Ten Years Later: From Dream To Reality

Walt Disney was a dreamer. His crowning vision was EPCOT: an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. He envisioned the perfect city of 20,000 using all of the most modern advances in technology. Unfortunately, Walt Disney died before his dream was ever realized. His dream was so big and complex and outside the box that no one else in the Disney Company ever caught the dream; they had no idea what to do after Walt was gone. What Walt Disney intended as a living breathing perfect city turned out only to be an entertainment center. Disney’s world would only become a place to visit. Our hopefulness for West Park is that it does not become a vision that is lost in transition. For ten years we have crafted a vision for our city, with the community’s input, that has progressively become a reality. It is a blueprint for a place where people can live, work, and play together. Over the years we have seen some marvelous and innovative things happen in our City. What was once an embryonic beginning with limited resources has become a living, breathing, expanding organism that has transformed, what seem to be impossible into probabilities of great potential. As the years came and went we never lost sight of the vision. We wrapped our minds around a magnificent plan and worked the plan. Rather than a blighted community we are becoming one with a bright future. We are not naive; we realize that there will be some discontent as the vision is under construction. This is to be expected. However we will continue our love, passion, and dedication to making our City better. As we build buildings, encourage organizations, and develop a business friendly atmosphere, hopefully we will draw those that will hear our story and believe in our transformation. A few highlights of accomplishments we have enjoyed over the past ten years include the following:

West Park Enterprise Zone Designation:

We were successful in receiving the state designation as an Enterprise Zone. The designation allows the City to be a target area for economic revitalization which offers financial incentives to businesses that invest in or are within the City. Incentives offered include: Job Tax Credits, Property Tax Credits, Building Materials Sales Tax Refunds, and Building Equipment Sales Tax Refunds.

West Park Community Newspaper Launched: The West Park Community Newspaper was established in 2011 in our continued efforts to improve communication with residents and businesses. wp map

The newspaper has served as a forum to showcase our businesses at a time when we need to be shopping locally, investing in the community, and protecting local jobs. The newspaper has helped to share and highlight the City’s services and continues to play an important role in pulling our neighborhoods together.

Achievement of the Playful City Designation: The City was recognized and designated as a Playful City USA municipality. This national recognition honors cities and towns that make play a priority and use innovative programs to get children to be active, playing and healthy. This designation allows the City to receive priority status in accessing the “KABOOM!” Organization’s resources including playground development, training and, grant funding opportunities. Prescription Discount Card Program: The City partnered with the National League of Cities and CVS Caremark to provide the Prescription Discount Card Program to residents. This program allows the City to offer savings on prescription drugs to residents who do not have health insurance and a traditional pharmacy benefits plan for prescriptions not covered by insurance. Residents save an average of 20 percent of the full retail cost of prescription medication. Benefits of the program include, no cost to residents, no enrollment or membership fees, no limit on how many times the card may be used, no age requirements, and coverage for all family members.

Liens and Fines Amnesty Program: This is another program that has served the public benefit by increasing property values throughout the City, while achieving the goal of code compliance. The Liens and Fines Amnesty Program has been addressing the backlog of liens on record and daily fines accruing by providing relief to property owners.

Youth Advisory Council Established: In our continued efforts to provide wp graduatesbeneficial activities opportunities for our youth; we created the Youth Advisory Council to provide a forum for our youth to acquire greater knowledge, and appreciation of the American political system through active participation. Our Youth Council Program has focused on leadership, community involvement, teamwork, and fun. We wish them continued success.

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