Mayor Hennessy Delivers State of City Address

The mayor says city projects for 2011 include plans for alternative energy sources and an online customer service tool.

Improving customer service and continuing to move O’Fallon in a “green” direction are just a few priorities the will focus on for 2011.

Mayor Bill Hennessy shared plans for upcoming city projects during his State of the City Address on Friday.

One major project funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, includes tackling alternative energy sources for the city. The mayor said the Streets Department is “going green” and working on a project that will allow the city to use wind and solar energy in hopes of lowering energy costs

The city will also launch a new customer service campaign, with a new tool on the city’s website that will allow residents to submit and track requests and issues.

The mayor said other projects for 2011 include the building of an at Westhoff Park and several storm water projects to ease erosion and flooding in certain areas of the city.

During his speech, Hennessey commended the city residents and the for the many accolades O’Fallon earned this year, including being named the by CQ Press for the third year in a row and 26th on Money Magazine’s list of America’s Best Cities.

But while 2010 was a year of accomplishments the city can be proud of, Hennessy said the year did not pass without some challenges.

The mayor said like most cities across the country, O’Fallon felt the impact of the ongoing recession.

“Fortunately O’Fallon fared relatively well despite the downturn. Our sales tax receipts, which are the primary stream that funds our city, were up nearly three percent from 2009,” he said.

Hennessy said this may be in part to the city’s “Keep it in the O” campaign, encouraging O’Fallon residents to shop locally.  He said because sales tax revenues came back higher than expected this year, funding that was cut in 2009 for street repairs will be restored.

O’Fallon has also seen a major growth in population. Hennessy said even though final census numbers won’t be available for a few more weeks, he expects O’Fallon’s population to average around 79,000, which is 70 percent growth in 10 years.

To see the Mayor's entire speech, visit the city's website.


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