I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the wonderful things that have come about over this last year. One of the goals of mine, council and the city staff has been to promote Buffalo both internally and externally. It seems we sometimes take for granted the wonder and awe we experience here in Buffalo. You may have seen the video that was created and shared on our city website as well as Facebook. If you have not seen it, please check it out on YouTube (just look up www.ci.buffalo.mn.us)
There has been much discussion and planning put into our downtown redevelopment project. With the Coborns building now gone, we are looking at this as a three-phase project. The first stage being high-density housing in the center of our downtown district. Possibly two buildings that would bring about 300 plus people to our downtown. With that being said, that density will create a buzz of service and business opportunities in other available spaces.
This coming year we will break ground for the new downtown fire station that will be built on the old St Francis Xavier School property. The property was purchased by the City a dozen years ago. With the high density buildings in the downtown we need the hundred foot aerial ladder located in the downtown area. Havenwood located on the old Coborn’s sight and will be completed this fall 2020 in the downtown. Havenwood will bring new people and families to our community who come to and will visit their loved ones at the facility, bringing more opportunity for current business and new services to come. With that being said, city staff, HRA and council are working with the design team LHB Corp on the downtown vision plans. It is important for us to get in front of the coming changes. The County Government Center services will relocate in 2021. LHB and the city staff along with council and me invite the public to be part of the conversation. Our hope is that citizens embrace these opportunities. Also this year we will start the work of updating the comprehensive plan for the city. The last time it was updated was 2007. This process can take up to two years from start to finish.
This winter 2020 we celebrated our 2nd annual Kites on Ice and enjoyed upwards of 5000 participants in the activities. It is an amazing opportunity for families to enjoy our Beautiful Buffalo Lake in its winter glory. The reception of this 4-hour activity was one of many exciting events that Buffalo has to offer. For the Kites on Ice event we owe a great thank you to our Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce.
I know change is difficult, but what we have experienced in the past three years is a delay from the 2008 housing crisis. With a low inventory of homes our current residents are transitioning in their life styles. Some downsizing and the desire to stay here are why we so need to make that possible if we can. That means different types of housing for all ages.
Last I want the community to know that city staff is working with HRA in regards to the downtown Buffalo Movie Theater. We will update you as things develop. Our hope is to bring it to life in a variety of creative venues intertwined with our performance arts groups in Buffalo.
I thank you for your support and patience as we are all in this journey together.
Sincerely, your Mayor,