Lake City Mayor reflects on first year in office

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mayor Jon Milligan finished the first year of his four year term as Lake City mayor. He said he has enjoyed serving as mayor.

Lake City Mayor Jon Milligan received certification for hours of training.

Lake City has been home to Milligan all his life.

"The employees have years of experience and they know their jobs," Milligan said. "They all made my first year easier. I don't have to worry about them. They are committed to their jobs and the citizens of Lake City."

Richard Varner has served as street superintendent for 21 years. Linda Simpson, city clerk/treasurer, has been on the job for five years. Other department heads include Cameron Tate, water superintendent, with nine years of experience, and Chris Newcomb with the sewer department has been with the city for two years.

"We have a well trained fire department with 25 members," Milligan said. "Fire chief is Chris Snyder. They are working hard to meet the guidelines to lower our ISO rating. When that happens, it will benefit all of the homeowners by lowering insurance premiums."

Milligan also praised the police department for doing a good job under the leadership of Police Chief Winford Saffell. Milligan said the city has received two grants, one for a new police vehicle and another for equipment, which is great for the city's budget.

Mayor Milligan has learned a lot during his first year in office and recently received 21 hours of certification.

He recently put together a 10-year planning committee made up of business men and women to work with the planning and zoning committee.

"We are going to grow," Milligan said. "The four-lane highway is coming through and we want Lake City to be ready to grow in a good way and be prepared. We have seen new houses and apartments going up. We have also worked on clean-up with five old houses torn down."

He said a sidewalk project is beginning creating sidewalks to the new school. It will be done through grants at no cost to the taxpayers.

Other projects include looking at adding a new water tower which would help with the ISO rating giving the city more holding capacity.

"We would all love to see new parks and other things but the infrastructure has to come first," Milligan said. "We have to maintain the streets, water and sewer. We are working toward auto read meters which will make the work faster. All of the other things will come in time."

Milligan has also talked to several state officials and school officials about the formation of a farmers market in Lake City. It can be a place where fresh produce can be sold.

"It would be good for all of Buffalo Island," he said.

Milligan wants to get the community together and has several ideas. He would like to have a fun day at the park with a 5K run with proceeds going to a charitable cause. A walk could be held in the spring and in the fall.

"We had a good year with our city council," Milligan said. "They do a good job and I appreciate each and every one of them."

Lake City showed growth of 126 in the 2010 census.

"I think we will continue to grow," Milligan said. "Thanks to the one cent sales tax the citizens passed in 2010, we have about $11,500 a month income with half going to the water/sewer and half to the street departments. The tax was passed when I was on the council but it has really helped."

Milligan said he appreciates all of the mayors in Craighead County. They meet once a month with the County Judge and state representatives.

"It has been very helpful to a new mayor like me to have them share their experience," he said.

Mayor Milligan said he prays every day for the Good Lord's guidance, and so far it has worked for him. Milligan is looking forward to another good year.

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