Ribbons and shovels in Cape

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We are very fortunate to live in a thriving and growing community and area. It has been a great privilege and honor to participate in the many events this year that signify growth and expansion in our city. Ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings are the real "fun" part of my position as mayor of the city of Cape Girardeau. These events are very capably planned and handled by our city staff and the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce.

It is quite significant that there have been a large number of business groundbreakings and grand openings in the past year, given the economic downturn that we are currently experiencing in our nation. Listed below are samplings of opening events to refresh everyone's memory:

* Isle of Capri Casino, North Main Street

* Blair Box, Independence Street

* Rue 21, West Park Mall

* Marco Construction, South Kingshighway

* Chateau Girardeau, Independence Street and Mount Auburn Road

* Plaza Tire Service, North Kingshighway

* Cafe Soupe, Tanner Drive

* Lazy L Safari, County Road 618

* First Missouri State Bank, North Kingshighway

* Kaleidoscoops, North Kingshighway

* The Children's Place, West Park Mall

* Eustis Studios, Independence Street

* Esquire Theatre, Broadway

* Chick-fil-A, Gordonville Road

* Busch Pet Products, Kingsway Drive

* Fumatore di Sigaro, Kingsway Drive

* Aloha Pools & Spas, North Kingshighway

This is not an all-inclusive list but only a sample of significant business growth in our city. I am very encouraged that this positive trend will continue into 2012.

Both of our hospitals opened significant additions within the past year. Health care is a major industry in our city and expansions continue as our market reach continues to expand. Saint Francis Medical Center opened a new Heart Hospital and Cancer Institute. SoutheastHealth opened its Cancer Center on the western side of our city.

Southeast Missouri State University issued bonds and currently have underway more than $50 million in renovations and upgrades to campus facilities. Southeast and our city enjoy a record enrollment this fall of over 11,500 students.

Cape Girardeau public schools had a favorable vote from citizens and are making $40 million in needed upgrades and expansions to facilities. These projects involve all of our schools within the district.

There has also been a large number of exciting municipal additions and openings with the support of our citizens and the work of city government. I will go back into 2010 and mention Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center and the total renovation of the Cape Jaycee Municipal Golf Course. Shawnee Park Center, Central Municipal Pool and the expanded Osage Centre were highlights of 2011. The newly relocated North Main Street opened last month. That project was paid by the Isle of Capri as a portion of the development agreement negotiated through the city. Additional Transportation Trust Fund projects include the opening of Veterans Memorial and the Fountain Street extension. The balance of the Bend Road and Bloomfield Road projects will soon be completed and open for travel.

I am very encouraged and excited about the multifaceted growth of our great city of Cape Girardeau. I am privileged and honored to be your mayor in these exciting times and look forward to a very successful year ahead in 2012.

Harry E. Rediger is the mayor of Cape Girardeau.

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