claremore-state-of-the-city-2015-1-638Mayor Bill Flanagan and City Manager Jim Thomas addressed a crowd of over 175 business leaders and citizens at the annual State of the City address on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015.

2014 was ushered in with a new brand and marketing campaign. This endeavor was launched by the City of Claremore, Claremore Chamber of Commerce, Claremore Main Street, Claremore Expo Center, Claremore Visitors Bureau and the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority. It has proved to be very positive and has allowed Claremore to tell its story better than ever before.

In 2014, Claremore experienced significant growth in industrial, commercial and residential development, seeing a 30% increase in the total number of construction permits, and a 78% increase in the value of those permits. Claremore’s gross retail sales topped $350 million in 2014, which is the highest it’s ever been.

IMG_8831The City of Claremore “Rainy Day Fund” has grown from $600,000 to $4.5 million over the past two years.

In February, Baker Hughes, Claremore’s largest employer, opened a new $60 million research and technology center, and by November, the company agreed to merge with Halliburton, as part of a $34.6 billion deal. All of this equates to more jobs for Claremore, resulting in a better community for you and your families.

The City continues to provide traffic improvements, such as the King Road widening project completed in 2014, providing better access to Catalayah Elementary. The city continues to work with the Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation with plans for the final routing of state highway 20 to address our traffic issues.

Claremore invested in AMI Smart Meters for water and electric customers. Smart Meters not only automate the billing process, but help in the operation and management of the electric system as a whole. This positions Claremore at the cutting edge of technology.

The City welcomed several new businesses to town, including Whataburger, CVS Pharmacy, Buffalo Wild Wings and Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

The Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and LaQuinta Inn broke ground during the past year as well; boosting city leaders plans to expand tourism. The Hampton Inn and newly constructed St. John Clinic and Urgent Care Facility marked the first additions to Claremore Plaza.

In 2015, the City will begin construction on a new water treatment plant that will more than double current capacity, providing water needs for the community through the year 2040.

There are multiple residential developments scheduled to break ground in 2015 providing much needed housing for area residents.

2014 also welcomed the addition of a new event in Claremore, the West Bend Block Party, put on by moreClaremore.com, Claremore Expo, RSU Radio, and Musician’s Haven. This event is a monthly gathering with live music, food trucks, vendors and family friendly games and activities.

Another successful collaboration was to update the Claremore Mountain Bike Trail system by Adventure Signs, Parks & Rec, and Studio Coffee Co. This resulted in a complete overhaul of the mountain bike trails including entrance bridge, trail cleaning, and directional trail signage.

Yet another collaboration happened with the Will Rogers Park Project – a charge led by Crystal Campbell and partnership with the Rogers County Master Gardeners group and the City Parks & Rec department. This included a splash pad, new playground equipment, new walkways and a new shelter with restrooms slated for completion in 2015.

Additional accomplishments in the city include the update of the new Fire Administration Building, the new Senior Citizens Center and the addition of a new fleet for vehicles for the police officers.

All of these updates mean that the Claremore 2020 plan launched in 2013 is on track with success in each of the five areas: city planning, water, transportation, tourism and more partnerships.

Looking ahead, 2015 will mean the celebration of many of our business partners 10 year anniversaries including Pelco Structural, AXH Air-coolers, Caseco Manufacturing and Heath Technologies.

In the words of Will Rogers – We are on the right track and we’re not sitting still. Here’s to a great 2015 and beyond.