Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer gives annual State of the City address

By Rachel Kytonen

Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer said 2011 was a year that she won’t forget.

With the death of Cambridge firefighter Chip Imker in May, the July storm that downed hundreds of trees and utility pools, the July opening of the Cambridge-Isanti Bike/Walk Trail, along with the opening of the new 2nd Ave. bridge in November, Mayor Palmer said 2011 was a year that “gigantic things happened.”

Mayor Palmer highlighted the fact that Cambridge still has a strong mix of commercial, industrial and residential tax base, and serves a solid role as a service and retail center. She also noted despite the economic turmoil and bond markets, the city has maintained its AA- bond rating that reduces borrowing costs and makes it attractive to refinance existing debt issues to save money.

“We have great working relationships between our city departments and mutual aid, and great working relationships between the city of Cambridge and the citizens who live here,” Mayor Palmer said.

Mayor Palmer feels the council is fiscally responsible.

“The council is very judicious in the way it chooses to spend money,” Mayor Palmer said. “A lot of the money we spend goes toward supporting the staff and services we offer that are your services.”

Mayor Palmer believes Cambridge is a great place to live.

“I think we are fortunate; the spirit of the city is with us all the time,” Mayor Palmer said. “What we do, and with our communities within communities, we all have needs and do feel we try to make things happen.”

As far as future economic development, Mayor Palmer reported MAPE USA will expand its manufacturing facility in 2012 and create additional jobs.

National Recycling, Inc. built its facility in Opportunity Industrial Park and will hire between 10 to 14 employees.

Also, Tractor Supply Company purchased the former Lumberland building and opened its doors this month.

Mayor Palmer feels Cambridge has a lot to offer.

“The spirit of the community is alive,” Mayor Palmer said. “We have a wonderful faith community, community programs such as Habitat for Humanity and the community garden, a great educational system with the Cambridge-Isanti School District and Anoka Ramsey Community College … The spirit of the community is something that binds us all together and is here with us.”