Year in review: Development, Bielenberg Sports Center, Miracle Field and more...Woodbury City Hall went through a number of changes in 2012. The biggest one would have to be opening up “Sub-Phase 2A” for development.
By: Riham Feshir, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury City Hall went through a number of changes in 2012. The biggest one would have to be opening up “Sub-Phase 2A” for development.
City Council approved the measure in November after years of planning and working through a recession to mark an important chapter in the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
Opening up “Fields of Woodbury” attracted builders right off the bat. An application was approved in December to give Ryland Homes and Woodbury-Tandem Limited Partnership the go-ahead to start building 98 single family homes in a subdivision called “Bailey Lake.”
“This has been a long-term process,” City Administrator Clint Gridley said in November. “We’ve been really fortunate to work through the great recession and come out of it.”
Bielenberg Sports Center
The city put together a citizen panel to work on plans for the Bielenberg Sports Center expansion in February. After months of planning and discussion, the city’s Planning Commission approved the plans to remodel and expand the center for $21.8 million.
The council has not officially approved the plans, but it plans to issue the debt early next year and move forward with the financing.
A new Bielenberg Sports Center will have an expanded lobby and upstairs food service area, a large field house with a permanent roof, an outdoor ice rink and a playground for children with disabilities.
The city plans to start construction this spring.
Central Park turns 10
The city’s indoor park and the R.H. Stafford Library celebrated their 10th anniversary this year.
Not only did they see some changes over the last year, but Central Park and the library have been evolving over the last decade.
“It’s become a focal point in the community,” Woodbury’s Parks and Recreation Director Bob Klatt said of Central Park adding, “It’s a central gathering space, you can see by how people use it.”
After the Washington County Board of Commissioners voted to nix Sunday and Monday hours at the library, they shuffled some funds around to restore those hours beginning next year. The vote was taken in December.
Miracle Field, a ballpark containing new synthetic turf allowing children with disabilities to play baseball, opened in Woodbury in June.
The project was stalled due to lack of funds for a few years, but by 2012, the Woodbury Rotary club was able to raise a total of $230,000 to open the field near East Ridge High School and the Bielenberg Sports Center.
Valley Creek Road was one major construction project Washington County took on this year.
The road was redone with concrete and asphalt from Bielenberg Drive east to Woodbury Drive from July until November.
Woodbury’s housing market continued to improve this year as the average home price, new housing permits and sheriff’s sales showed promising numbers.
According to the latest data from the city of Woodbury, new housing unit construction permits were up to 356 in 2012, from 286 in 2011.
The average home price is $258,719, compared to $235,790 last year, according to the data.
One development, Highland Knoll, a tax forfeited property that sat empty since 2004, was finally sold in an auction for about $1.5 million in April.
The builders quickly began adding single-family homes on the 28 lots, located north of Oak View Drive, west of Cottage Grove Drive and south of the Eagle Valley development.
Woodbury council elections
Woodbury City Council Members Amy Scoggins and Paul Rebholz won re-election in November against three challengers: Mark Doree, Mike Thissen and Joe Grinols.
The duo will serve third terms, giving them another four years on the council.
Woodbury’s Public Safety Department set a goal in February to train at least 7,000 residents in hands-only CPR.
By December, the team had about 500 to go.
The campaign is aimed to save more lives by increasing sudden cardiac arrest victims’ survival rate.
The patient’s chance of survival after sudden cardiac arrest can increase significantly if hands-only CPR is performed as quickly as possible, said J.B. Guiton, emergency medical services commander.
“It’s a new form of CPR and we’d like to see more people involved with actually performing CPR before we show up at the scene,” he said.
The hands-only technique is as effective, if not more, as mouth-to-mouth.
“People just don’t want to give mouth-to-mouth to a stranger. And that’s a normal thing,” Guiton said.
The city aims to continue reaching out to businesses, residents and students and carry on the Take Heart Woodbury campaign next year and beyond.