This will be the final Mayor’s Report for 2019 and I wanted to fill it with the latest city facts and figures. The city is in fine condition in all major categories as you can see below:
Utilities - Through November all of our utilities are operating in the black. I expect this to continue as they should all report profitable operations for 2019, just as they have for 2018 and 2017. This is an important turnaround which allows the utilities to build surpluses to protect the city in case of an emergency or large and unusual catastrophe.
Streets - With the 7/8 cent sales tax passed last August, budgeted street funds for 2019/20 were able to be used to finally complete the SeeTal subdivision repaving. Their streets have never been paved in entirety since the city annexed the subdivision. The 7/8 cent sales tax will go into effect January 1, 2020, and the first funds will be available after the first quarter of that year. We will use these funds and begin work immediately on city streets and our first priority will be 18th Street from 100 W. to the HADH.
Derelict buildings - A concerted effort has been made to focus attention on removal of these buildings. This is a long and complicated legal process. I am happy to report that two burned out buildings on E. 4th St. and E. 5th Street have been razed and removed at the owner’s expense. A third building on W. 5th St. was razed a week ago, also at the owner’s expense. Additionally, the city has condemned and deemed dangerous the old BevCo building on Jefferson. Equipment stored in the building is slowing down the process of demolition. Several more buildings and areas of concern are being addressed legally and we plan to make progress as quickly as we can.
Cell tower – The AT&T cell tower building permits will be issued as soon as the city receives a few more stamped engineering drawings. The city is expediting this much needed resource.
Retail business - Total receipts from lodging rentals will exceed $6.3 million in 2019. This is a new record which continues a series of record years.
Retail sales - retail sales in Hermann reached $56.6 million in 2019. This is the highest level of retail sales Hermann has ever recorded. This figure includes the $6.3 million in lodging rentals.
Organizations - While neither the Hermann Area District Hospital nor the R1 School District collect any sales tax, they contribute significantly to the Hermann economy through the number of people on their payroll—over 400. The HADH has improved their financial condition and seems to be moving in a positive financial direction. We are hopeful that preliminary rumors that the R1 School District increasing in enrollment will be true, after several years of decrease. Many employees of these organizations live in Hermann or nearby and purchase goods and services in Hermann.
Manufacturing - Hermann is home to about ten manufacturing companies of different sizes. Together they employ over 300 people. This group of companies is healthy and currently adding new employees.
Community - Community oriented organizations abound in Hermann. The Veterans Memorial Parkway, Hermann Caboose restoration, ball park concession stand and restroom facilities as well as the recently donated keelboat “Muskrat” are examples of the benefits these organizations provide. They receive no public funds and exist solely on their own generated membership dues and fundraising efforts. They are true benefits to the City of Hermann.