Mayor Ann Diercks talks to chamber members about the city of Byron at the chamberís Annual Celebration Jan. 16 at Somerby. Photo by Rachael Bungarden.
By David Richards
With a heavy dose of facts, a dash of humor and a pinch or two of trivia, Byron mayor Ann Diercks highlighted the city's accomplishments in the past year, summarized the present and looked to the future to chamber members recently.
Diercks was the keynote speaker for the chamber's Annual Celebration, held at Somerby Jan. 16.
"I enjoyed being able to do it," Diercks said. "It was a great learning experience for them because we do have so much information on how and why we make our decisions and that was just some of it."
The city's biggest project for 2013 was its Frontage Road renovation, Diercks said, one of the biggest projects in town history.
While the majority of the work is completed, the finishing touches, including the last of the curb and gutter work and the final landscaping, will be wrapped up this spring.
Diercks sprinkled her presentation with trivia, including one that asked how many building permits Byron issued last year. The answer is 53, more than several surrounding communities.
"This shows you people want to live in this city," the mayor said.
Also in the past year, Diercks named the revised golf cart/ATV ordinance and the chicken ordinance, in addition to a revised comprehensive plan as accomplishments by the planning commission, as well as new exercise equipment at BrookLawn Park and a new disc golf course at Klingvall Park as accomplishments by the park board.
For the present, Diecks including the school/city partnership, with representatives meeting once a quarter to see how one can help the other and vice versa in areas including a bus barn, information technology or even an indoor pool. In addition, Diercks mentioned the ongoing work of the pool committee to see about a new facility in Byron and the work to fill the sidewalk gaps as part of a Safe Routes to School grant.
For the future, Diercks named Destination Medical Center and its potential impact on Byron, an updated water master plan for the first time since 2000, which helps determine how we're doing with water usage; and an updated comprehensive plan which allows the city to plan how expansion will occur.