LOGANVILLE – Mayor of Loganville, Rey Martinez addressed the city at the February council meeting.
Martinez spoke of how the dynamics of the city has changed for the better since he and the other members of the council began working toward a “shared vision.”
He addressed the growth of the city and the hard work and dedication, as well as growth in the city’s Public Safety department.
Martinez said, “The Loganville Police Department responded to more than 27,000 calls for service and made 743 arrests last year.
“The Loganville Fire Department responded to almost 2,100 calls for service including 53 fire incidents. Despite the growing demand on these agencies, they continue to proudly represent our city beyond their calls of duty.”
In 2019, Martinez and the council hope to continue improvements to the city’s traffic problems and the beautifying and redevelopment of downtown.
Below is a copy of Mayor Rey Martinez’s State of the City Address provided by the city.
Good evening. I want to thank everyone who is here as I give my first State of the City address. Twelve months ago I took over as the mayor of a great city I had already served for almost eight years as a councilman. While on the campaign trail I heard a lot from our residents about what they wanted to see improved in our great city, but change isn’t something that happens overnight – or even in just 12 months. Perhaps the biggest thing I have learned in my first year as mayor is that there is always a lot going on behind the scenes that most people aren’t even aware of that not only makes this city special but is moving us toward a bright future. But also just as important are the demands of the job, which is something I feel proud to burden myself with in promoting our great city across the state of Georgia and our country.
Twelve months ago the dynamics of our city council changed and I think that we have a group of leaders here who working toward a shared vision. Parts of it may change here and there as we adapt to new information, but we are all up here as representatives of the great residents of Loganville to bring economic prosperity to our town, to work toward alleviating traffic concerns, and just simply hoping to provide a better life not only for ourselves but the generations to come.
2018 was marked with our city joining Gwinnett and Walton as they hosted year-long bicentennial celebrations. But we also had a few other firsts, including the city organizing a carnival, art show and theatrical production at the Rock Gym. We saw the creation of our new Fleet Maintenance Department which is already cutting down on projected expenses of maintaining our city’s more than 130 vehicles and small pieces of equipment. Our Utilities Department also began its first water reuse project and we issued $15 million in bonds for the continued expansion and improvements of our water treatment facility. We have also laid down the groundwork for the expansion of a water line to Monroe to provide the city with another source of water for our growing demands.
Speaking of growth, 2018 was another year of growth here in the City of Loganville as 159 single-family permits were issued. While this is the first time in six years growth did not exceed the previous year’s numbers, we are still growing as the year ended with four neighborhoods in different stages of development. And our Planning and Development Department issued a total of 409 permits for different residential and commercial projects, which is an increase over 2017.
With growth comes the constant demand on our police and fire departments. The Loganville Police Department responded to more than 27,000 calls for service and made 743 arrests last year. The Loganville Fire Department responded to almost 2,100 calls for service including 53 fire incidents. Despite the growing demand on these agencies, they continue to proudly represent our city beyond their calls of duty. The police department raised more than $12,000 for the Walton County Special Olympics through the annual Donut Dash and just last month the fire department graduated its first class of cadets that were trained in-house by city personnel. The hard work of the water and fire departments as well as the county 911 center also resulted in a reduction in the city’s ISO rating which in turn saved local residents on their homeowners insurance.
The different voter-approved SPLOST funds continue to play an integral part in the City of Loganville’s ability to provide for its residents. Walton County voters approved the renewal of SPLOST last year and it is one that is focused on improving transportation in all of our communities with about $17 million to be directed toward road projects. The City of Loganville will receive about $6 million in SPLOST proceeds with 55 % of that to be used on additional road projects, 40 percent on public safety and the remaining portions on parks and recreation. We also expect work to begin on extending the water and sewer lines required for the much needed improvements at Destination Park. This project is using Gwinnett SPLOST funds and will include the installation of bathrooms at the city’s busiest park. We hope this project will enter the construction phase in 2020.
As I mentioned before, so much was done behind the scenes that I want to take this moment and thank City Manager Danny Roberts and the hard working employees of the City of Loganville. We have a great group of people working here that is more like family, and they all work toward serving the residents of our great city for the overall betterment of Loganville.
While 2018 was filled with many great accomplishments, there is much left to be done. As I stand here before you all, joined by this great group of leaders up here, I want the residents of Loganville to know that we will continue to focus on redeveloping our downtown. With Lisa Newberry as the chairwoman of the Economic Development Committee, we have put pieces in place that we hope will help us find the right developer to kickstart the redevelopment of Main Street and our city center. We have met and will continue to meet with different developers as we have in recent years to bring the right project that merges with our vision of a vibrant downtown. But we will also make sure that we do not lose sight of the great businesses that we already have here and continue to work and attract even more businesses to our great city. We all want to strive in making Loganville a great place to live, work and play.
We will also spend 2019 renewing our efforts to fight the good fight in addressing traffic concerns here in our city. While SPLOST funds and LMIG grants will be used on different projects, I can sit here and promise to you here today that we will work harder with GDOT to address some of the biggest problem areas we have in our city. Just like the redevelopment of our downtown, it is something that will take time before we see the fruits of our labors. But know that we are working diligently, effortlessly to try and make changes to improve the traffic situation here in Loganville.
And another area I hope we can focus on in 2019 will be the beautifying of our great city. Plans are already in the works for a possible citywide cleanup day and we are hoping to get a few more road crews out to help pick up trash more frequently inside the city limits. We all need to combine our efforts to ensure that the City of Loganville leaves a great first impression on those visiting – and that impression is that we are a community proud to call Loganville our home.
As we work toward our goals in 2019, I hope that you residents are as proud as I am to say we live in the greatest city in Georgia. Thank you all for your time.