Elections are often a time for reflecting on the past, present and future.
Hortonville Village President Andrew Gitter will preside over his last board meeting on Thursday, April 16.
Gitter served two consecutive terms as village president and four previous terms as a board trustee.
Reflecting on his 12 years in public office for the village, Gitter said, “It has been both rewarding and difficult at times.”
He added, “I would say we have made significant progress, thanks to an excellent group of board members, dedicated department heads, and hard working village staff. Partnerships with organizations like Hortonville Youth Sports, Fox West Chamber, and the school district, have helped the village gain tremendous momentum and create an environment that residents and business owners want to be part of.”
In the past 12 years, Hortonville’s population has grown 24 percent.
Continued growth in the village’s commercial and industrial sectors were among just a few highlights of 2014, Gitter said.
Last year, Piping Systems Inc. announced a multi-million dollar expansion that will result in an estimated 150 jobs in the village. In November, Gilbert’s opened a new grocery store in the village’s new retail park.
Jeff Gilbert, general manager of Gilbert’s Sentry Foods said the village board was instrumental in the development of their new store.
“The board has been very proactive in expanding Hortonville’s housing, industrial, commercial and civic growth. It is great to know that we have devoted members dedicated to making this already great community even better,” said Gilbert.
Other accomplishments last year included the opening of the new Hortonville Municipal Services Center, and the opening of voter approved additions and remodeling at both the Hortonville High School and Middle School.
Gitter also noted the expansion of community celebrations such as Chocolate Fest, the July 4th Centennial Celebration and Oktoberfest. The village also closed out the final chapter from the devastating effects of a tornado that ripped through the community in 2013.
New trees were planted last summer along Main Street, and work began on a comprehensive outdoor use and recreation plan. The village also undertook the development of new marketing tools and reduced building permit fees to help promote the community.
Board members also organized a Senior Citizen Task Force to help identify needs and activities for seniors.
“The village’s work in creating a comprehensive plan also helped set the stage for continued growth in the village,” said Gitter.
Eric Fowle, executive director of the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission agreed.
“Even in the face of adversity, Hortonville has rallied around its assets to ensure that its forward momentum continues,” said Fowle. “The Commission’s past work with the Hortonville community on the development of a comprehensive land use plan has shown us that they truly stand ready to meet short and long-term challenges head on.”
Lance Schmidt, vice president of Wolf River Community Bank and past president of the Fox West Chamber of Commerce said the chamber wouldn’t be where it is today without the village’s partnership.
“We have witnessed a brand new fire station, grocery store and municipal complex; additions to the high school, middle school and a hardware store opening very soon,” said Schmidt. “While many municipalities are stagnant or declining, Hortonville is on the move—attracting new businesses, employees and residents.”