Vision, Guts, Gravitas’

Mayor Christine Lundberg speaks to the citizens of Springfield during the Springfield State of the City Address 2020 on Jan. 13 Aliya Hall/The Chronicle

SPRINGFIELD – As Mayor Christine Lundberg reflected on the City’s strides during Monday’s Springfield State of the City Address, her eyes remain fixed on the future. ”We will move into the future with eyes wide open and with a sense of purpose,” Lundberg, who is running for re-election, she said at the Jan. 13 ceremony.
”We have accomplished a lot this past year. We will accomplish a lot in 2020,” she said. ”We have the vision, guts and gravitas to reach our goals. We will engage the community to help us define where we want to go and who we want to be in the future.”
The mayor also recognized three Spirit of Springfield recipients: Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Vonnie Mikkelsen, Busy Bee Cafe and Wayfair.
Wayfair was honored for its ”commitment to growing a strong Springfield,” after it opened its first west coast customer service center in Springfield in 2019 and it is anticipated to reach more than 400 employees by early 2020.
Busy Bee Café was honored for its ”dedication to serving the Springfield community” as a local and visitor’s favorite dining spot and for providing a free annual Thanksgiving meals for the last 14 years.
Vonnie Mikkelsen, president and CEO of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce was honored for her ”powerful advocacy of local businesses… a tireless champion of Springfield businesses and works to empower those around her.”
In 2019, more than 15 new businesses opened their doors downtown; Eugene-Springfield Fire installed over 450 free smoke alarms in 150 homes; bond projects constructed an overlay on a portion of 14th and Commercial Streets; Springfield was voted ”best downtown” by Eugene Weekly’s annual ”Best of. . .”; and the City made strides in supporting its underrepresented communities through library and pilot programs.
Lundberg also recognized the work of three prominent people and business leaders in the community. Mikkelsen was honored with the Leadership Award, she said in a video that the Spirit of Springfield is ”knowing that the extraordinary not only can happen but will happen.”
Busy Bee Cafe was honored with the Small Business Award and Lundberg addressed recipient and owner Betty Boyd personally thanking her for her commitment and promoting a family atmosphere.
The Large Business Award was given to Wayfair and its Springfield Site Director Joel Johnson. Lundberg said that the company represents the newest version of how society does business and ”to have them in the community is really exciting.”
In the upcoming year, Springfield has a lot on its docket. As part of its five-year public art plan they will be adding decorative crosswalks, an East Springfield entryway sign, a Welcome to Downtown Springfield mural, art development in Glenwood, another veterans’ installation and plans to honor their timber heritage.
Additional bond projects include overlay improvements to Olympic Street, Mohawk Boulevard, 42 Street and Centennial Boulevard, and additional school crosswalk improvements will be installed at 21st and H Street; G Street, Two Rivers and Dos Rios School; and at 5th and M streets.
The City will also continue with its Springfield Tomorrow Project, which helped leaders check in with community values and priorities. The City will also be rolling out a community survey and input sessions to talk about the mission and vision of Springfield.
Affordable housing has been a priority for Springfield in 2019 and 2020. Phase One of the Marcola Meadows project has started, adding a 170 residential home subdivision. Beyond that, an additional 205 residential lots across the city are due for construction. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are also being supported, with four completed and another 23 underway.
”We are not only revising current development code to address pressing housing needs, we are in the process of updating the entire development code,” Lundberg explained.
With a focus on affordable housing, Springfield is also tackling the issue of homeless youth. Community Member Grace Serbu has reached out to develop a 32-bed temporary shelter and navigation center with established ”wrap around” resources.
Further development includes the Glenwood Tru Hotel and the indoor track and event facility, which Lundberg described as ”our most ambitious project.” The facility will serve as a place to participate in a wide variety of sports and honor Springfield’s TrackTown USA heritage. A site will soon be determined and an owner identified; the goal is to at least have a groundbreaking before the 2021 World Championships come to town.
”We are Springfield,” she said. ”We understand who we are. We know how to get things done. Our gravitas is grounded in our pragmatism.”



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