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Encouraging growth in Troutdale

Troutdale has experienced some very encouraging growth patterns this past year. During the 2010 construction period, we have added more than $1.3 million in residential value and more than $4.6 million in commercial property to our tax base. These improvements include Beaver Creek Cottages, which are period homes designed after our former mayor Herman Blaser's English Tudor residence.

On July 12, the county opened its first library in Troutdale. This 6,000-square-foot facility has already had 71,788 visits. The county expects to have 125,000 visitors by its anniversary.

FedEx Ground had its official grand opening in October 2010, which was the two-year anniversary of its groundbreaking. This 445,000-square-foot facility will be home to 750 employees. The company expect to expand to 660,000 square feet in the future. This $129 million plant will generate a $57 million dollar payroll within five years and provide more than 1,000 jobs.

The first annual Fall Foliage Open Studio Tour brought hundreds of visitors and art lovers to Troutdale over two weekends in October. As a result of the major success of this event, plans are already being laid for this year's event.

We have been working aggressively to give opportunities for small business owners to expand. The city has implemented the Troutdale's Open for Business Plan, which amounts to a fee holiday for expanding or starting a new business. Several businesses have jumped on the fee holiday train, and we are starting to see some movement in this arena.

Activity has increased for our fire and emergency medical services, which has set another record year in providing services to our community. There were more than 1,200 incidents responded to, including 862 emergency medical services and rescue calls and surprisingly 34 fire calls.

In cooperation with Multnomah County Emergency Services, the city of Troutdale was the first service to implement 9-1-1 reverse call systems in the county. This provides another avenue to communicate directly with our residents in case of an emergency.

We are grateful for the passage of our police bond measure that allows us to have a new police facility. The Troutdale community police center will increase our efficiency and support citywide crime prevention strategies. Progress on this development can be monitored by visiting our website, www.troutdale.info.

In order to maintain one of the measures of livability in our community, we hired a new code enforcement officer, John Copeland, who has 20 years of experience in Troutdale.

Troutdale's recreation program, the only one in East County, proved very successful with more than 3,000 taking part. They participated in recreation classes, camps and programs for children in our community.

Our city has a very bright future as we continue to make great improvements. We are excited about the possibilities to insure the livability and safety of our fine city.

Jim Kight is the mayor of Troutdale. For the complete text of the State of the City go to www.troutdale.info, Departments, Mayor and City Council, Headlines.