December is my second favorite month (behind October) and is the understandable time to reflect on the closing year.

As families gather for holiday cheer, it is a useful time to take stock of projects — personal, professional, and public — to gain a sense of where we are, and where we need to be.

For the city of Jordan, I’m proud to report that this year was one of progress.

As you know, our most significant capital project is the construction of the 169/282 interchange — and this year, we made physical progress in the form of the new roundabout which opened fully during my favorite month. That roundabout, along with the rebuild of Creek Lane, is considered “phase 1” of the larger project to come, and its completion is a significant success for the city many years in the making.

We made financial progress as well — thanks primarily to our partners in Scott County, our state legislators, Sen. Eric Pratt and Rep. Tony Albright, and our members of Congress including Rep. Angie Craig and senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith. As we close the year, we’re over $10 million closer to fully funding this project, and highly motivated to close the gap in 2021 if we’re able.

Jordan’s businesses continue to make strides, adding to our community in so many ways. I was privileged to celebrate the opening or expansion of several businesses this year, and our council prioritizes ways in which the city can be a partner to the success of local entrepreneurs.

Our parks are a point of pride for our community, and this year we made several meaningful investments into our park system.

Thanks to our great city staff and the prior City Council, this summer the new snack shack and bathroom facility opened at Lagoon Park, creating a great new amenity. We also debuted improvements to Timberline Park, and more recently, funded and announced significant improvements coming to Grassmann Park, which will be complete by early summer 2022.

We improved our process as a governing body — sticking to the well-founded principle that competition for business yields higher quality at better prices.

By relying on the marketplace to bring competition into our city services, we will save residents significant tax dollars going forward on your garbage service, and have unlocked value through the RFP process for professional services like engineering and city attorney work.

Perhaps most visibly, our community festivals were back in person this year, after a required and necessary break in 2020 for COVID purposes.

In 2021, the Distinguished Service Award Banquet, Celebrate Jordan, Food Truck festivals, Cinco De Mayo, graduation, St. John’s Fall Festival, Mill Pond Masters, JordanDazzle and of course, Heimatfest were all back to normal, or at least very close to normal.

It’s not accurate or wise to state that our public health situation is back to normal. But it would be impossible to understate how critical it was to get these important community milestones back online. Community health is more than physical. For Jordan in 2021, our overall health took a very significant turn for the better, at least in this public official’s opinion.

So, as we close out the year, I wish you continued health in all forms — physical, mental, and spiritual. Please take a moment to celebrate our progress this year. We have all been through a lot — and still have a way to go.

And please raise a toast toward a 2022 filled with further progress for our amazing community and all its residents.

Happy holidays.

Mike Franklin is mayor of Jordan.

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