Parker Mayor Jeff Toborg spoke about highlights from the past year and expectations for 2022 during the first in-person State of the Town speech since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The state of our town is thriving and growing,” Toborg said during the 30-minute speech.
Business owners, elected officials and residents attended the event hosted by the town and the The Rotary Club of Parker at the PACE Center.
Toborg spoke about Parker’s business growth, developments in parks and recreation, law enforcement and roads among other topics.
The mayor spoke about impacts from the pandemic, including that the town’s revenue stream is strong, due in part to how many people now work from home.
“We have, for the first time, a daytime economy,” Toborg said.
toborg said the town is able to maintain a reserve of 25% of the budget, which is about $25 million in case of difficult times.
This year, $30 million of the town's budget will go toward capital improvements, including a town hall expansion and renovations of virtually every town facility, he said.
The town’s businesses are also growing, with about a 1% vacancy rate in the town’s commercial properties, Toborg said.
Toborg gave praise to the Parker Police Department and said each officer received up to a 9% pay increase, making the town the market leader.
“We sought and we obtained a grant providing $30,000 for additional counseling services for our officers,” Toborg said. “We want to take care of them in every way.”
He added that like most other areas in the state, crime is growing in Parker.
“We will supply every tool in the toolbox to keep our residents safe but equally important, we will supply every tool, every weapon, every tactic to keep our officers safe on the street,” he said.
For the parks and recreation department, which Toborg said has the “most utilized facilities,“ in the town, upcoming upgrades include the completion of the 5-mile High Plains Trail across the north side of Parker Road, which is expected to be done by the fall, and the renovation of seating and playground equipment in O’Brien Park.
The East/West Regional Trail was also completed in 2021.
“You can get to Highlands ranch without even hitting a street.” Toborg said. “It’s pretty amazing.”
In 2021, the town public works department worked with Tanterra, the developer for Anthology North, to build a 6-lane section of Chambers Road from Hess Road to Stroh Road.
The department also completed the Cottonwood Drive widening project between Jordan Road and Parker Road.
The Dransfeldt Road extension project from 20-Mile Road to Motsenbocker has also progressed in collaboration with Douglas County and Flat Acre Farms, he said.
“That will provide a key transportation link and promote economic development in that area and future regional commercial space,” Toborg said.
The event also included a presentation of the Parker Impact Award, which went to former mayor David Casiano. Casiano, who was mayor from 2004 to 2012, died earlier this year. Nominees were Kam Breitenbach, secretary of the Cherry Creek Valley rotary Club of Parker and former mayor Mike Waid.
The co-presidents of Legend High School’s student body also spoke at the event, providing details about their unusual high school experience in the midst of a pandemic.
Patty Silverstein from Development Research Partners provided an economic forecast for the Denver metro region, including data such as how quickly the area has regrown jobs compared to the rest of the U.S.
Video from the event is set to be posted on the town’s Facebook page.
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