, the city of Elk River opened a new park, repaired and reconstructed streets, saw more home building and set an attendance record at the downtown concert series.
Those were just a few of the facts outlined in the city’s new 2013 annual report, which was presented to the City Council on Monday.
Some of the highlights include:
–On the parks front, a new destination playground at Orono Park officially opened on June 25 and the 23-acre Bailey Point Nature Preserve celebrated its grand opening on Aug. 14.
–The 2013 Riverfront Concert Series set an all-time attendance record with more than 10,000 people attending the 10 free outdoor concerts in downtown Elk River.
–The Elk River Activity Center, a 55-plus facility at 413 Proctor Ave., also had a record attendance year. Participation was up 8 percent with a total of 24,840 visitors.
–The improving economy boosted construction with 82 new homes built in 2013. In all, more than 1,800 new building permits were issued with a new construction value of $38.4 million.
–Business additions and expansion included plans for the construction of a new Starbucks Coffee franchise, a Noodles and Company restaurant, Cornerstone Auto Oil Change Center, the addition of Steiss Auto Sales, an Alliance Machine Co. expansion and groundbreaking for Preferred Powder Coating on a new 100,000-square-foot facility.
–Overall, the city completed $3.6 million in street projects in 2013.
–A redesigned city website debuted in March of 2013.
–The Elk River Fire Department initiated organizational changes and completed a long-term strategic planning process.
–The city’s waste water treatment plant will require major improvements to comply with new pollution control requirements. Design work has begun on a facility plan and construction is expected to begin in this summer.
–Total sales at the city’s Northbound and Westbound liquor stores hit $6.75 million in 2013, an increase of $238,475 over 2012.
The report was presented in a new interactive format called Storymapping. To see the full report, go to www.elkrivermn.gov.