Nearing the midpoint of her first full term as mayor, Bradshaw acknowledged aspects of the past year have been difficult.
"The city was in a position where it had not increased utility rates in a number of years and it was creating a bad situation," she said. "No one wants to raise service rates or taxes, and it is really sad for the people of the city to have to bear the weight of all the increases in one year."
However, Bradshaw said she is looking forward to making good use out of the additional funds created by the rate increases.
In total, there are 12 stormwater, 27 wastewater and 34 water utility projects in the works that could be completed by the end of 2013.
"There is a lot of work to be done in the city, and I want to get the ball rolling on as many projects as possible," Bradshaw said. "The wastewater and stormwater projects may wait until later in 2010 because we have to let the revenues build up a little so we don't pay for something we can't afford."
One of the biggest projects Bradshaw said she is looking forward to seeing the start of in 2010 is the construction of the new water tower at Craig Park.
Construction of the water tower was originally slated to begin in January 2010, but a couple of elements have pushed the start date back to the spring.
"We switched to Kenna Consulting, Indianapolis, to do our grant writing because we felt they would move in a more timely manner, and they have proved they can do the job very well with all the hard work they have done with the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Grant," she said. "Also, it can be hard to start a major project like that in the winter months with the ground frozen, but I can't see the work starting any later than Spring."
Bradshaw added the other major project the city will try to get up and running in the next year is the Pogues Run detention pond, which must be created before the state will begin the United States 40 project.
"There is a lot of work to be done, but we are hoping to be able to purchase the necessary easements for the project in 2010, and complete the detention pond by the end of 2011," she said. "It has been difficult to get started because funding has been an issue, but so has getting through all the red tape involved."
Continuing to work well with county officials for the overall improvement of the county's economic status is also high on Bradshaw's list of goals for the upcoming year.
"We are really blessed to be able to work so well with the county toward achieving goals," she said. "Hopefully, together we will be able to improve the Interstate-70 interchange so it will attract more business and create more jobs for both city and county residents."
According to the city's capital improvement plan, estimated cost of the various projects have factored in a 10 percent inflation increase for each year leading up to 2013, which allows the city to better plan for the future.
Although the annual inflation rate has fluctuated between 1.6 and 3.8 percent since 2000, Bradshaw said the higher estimates could be beneficial in the future.
"We factored in the inflation at 10 percent so we could try to better predict project costs on the high end," she said. "The projects could come in at lower costs than we are projecting, which could leave funding available to put on other projects and possibly complete those quicker. Right now, we are planning for the worst-case scenarios when it comes to costs so we are prepared for them rather than waiting and finding out the funding is not there to do a project at all."
She added there are no plans to institute increases on any other rates in the near future.
"Barring a major incident, I can almost guarantee there will be no other rate increases in 2010," she said. "We have the Capital Improvement Plan in place, which sets out the many projects the city plans to complete with the recent increases, and we are focused on improving the city's infrastructure. Plus, we are also looking into more grant possibilities and other funding alternatives."
Above all, Bradshaw said her highest priority for 2010 and beyond is continuing to do what she can to improve the city and help the residents as much as possible.
"The main focus at all times is to try and do what is best for the city as a whole," Bradshaw said. "As always, my door is open for residents to come in and voice their concerns or provide suggestions for improvements, and if you can't make it down, feel free to call City Hall and we will do what we can to help."
To contact Mayor Bradshaw, call City Hall at 443-2221 or e-mail her at email@example.com.