Mayor Neil Johnson releases 2013 State of Bonney Lake address

Bonney Lake Mayor Neil Johnson released his 2013 State of the City address Tuesday. The text of his address follows:

Dear Citizens, Council Members, and Staff:

The City of Bonney Lake is doing well. With a retail market of over $300 million, our local economy is showing positive signs. Building permit valuation is increasing (projected to be the highest it has been since 2007), and sales tax collections for January were 27 percent higher than they were in January of 2012. While we still face significant budget challenges, we are in a great position relative to other Pierce County cities and the state of Washington.

What is great to see is the economic activity in all parts of Bonney Lake: Downtown with the new Franciscan medical office building, Midtown with the announcement of Hobby Lobby moving into the former Albertsons building, and Eastown with the planned installation of the long awaited sewer system. These things couldn’t have happened if the council and staff didn’t work together on development solutions.

Despite dwindling revenues as a result of the great recession, we were still able to further improve the quality of community life. We have reconstructed or overlaid a number of City streets, improved both water and sewer systems, and have installed a number of sections of sidewalk – soon you will be able to walk from Downtown to Eastown along SR410 on sidewalks. We are completing an expansion and improvement to the lakeside picnic area of Allan Yorke Park, and on April 13th we broke ground on a significant segment of the Fennel Creek Trail, which is part of a Safe Routes grant project.

My desire to improve and expand the Bonney Lake Parks and Open Space system is shared by the majority of the council and the citizenry at large. However, in order to be able to adequately fund the projects identified in the adopted Parks Plan, a dedicated source of park funding is needed for the future. While we have been able to maintain our parks at a high level, create special events for all to enjoy during the summer, it is important to remember that for Bonney Lake to remain a strong community we will need to have a long term funding source that will allow us to develop and maintain a sports complex, expand parks and playgrounds, build the Fennel Creek trail, construct a community recreation center, and develop the other improvements contained in the plan.

Over the past several years, Bonney Lake has become a stable, well managed community. We do not have the economic or political turmoil that many cities in Pierce County have experienced the past few years. I am pleased with the positive working relationship we have established between my office, the council, and staff. It is a pleasure to work with a group of individuals who are willing to work together for the betterment of Bonney Lake.

The future is bright for Bonney Lake with the potential of additional shopping opportunities, housing choices and the various recreation possibilities. Our community continues to gain strength with the many volunteer hours spent by citizens on City Boards and committees, service organizations, and community volunteers that make our city what it is. We are positioned well for continued progress, and I am proud to be your mayor.

Neil Johnson Jr.