(Originally posted July 28, 2016)
Sometimes it seems we live in a negative world that is too often punctuated by awful acts of violence.
Fortunately, residents of Beachwood can easily find good news. That’s because we have a long list of positive qualities about our city that just got a little longer.
I am very pleased to report that the city’s most recent regular audit performed by the state found no instances of noncompliance and issued an unqualified audit opinion – which is the best audit a city can receive.
The audit bolsters our city’s well-deserved reputation for fiscal integrity. Beachwood is in excellent financial condition and we are very well positioned for the future.
The audit is the latest in a series of outstanding features, developments and/or trends that help make Beachwood an excellent place to live or operate a business:
- Beachwood ended 2015 with a balance of more than $26 million in its general fund.
- Unlike other Cuyahoga County communities, Beachwood continues to give a 100 percent income tax credit to its residents, which allows residents working in locations outside of Beachwood to receive 100 percent credit for income taxes paid to other taxing districts.
- Beachwood has the fifth lowest residential property tax rates among 73 taxing districts in Cuyahoga County according to Cleveland.com.
- The city’s healthy tax base benefits from Beachwood’s diverse business community. Approximately 2,500 businesses – ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies – are based in Beachwood. The city administration places a priority upon helping businesses grow and succeed in Beachwood.
- During the past 15 years, the city has spent $97.4 million on streets, facilities and recreational areas. Most of those improvements were paid with existing funds. Only $21.6 million in debt was used to finance those projects and that debt now has an outstanding balance of just $12 million.
- Beachwood City Schools carry the top rating of “excellent” from the Ohio Department of Education. The high quality school system has earned numerous state and national academic honors.
- Beachwood City Hall, Beachwood City Schools and the city’s business community maintain constant communication and try to work together to do what’s best for the city’s residents, students and businesses.
- Beachwood’s $5 million Aquatic Center, opened in 2003, serves as a community gathering place throughout the summer and attracts 50,000 visitors annually.
- Beachwood is home to a unique and high-quality attraction – the Maltz Museum of Jewish History.
- The city offers excellent dining choices and is home to arguably the best shopping in Northeast Ohio.
- Two New York City bond-rating agencies – Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Investors Service – have awarded the City of Beachwood with their highest investment rating, meaning any notes or bonds the city sells to finance improvement projects are deemed to be low-risk investments. That results in lower interest rates, which makes the notes and bonds less costly to retire.
- The Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood has been ranked as one of the 100 best golf courses in the nation and will in September host yet another pro tournament.
- The city is well-positioned for the future, in part because of undeveloped land available for new businesses in the Chagrin Highlands area.
- Substantial investments are being made in Beachwood. The city is the site of $90 million in recently completed or proposed residential projects offering a total of nearly 700 new living units.
- Beachwood’s municipal services are second to none. Our police and fire departments have earned awards for their level of service. When it snows, Beachwood’s streets are clear. The city’s work force is well-equipped and their good work is appreciated.
Whew! That’s a long and diverse list of attributes. And it’s an incomplete list – I could easily add to it. Perhaps the best thing about Beachwood are its residents who truly love and appreciate their city. We can all be proud of Beachwood, where there’s many good things happening.