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Jan 07

2021 in the Rearview Mirror

Posted on January 7, 2022 at 8:49 AM by Kristy Bansemer

What a pleasure once again to share with you my annual reflection on the past year in Derby. For sure, 2021 was way better than 2020!

I’ll start with gratitude to all the medical professionals in Derby, Rock Regional Hospital, teachers, and all front-line workers who have continued to battle the pandemic and its related effects on everyone’s mental health. We are all frustrated and tired, so I’ll just focus on the hope I have for better days ahead.

Derby had another strong year for residential construction in 2021. With the value of a newly constructed home topping $300,000, City officials continue to focus on ways to ensure housing can be made affordable to working families.

The City made great progress in 2021 by completing a major overhaul of our zoning code and subdivision regulations. The Planning Commission and City staff did a great job of making it easier and faster for property owners to get approval for additions to their homes and for builders to embark on more affordable homes for working families.

The new green slide opened at Rock River Rapids, making the aquatic park more fun for kids not quite 48 inches tall. Average daily attendance at Rock River Rapids was its highest since 2012.

Another highlight was the groundbreaking in November for a major expansion of BG Automation on Water Street in the West End. I could not be more pleased with this company’s commitment to staying in Derby and its plan to add more jobs following construction.

The City’s commitment to the West End continued with replacement of the traffic signal at K-15 and Madison to enhance pedestrian safety and with vacation of several platted alleys to enable adjacent businesses to own and use the land going forward.

With help from the Community Development Advisory Board, the City adopted a new Economic Development Plan to guide efforts for the next three years in creating a vibrant and diverse community to attract people and promote the growth of businesses.

You may have noticed construction on Patriot Avenue near Lowe’s. Well, that addition of a right-turn lane for traffic heading to Wichita on K-15 was completed in December and will do much to reduce congestion in this continually growing corridor.

These are just a few highlights of our community’s accomplishments in 2021. Many thanks to your elected City Council, City staff and the volunteers and businesses who together make Derby a community of choice. I love Derby and can’t imagine living anywhere else. #DerbyProud

Randy White

Published in the Derby Informer on Jan. 5, 2022.