Ormond Beach's annual State of the City Luncheon was held Tuesday, at Oceanside Country Club.
BY WAYNE GRANT | STAFF WRITER
The theme of the annual State of the City Luncheon Tuesday was “Ormond Beach — Together Building a Better Future,” and this idea carried through the event as the speakers, and a film, emphasized the importance of government, citizens and businesses working together for the good of the city.
The luncheon, presented by the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce and the city of Ormond Beach, was sold out with about 200 people attending the event at Oceanside Country Club on North Halifax Drive.
Dan Warren, president of the chamber, welcomed guests by saying that, just as a lot of hard work and cooperation went into the planning of the luncheon, hard work and cooperation are also important “to make Ormond Beach a better place to live and work.”
The crowd gave a rousing standing ovation when Warren introduced Rick Fraser, the recently hired executive director of the chamber. Fraser has been a member of the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce since 1999 and has served as board president and vice president for economic development.
“It’s good to be home,” Fraser said to the crowd. He recently resigned as president of the Center for Business Excellence, in Daytona Beach.
A video narrated by Ormond Beach Mayor Ed Kelley covered the city’s major accomplishments of the past year. Leading off the list was Andy Romano Beachfront Park.
“We finally have a beachfront park, and it was worth the wait,” the mayor said. “There are 5,000 annual visitors, and 1,000 are from out of state.”
While the park is a more noticeable city project, Kelley said, city staff has also done a lot of work on infrastructure that goes unnoticed. He cited accomplishments such as water main replacement and the work done by city crews to keep streets and sidewalks repaired.
Kelley commended the Ormond Beach City Commission for keeping Ormond Beach Municipal Airport open. When federal budget cuts during the sequester threatened to close it, several commissioners traveled to Washington D.C. to petition lawmakers.
Major improvements were made to airport taxiways, as well, and the Hand Avenue Improvement Project, which involves connection of the Central Park lakes, is scheduled for completion in January.
He also pointed out the growth of local business — namely construction of the new Sunoco station, the growth of Energizer, the new facility planned by S.R. Perrott and the Ocean Crossings development.
Last, Kelley mentioned the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge. He said last year the city was able to give away $3,000 in prizes, thanks to local business contributions.