Although 2020 was a rough year for just about everybody, Swanton officials see reason for optimism this year.
The village saw a slight decrease in revenue during 2020, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic and some planned initiatives or projects were not pursued.
“Swanton was not impacted like other communities such as ones with hotels, many restaurants, etc.,” said Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle. “Those communities had industries that were severely impacted. For Swanton, one of the larger employers, Kroger, may have fared better during the early months.”
Village income tax collection was down a bit from 2019 to 2020, but 2020 collection was higher than it was in 2018. Collection in 2020 was $1,909,013, while it was $1,964,097 in 2019 and $1,728,959 in 2018.
Hoelzle also credited the fiscally conservative planning to Village Finance Director Jennifer Harkey in decreasing the financial impact of the pandemic, which originally looked to be larger. “2020 was not a banner year for many reasons but the Village of Swanton ushered in 2021 fiscally sound and ready for better days,” said Hoelzle.
Spending was cut where possible and some initiatives, such as the Downtown Facade Enhancement grants, were not pursued.
Despite the pandemic, there were accomplishments.
“Closing down the building to foot traffic allowed the administration staff to rethink service provision,” said Hoelzle. “Remote working can be done in a way to continue efficient service provision. Email or phone may not work for everyone, and village officials understand this, however for those who may not be able to stop at the Municipal Building to ask a question, the pandemic illustrated creative ways to provide answers in different ways.”
Other accomplishments she noted include moving forward with a Sidewalk Improvement Grant Program which will be implemented in 2021, another sewer separation project complete and a concerted effort to look toward the future with the Water Resource Recovery Facility Master Plan and the update to the zoning code, which are both on track to be completed in 2021.
Hoelzle said there have been inquiries regarding possible businesses opening in the village as well as residential opportunities for development. One of the more recent is a local food service business looking to open another location.
There are several projects planned by the village this year as well. They include another sewer separation project, updates at the water treatment plant, continued work on the Master Plan at Memorial Park, the addition of sidewalks through the Safe Routes to School grant, rebuilding of Beard Pavilion in Memorial Park, and another phase of the water meter update project.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010