As a City Council and staff, our focus is on three core priorities: fiscal stability, public safety and investment in our infrastructure in addition to supporting our businesses, meeting the needs of our most vulnerable community members, celebrating the arts and preserving our natural resources. We run our city to be sustainable both now and for the future, investing in our infrastructure and public safety, and maintaining a balanced operating budget. Over the past few years, we have focused on improving the efficiency of City operations, collaborating with sister governments and scrutinizing spending. As part of this effort, I asked staff to provide the City Council with an inventory and comprehensive analysis of our city-owned property.
While our capital assets include our roads, sewers, water mains, equipment and machinery, they also include approximately thirty city-owned buildings. These facilities were built or acquired to help provide services to our residents and include core buildings such as City Hall, the police station, three fire stations and public works as well as non-core buildings such as the Karger Center, the Highland Park Movie Theater, the Senior Center, the Firehouse, the Community House and the Art Center.
Each of these properties represents a significant investment of public funds. Like any portfolio, these assets need to be actively managed to ensure that the highest value (in this case, to the community) is received from each considerable investment. We need to protect them from loss, make certain their value is maintained over time, and ensure that they are used effectively to meet the needs of our residents both now and for years to come.
As we move forward with our strategic analysis and review, we are looking at many factors. We will be mindful of each building’s condition, useful life span, maintenance costs, historic significance and the specific resident services each facility provides.
Our goal is to identify solutions as we balance wants versus critical need. We recognize the importance of maintaining a vibrant community while mitigating the financial impact associated with owning and operating these buildings now and in the future. Your input is valued. Please let us know your thoughts. A complete list of city-owned facilities can be found on the City websitewww.cityhpil.com.