2020 STATE OF THE CITY
Message from the City Manager:
It is my pleasure to present the 2020 Annual Report for the City of Willard. This report highlights significant accomplishments and initiatives over the past year, along with key financial information for the City of Willard.
2020 was a year unlike any other. Our community and City government were forced to contend with a worldwide pandemic and the associated economic impact, all the while maintaining a high level of municipal services.
No organization, public or private, has been unaffected by COVID-19. The shift to remote working and online meetings has been an adjustment for many. In a municipal setting however, many of the services we provide, including law enforcement, fire and EMS protection, street and park maintenance, water and sewer services, and various financial services cannot be performed remotely. Consequently, a major focus for much of the past year has been ensuring the safety of our employees in the workplace while still being able to meet the needs of our community and deliver the same high-quality services to which they are accustomed.
As a city that does not have its own health department, the City of Willard regularly made it a priority to partner with the Huron County Health Department to come up with a response to this pandemic. This effort had its challenges at times, but our teamwork and cooperation went a long way to seeing us through the worst parts of the pandemic. Every City department was engaged in the COVID-19 response, providing everything from procurement of personal protective equipment for our team to making every accommodation to limit the spread of this virus.
The impact of COVID-19 on some of our local economy has been significant. Our manufacturing sector remained strong, but our service industry has had its existence threatened. The City supported local business by passing on funding in the form of grants. $50,000 was given to small businesses that were negatively affected by the pandemic. Through the efforts of City Council, the City also recognized that our citizens were struggling as well. As a result, the Council removed late fees and penalties on utility billing for the affected months.
Even if it felt as such, COVID-19 was not the only noteworthy event of 2020. As you will see in reviewing this report, your City government was busy throughout the year continuing our mission of delivering exemplary municipal services responsive to the entire community and consistent with our history and culture. Because of this, I am especially proud to call Willard home!