FAIRBORN — Fairborn Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick highlighted the city’s accomplishments made throughout 2015 as well as items coming down the pike in 2016 during his state of the city address Monday, Feb. 15 at the latest regular council meeting.
“Council and staff worked very hard in 2015 to continue the momentum of economic development,” Kirkpatrick said. “This year we experienced development with business expansion and job growth, additions to our housing stock and continued improvement in the aesthetics of our community.”
The City of Fairborn saw a number of businesses grow and offer more jobs last year. Teleperformance, a company specializing in customer service, added 100 new jobs. Sumaria, which focuses on information technology, engineering, and professional and technical services, added 80 positions. Donatos Pizza moved to a new area within the community, creating 10 additional positions in doing so.
Meanwhile, a number of new businesses started to call the community its home last year. US Lawns, a branch of a larger tree of businesses, relocated to Fairborn, offering the community year-round commercial grounds care. WCR, a manufacturer of heat exchangers, relocated its international headquarters in 2015, which brought along 31 new job opportunities and promises for more in the future.
“Business growth and job creation is the lifeline of any community,” Kirkpatrick said. “Fairborn is no different.”
The Bluffs on Trebein completed section-one development last year, which included 28 lots that are all now sold. Prices range from $250,000 to $300,000 and above. Council approved final plans for section two during the meeting; its construction is aimed to begin in March this year. Section-five construction of Waterford Landing wrapped up in 2015, while section-six construction has already started. Fairfield Oaks is currently under construction, which will add 36 apartments to the community.
“As our job market expands, so does our need for housing and growth in our community,” Kirkpatrick said. “We continually need to identify the housing demands for our community, and meet the needs for new residents and families.”
The city addressed blighted buildings, taking down 10 in 2015, as a means of making more room for new houses and businesses to move in. Blighted buildings will continue to come down in 2016. New code enforcement standards were adopted last year, which allowed the city to address areas not compliant in order to create a more aesthetic environment, and will continue this year. Council also adopted the Fairborn Police Department’s nuisance abatement program during the fall months, which Kirkpatrick said focuses on criminal activity.
“In essence, our message is: take your crimes elsewhere — out of Fairborn,” he said. “This is a family town based on family values, and we intend to stay that way.”
Recreational activities and community involvement saw growth; adult and recreational activities experienced a 15 percent increase in participation last year, with more than 1,200 attendees. Nature Quest, an outdoor educational program that starts in the classroom and aims to get families to spend time in a park, saw more than 450 young community members participate in the last 12 months. Citizens forums also saw a 21 percent increase in attendance. Fairborn and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base created a partnership for the use of Prairie Pool, and saw an increase in attendance last year regardless of the rainy summer the area experienced. The partnership will continue this year.
“So, where are we going? Where’s our future? Well, we are a city in motion,” Kirkpatrick said. “Our 2016 continues to move forward in various areas.”
In the future, citizens can expect to see improvements made to Colonel Glenn Highway in preparation of the presidential debate in September per landing funding opportunities for the project, as well as the completion of the downtown streetscape project. As far as recreational activities go, citizens will have the opportunity for swim lessons at the Prairie Pool, as well as golf lessons for all ages at the Twin Base Golf Course at WPAFB and Fairborn’s recreational programming will offer Ohio Department of Natural Resources hunter safety courses.
Construction for the new Kroger Marketplace is also expected to start this year.
“We hope we have shown that your voice is being heard, and the City of Fairborn wants to hear from and work with its citizens to achieve common goals and actions necessary to make Fairborn a place of success,” Kirkpatrick said.