St. Helens Mayor Rick Scholl said the top issues facing the city in 2020 will be waterfront development, public works issues dealing with roads, sewer and water, and the city’s industrial properties.
“The waterfront is not a challenge, but it is a continuation of a theme,” he said. “First and foremost the waterfront needs expansion of the park and a boardwalk. It needs to be open to the public and it is coming to be no mater what.”
Scholl also said he hopes the waterfront development includes buildings three to four stories all with commercial businesses below and perhaps housing above with rooftop viewing.
“That property is absolutely a selling point for the city of St. Helens,” he said.
Scholl said the City’s industrial property is also a key economic driver.
“Industry is what kept the city alive for many, many years” he said. “It’s gone. So now we are trying to redevelop that property.”
Scholl said the challenge is to develop the infrastructure needed for the industrial property, which would allow the city to offer portions of the property to major developers and companies.
“That is almost 300 acres. That’s huge,” he said.
Scholl said development of recreation programs in St. Helens was the key accomplishment for the City is 2019.
“It gives the kids a place to go,” he said.
Scholl spoke with The Chronicle Saturday morning, Jan. 11, just after the State of the City presentation at St. Helens Middle School. During the event, individual city agencies presented updates of projects and visions for the New Year.
St. Helen School Superintendent Scot Stockwell also outlined the school district's mission, its achievements and details about a bond measure to improve St. Helens High School. Decisions about the bond measure are expected to be made in February by the St. Helens School Board.
See the power point presentation attached and read more about the State of the City meeting in the Wednesday, Jan. 15 print edition of The Chronicle.