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Lockport mayor talks successes, challenges ahead in State of the City

Megann Horstead, Reporter | 4/11/2018, 1:41 p.m.
Lockport Mayor Steven Streit highlighted the city’s successes over the past year and some of the challenges that lie ahead ...
Lockport Mayor Steve Streit delivers the 2018 State of the City address in April. Megann Horstead

Lockport Mayor Steven Streit highlighted the city’s successes over the past year and some of the challenges that lie ahead in his annual State of the City address on Tuesday April 10.

Streit said that Lockport continues to be responsive to the community’s needs by developing a vision for its future.

“I want to emphasize this because having a vision is about thinking five [and] 10 steps ahead,” Streit said thanking the city council for their support of the approach.

“If you can think 10 steps ahead, you can start to instead of reacting as one thing happens, you can try to prepare.”

The City, for example, moved its Heritage Village from one block in the downtown area to another and went on to expand its downtown corridor of recreation and entertainment further. The structure, which maintains a collection of historic buildings, at the time was in need of a foundation.

Several projects over the years have been completed to complement the City’s downtown corridor and reaffirm its desire to serve as a center where history meets art.

“It’s about looking at the big picture,” Streit said.

Streit said that the City’s residents remain optimistic about Lockport’s future as it carries out its vision, and fosters community partnerships.

Currently, Lockport is working with the developer CL Enterprises to find a way to put some property near the Gaylord Building to use.

Streit said that the developer likes the direction the city is taking with it’s development plans.

“They see the vision, and they said, ‘You know what? We want to invest down here,’” he said. That’s helped the city attract new businesses, 19 new ones in the past year, along with several that relocated within the city as well.

New developments anticipated to open in 2018 include Banditos Mexican Grill, Grapes & Hops, Marcus Theatres and Panera Bread.

Canals & Trails Credit Union, Amazing Fantasy Comics and Victory Leathers are among some of the businesses that have shown a commitment to staying in Lockport by relocating said the mayor.

“That we means we’ve had businesses that are very successful here in the City of Lockport that just wanted to expand,” Streit said.

Streit mentioned the city will face challenges this year as well citing growth, congestion, infrastructure, municipal cooperation on infrastructure and communication among them but said he is optimistic the community will see return value in all the efforts being made to address them.