The old year has come to an end, but instead of looking back we are looking ahead.
After its launch in late 2010, Fenton Patch is looking forward to being a big part of the community in 2011 with breaking news, important issues and heartwarming stories that come with the new year. Area officials are also looking to the future to the pressing issues of 2011.
City of Fenton
In 2011, the budget will continue to be a major obstacle for Fenton, City Manager Lynn Markland said.
He said the city is expecting to lose $300,000 in property tax revenue because of the declining value of homes.
"We will be looking to decrease expenditures and the budget will remain a big challenge," Markland said.
However, 2011 won't be filled with doom and gloom, he said.
Officials will be finishing the Adelaide Street project to reconstruct the water main from Silver Lake Road to North Road in the spring.
Markland said the city will be repaving Walnut Street and the Downtown Development Authority will also be improving landscaping and street lighting on Silver Lake Parkway.
The new Fairfield Inn on Silver Lake Parkway is also expected to open in the spring.
Markland said rehabilitation at the old fire hall will likely begin to pave the way for Michigan Brewing Company to move in, if a deal is reached.
City of Fenton Police
The budget will also remain an issue for the police department, said Police Chief Rick Aro.
"We have to make sure we make the most of the resources we have and work as efficiently as possible," Aro said.
The chief added that residents might see him on the street more often, as he will be pitching in on patrol.
Aro said he expects fraud and identity theft to continue to increase because of recent trends, so he will attempt to warn residents how to protect themselves and their property.
"As crimes rates increase in other parts of the county, our residents have to be careful," Aro said. "It's important that people use good common sense."
Lake Fenton Community Schools
While many schools are facing a decrease in enrollment, Lake Fenton Community Schools are seeing an increase in population, said superintendent Wayne Wright, and he expects the growth to continue in 2011.
"We are one of very few schools that is growing, so that is a positive sign for the new year," Wright said.
However, the school hasn't escaped the money crunch, Wright said. He said the teaching staff has been doing more with less.
"We are holding our own, but it hasn't been easy," Wright said. "Our staff has been doing a great job."
Wright added that the school will to continue to work with educators to focus on improving academics in 2011 in efforts to become one of the elite schools in the area.