More than 300 people attended the annual State of the City Address at the Lone Tree Arts Center on May 17, where Mayor Jackie Millet addressed issues of growth, transportation and upcoming projects …
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More than 300 people attended the annual State of the City Address at the Lone Tree Arts Center on May 17, where Mayor Jackie Millet addressed issues of growth, transportation and upcoming projects in the city.
Attendees were treated to a video of Millet and city councilmembers taking a ride on the city's award-winning Link shuttle, narrating various highlights of the city. Lone Tree recently received the Metro Vision Award from the Denver Regional Council of Governments for the innovative free shuttle service that links riders from the Lincoln light rail station to major campuses within Lone Tree.
Michelle McKinney, chair of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, praised Millet, city councilmembers and city employees for their approach to managing the city.
“We value our relationship with Lone Tree,” said McKinney. “Mayor Millet is smart, she's very smart. Did you know she's a civil engineer? She is strategic and thoughtful in how she plans her community. Lone Tree knows that as you grow, you have to be able to move people around.”
Millet and council members bid farewell to Mayor Pro Tem Susan Squyer, who terms out this year. Michael Anderson was welcomed as the newest city councilmember. He recently won the bid to replace Squyer.
Millet informed the crowd that Lone Tree was voted the seventh best place to live in the United States last year by Money magazine, and the number one best place to live in Colorado. Millet peppered the crowd with Broncos trivia throughout her speech.
In 2017, the city received almost $59 million in revenue, and more than $1 million in ticket sales for the Lone Tree Arts Center. Fiscal responsibility, according to Millet, is part of the “secret sauce” that makes Lone Tree successful.
“We are fiscally sound. The difference comes from our pay-as-you-go philosophy,” said Millet.
Millet spoke of the city's “social capital,” saying the people of Lone Tree are just as important as a balanced budget, and meeting their needs enables the city to continue to thrive. The police department was recognized for their community outreach efforts, as were volunteers, outstanding Lone Tree residents, South Suburban Parks and Recreation, South Metro Fire and Douglas County Libraries.
Millet addressed transportation issues, both of past and future, and outlined four projects that will keep cars moving smoothly as the city grows.
“We were born between C-470 and I-25. Transportation is in our DNA,” said Millet.
The widening of C-470, the I-25 "Gap" project, the widening of Ridgegate Parkway and County Line Road improvements, as well as using smart traffic signal technology, are projects designed to ease increasing traffic congestion.
“We cannot build our way out of congestion anymore,” Millet told the crowd.
Millet recognized new businesses in Lone Tree, and spoke about the future development of RidgeGate East, which will bring a new downtown center, as well as new residential villages. She also praised city staffers for their work, and wrapped up the presentation with a little humor.
“We have everything in Lone Tree,” she said. “If you swing a racquet or a club, you can do that here. Hike, bike, shop, play. There's no reason to leave the city and there's only one thing we don't have here. That's a cemetery. That would be the only reason to leave Lone Tree.”
Bob Golden, with the South Metro Denver Chamber, said the growth in Lone Tree is a big draw for businesses.
“We're forming a good partnership with Millet and the city,” said Golden. “The growth is exciting and it's a great opportunity for business owners.”
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