Brecksville has a few tough—but productive—years ahead, Mayor Jerry N. Hruby said in his State of the City speech Wednesday night at the Human Services Center.
The city has stuck to its master plan throughout the years, forgoing big-box businesses for small retail, and Hruby said the plan will stay the same as the city looks to fill vacancies that will be left by the VA Medical Center and Giant Eagle.
“We are a town of small businesses,” he said, encouraging business owners to approach the city government if they need help.
Much of Hruby’s speech focused on economic and city development. Here are a few of the priorities he highlighted:
- The building of a new police station: Hruby said this plan has been in the works for about 15 years, but it’s ready to move forward now. The city has been purchasing property across the street from City Hall, where the station could be located. He plans to propose it to City Council this year.
- The Stadium Drive master plan: The overall plan is still in the discussion period, but the city hopes to build a storage facility for salt, buildings for the Service Department and a retention pond to help with flooding.
- The city’s economic development plan: This will remain an important priority as the city looks to redevelop the VA property. Hruby said the goal is to put some retail on the VA property, and to maintain the building that includes recreational amenities, like a swimming pool and a bowling alley. The economic development plan also puts a high priority on retaining the businesses already in the city.
Hruby also discussed a number of businesses with planned renovations, like the Shell gas station and St. Basil the Great, and those have recently made Brecksville home, like the Oaks of Brecksville, Seared and Brecksville Bootlegger.
The speech also touched on some of the challenges facing the city, most notably those caused by flooding. Some of the city’s roads, like a portion of state Route 82 and Snowville Road, are showing signs of slippage and will have to be fixed. While the city can get money for some of the projects, like the state Route 82 repairs, “this is where a lot of our tax dollars are going,” Hruby said.
Hruby ended the speech by reminding guests at the Chamber of Commerce-hosted event to support each other. City Council and the administration work together—residents and business owners need to do the same. If you work in town or live in town, Hruby said, “Buy in town.”