By Mayor Ray Smith
The start of a new year is a time filled with the kind of enthusiasm that we don’t usually feel at any other time of the year. The optimism of a fresh start, the promise of a new beginning, the pardoning of personal shortcomings, and the resolution to both be better and do better all come together as we enter the new year.
Add to all that excitement the fact that 2020 is the start of a new decade, a leap year, an election year, and an Olympic year! We’re also expecting more growth and development in Prosper. Our Public Safety Complex will open its doors, along with many other retail, commercial, and residential projects throughout Town. The new year will most certainly be a busy time for us. But, it’s not like we’ve been sitting on our hands during 2019! The year just ending saw quite a bit of activity all over Town. Our staff has been actively working to keep Prosper ready for what can only be described as regular growth spurts.
Staff has worked during 2019 to bring about all of the tremendous annual events like the Community Picnic, National Night Out, Mayor’s 100-mile Challenge, the various Community Clean-up events, the Arbor Day celebration, the Coffee and Lunch with the Mayor updates, and of course, the Prosper Christmas Festival. Even with all the work that goes into these annual events, staff and volunteers went the extra mile in 2019 with a bevy of new programs, projects, events and activities. These include the implementation of an entirely new trash and recycling collection system, completely altering how we deal with solid waste. The elevation of our Fire ISO rating happened last year, even though work on that change began a few years ago. We conducted a survey on residents’ preferences on broadband internet service to better prepare us for the future.
In addition to the annual Citizens Police and Fire Academies, the Town is getting ready to develop and promote a Citizens Government Academy, whereby citizens can learn more about how the Town is run, and what it takes to keep the wheels of progress rolling. An online reference tool on where the Town was working on right-of-way projects was launched, and the community came together in a vocal way to share our opinion on the expansion of Hwy 380, with lots of staff work behind it.
The Town partnered with Collin County on a new transit system for our residents who need it, and for commuters, we installed cameras at most of the railroad intersections to give drivers a look at the traffic situation in real time. We proceeded on several large and small street, road, and intersection constructions and expansions.
We opened the 407 Rec Center for active adults and added recreational programs for all ages. We introduced DownTown Live to great reviews. And this is just a small taste of what the staff and Council worked on during 2019. It was a busy year for us, and we anticipate that 2020 will be just as busy if not more so. Get ready!
Regardless of the flurry of activity, remember to take good care of yourselves. Keep this in mind when you set your New Year’s resolutions regarding eating and exercise, only two percent stick with them after February 15. Be a Champion and fight through the urge to abandon your goal. Lena joins me in wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year!