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Ferndale Mayor Hansen provides State of the City Address via video recording

FERNDALE, Wash. — City of Ferndale staff published the following video yesterday, November 23rd, of Mayor Greg Hansen as he recapped 2020 from the City’s perspective, highlighted some items in the current draft 2021 City budget and voiced his concern over the current COVID-19 crisis.

A transcript of the video is provided below.

Hello, I’m Mayor Greg Hanson and I’m here to talk to all of you about where our community is going.

So when we began 2020, we had no idea of the challenges that would be before us as a community: a global pandemic that has done serious damage to our economy, the curtailment of operations at Intalco that have put families right to the edge.

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For the City’s part, we’ve been working hard to address the needs of our businesses or organizations and our neighbors. We’ve used CARES [Act] money to provide grants to the Ferndale Food Bank and the Ferndale Community Service Co-op among many other organizations that help our communities most vulnerable and we’re always keeping an eye toward a safe reopening.

As we speak, we’re finalizing the 2021 budget and we’re being cautious and prudent as we go forward. We’ve delayed some projects like the Ferndale Municipal Court Building and we’ve frozen hiring as well. We’re trying to lay the groundwork for a strong recovery but sound fiscal policy and conscious budgeting has allowed us to continue some of our major infrastructure projects like the Thornton Street overpass or the wastewater treatment plant and, of course, the Star Park picnic shelter which could be beginning shortly after the beginning of the year.

And even as we tighten our belts, we’re not going to stop improving our city services. We plan to initiate online utility billing software, a portal that will allow you to be able to pay your water bill online. We are getting body cameras for our Ferndale Police officers and of course there are lots of park activities planned for this summer, socially distance of course.

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And while this puts us on a strong path to recovery, we can’t do this alone.

Washington State has had over 100,000 COVID cases and those numbers are continuing to rise. We’re in a spike right now as we speak and the Governor has initiated new restrictions and while they’re frustrating, they’re necessary to open back up.

To get back to some degree of normalcy, we need you to wash your hands, socially distance, limit your gatherings to small gatherings and, of course, wear your mask.

We’ve a lot to be thankful for in our community. I’m thankful for the essential workers, the nurses, the grocery store clerks, the cleaning professionals, the first responders, the delivery drivers and, of course, our teachers who have done an amazing job of rising to the challenge of teaching in an online environment.

I am thankful for our businesses that have rolled with the punches and made the changes necessary to keep their doors open and I’m thankful for everyone in Ferndale who has made the choice to protect their neighbors and stop the spread of this virus.

And finally, happy holidays to everybody. I certainly wish all of you a happy, safe and healthy holiday. We’ll see you around town.

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