A Message From the Mayor – 2021 City of Buffalo Accomplishments

 In Home Page City News

Again, I come to you the community of Buffalo with gratitude in my heart.  Without the wonderful People who live here and invest in our great city this would not be possible.  A great Thank you to our city staff who hold it all together, our council and our city board members as well.  Here is a recap of the year in our great city.

2021 CITY OF BUFFALO ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • The code of ordinances of the City of Buffalo were previously codified in 1994. Over the years, the number of ordinances has increased with the growth of the City; this and changing times presents the City with the opportunity to review the ordinances for complete and accurate information. A complete and detailed recodification of the City’s Code of Ordinances is appropriate to maintain knowledge as to the current laws for staff as well as our citizens. A City Code that is well-arranged, well-edited and easy to read is a cost-effective management tool. It will give citizens and staff the ability to work with the most accurate and easy to use ordinances. With the current recodification of our ordinances the following goals are being met (1) format designed for consistency and readability (2) legally accurate, up-to-date and conforms with state law (3) address any conflicts or inconsistencies (4) eliminate any repetition and out of date information, and (5) address any date related provisions.
  • Organizational changes to the City’s structure occurred and cross-training has now been made standard. For example, the Parks & Recreation Department now oversees the Community Center and Golf Course in addition to parks, trails, and the Civic Center. The Utilities Department also now includes Electric and Fiber, Water, Water Reclamation, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Management of Information Systems (MIS and IT).
  • Finance and Utilities have migrated from the operating system InCode 9 to InCode 10, which incorporates new internal / external functions and improved reports.
  • NeoGov has been implemented to better manage the City’s Human Resources recruitment and recordkeeping functions.
  • The City’s website is currently in the process of being overhauled through CivicPlus, greatly improving its functions and ease of searching. Roll-out is planned for early 2022.
  • The City Council and Staff went through its Visioning process and developed new Core Strategies to accomplish in the next one to three years. You may view the adopted Strategic Plan on our website at 2021 Strategic Plan
  • FlashVote surveys have been implemented to improve the way Buffalo residents can provide their input.
  • The Police Department is currently on pace in to exceed the number of calls responded to in 2020-as of December 20, 2021, we have responded to 11,208 calls for service. We are thankful and proud to have the opportunity to serve the public safety and service needs of our residents.

This year we were excited to welcome Luna the Therapy Dog onto our team. Luna is completely at home at BPD as she lives here full time and has accepted us as her family. With the addition of Luna, we are now a team of twenty full time staff, one part time staff, and a 24/7/365 canine partner.

  • The Downtown Fire Station construction is nearly complete. The 28,000 square foot facility houses six truck bays and, a meeting/training room and several other state-of-the-art amenities. Move in is planned for February 2022, and the next annual open house will be held in the new station.
  • Dague Avenue reconstruction is underway, with little setbacks thus far. This $6,000,000 reconstruction project will provide a completely new roadway including safety features, improved drainage and pedestrian/bicycle trails to this growing quadrant that also serves Buffalo High School.
  • Parks & Recreation department is happy to report that renovation of Bandshell seating hill at Sturges Park was successfully completed to make for a much more safe and user-friendly seating area for enjoying performances.  We look forward to the summer Concerts in the Park!

Addition and update to fence and entry way at Dog Park (All completed by City staff)

Addition of new bike trail at Trapper’s Pond Park.

Working on for 2022:

Construction of Swan Park and additional trails along Dague Ave

Updating Boat Rentals and Concession operations and offerings

  • Housing construction has continued to rise in 2021 to a level not seen since the housing recession of 2008. In 2020, 85 single-family homes and two multi-family apartment buildings were built. In 2021 thus far, 78 home permits have been issued along with two 31-unit market rate apartments planned for opening the fall of 2022.
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  • Coborn’s Grocery Store opened in November 2021 on the east side of town, proving 45,000 square feet of space for groceries, a coffee shop, and other related retail services.
  • Caribou Cabin opened their second location in town in November, while Dunkin Donuts is currently under construction with anticipated opening in early 2022.
  • The City kicked off its 2040 Comprehensive Plan process – called the “Buffalo Community Plan” – that will steer the city’s development and growth for the next few decades. The report will be made available in late 2022.
  • The City has partnered with the Wright County Economic Development Partnership to identify its strengths and areas of opportunity for economic development. Efforts resulting from this partnership will be placed on creating vitality and activity in the downtown.
  • For Buffalo Wine & Spirits our sales are up, despite have strong Pandemic   Through early December the stores are at $6.1M in 2021 vs. $5.9M in 2020 a 3% increase.
  • In the Streets Department 2021 was a year of change. With the Streets and Parks being split and only having six for a crew the department did an excellent job of getting things done efficiently, while figuring out new ways to do the work and having fun the whole time.
  • Construction for the Airfield Pavement Maintenance Project at Buffalo Municipal Airport was completed in August 2021 making the airport safer for all pilots.
  • Wastewater

Collections: Staff have been Jetting nonstop this summer.  We have now jetted 98% of our system, which has been in the 5-year rotation window.  Over 80 miles jetted.  Highway 55 and Montrose Boulevard were key areas we got through this year.

Wastewater Treatment/ Water Reclamation: We were able to get significant Phosphorus loading removed from the industry.  We have installed our Hach Analyzer and have significantly lowered our Ferric usage.  This hardware has allowed us to save chemicals

during shortages. There have been days were no ferric was fed. Also- we will not see the full impact of reducing solids in its entirety until the end of the year (2022).  It may reduce Bio-solids operations and hours, which would save even more. This process has helped us to have a healthier treatment process.

Bios-solids Operations: The staff has continued to refine and optimize detailed areas in Bio. These efforts have allowed us to do more maintenance in-house. Fine-tuning our polyblend units and adding Bleach to our system for condenser cleaning have been critical success areas.  We will continue to optimize what we must try and save money!

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  • Water

Treatment Plant: Filter media 3 & 4 changed out and in full rotation—plant working optimally.

Distribution: Drought impacted water services, but the water ban allowed our wells to stay healthy and recover towards the end of the year.

Hydrant flushing was successful and prepared the system for spring.

Automated meter reading (AMR) meters are at 50% installed for residential customers to provide a drive-by reading systems for our operations.

  • Electric

Substation: Replaced all batteries for infrastructure improvement and resiliency

Distribution System: 50 % complete on the electric reconductor project by Shonhaugen Park ~ Fiber installs with each electrical line

Coborn’s & Apartments new infrastructure

Greenbriar 5th & 6th Completed

CIP Funding: $165,000 distributed in 2021, 100% of the funds to the Community

  • Fiber

Shonhaugen central office complete

35 % increase in customer growth

Cable puller, Cable Splicer, and Splicing trailer purchases to reduce professional services and train fiber technicians.

Serviced 4rf radio system, improving infrastructure to water reclamation assets

  • MIS

Recruited internal team

Departmental integration strategy to install proactive results in MIS

Pauman helped secure the network from internal penetration testing results completed by a third-party vendor

  • GIS

Moved GIS to the Utility Campus

Increased mobile technology to Utility Staff

Established a safety committee

Please stay tuned to all the amazing things that are happening in the City of Buffalo.

May God Bless you, our staff, and the City of Buffalo.

Sincerely Your Mayor,

Teri Lachermeier

Teri Lachermeier

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