Economic Development Visionary
Under Mayor Whalen’s leadership, Florence remains a well-diversified hub of economic development for the commonwealth. Here are just a few of the projects that have taken place in just the past couple of years:
- Florence Heights Development - $50,000,000 retail development that includes, Costco, Menards, and Dave & Busters.
- Bosch Automotive Expansion - $84,000,000 manufacturing development that created 212 new jobs with an average wage of $27.00 per hour.
- Gerner and Kearns - A new 25,000 square feet office space that created 87 full-time jobs.
- Elizabeth Physicians Group – a $15,000,000 medical office project that created 100 new jobs in the community.
- University of Cincinnati Health - $9,000,000 medical office project that brought 40 new physicians to the city.
- Logistics One and Two - $10,000,000 distribution center in Florence.
Fiscally Conservative Values
Under Diane Whalen’s leadership, Florence continues to be recognized nationally for its fiscal management and responsibility. Florence has developed a sound foundation of fiscal reserves that prepares the city for potential economic downturns, increased pension contributions, and gives the city the ability to act quickly on planned state road and infrastructure projects. Some of the fiscal accomplishments include:
- Recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for excellence in financial reporting, the highest achievement for financial reporting for a municipality.
- Received its 4th consecutive “Distinguished Budget Presentation” award from the Government Finance Officers Association.
- Taxes have remained stable for more than 10-years and are among the lowest in Northern Kentucky.
- City has accumulated a $5,000,000 “rainy day” fund designed to weather economic downturns such as the Great Recession in 2008.
- City has a $12,000,000 infrastructure replacement fund designed to provide matching funding for state road projects such as U.S. 42 bridge expansion, and Pleasant Valley Road Issues.
- Since 2013, the city has achieved more than $13,000,000 in cumulative savings from budget reductions.
- Led the merger of water and sewer services into one Public Services Department to achieve cost efficiencies and better customer service to its residents.
Leading the Fight Against the Heroin
Unfortunately, the effects of Heroin can be felt throughout every community, every economic class, race, and age group. Heroin doesn’t discriminate and it continues to be one of the greatest challenges our generation will face.
Florence is not sitting on the sidelines, it is leading the fight against the scourge of Heroin and producing results:
- Mayor Whalen proposed and city council approved funding to form the Florence Drug Unit (FDU) designed to fight heroin and other illegal drugs on a local level.
- Since the FDU was founded in 2015, there have been real results:
- 339 Felony drug arrests including 93 drug traffickers
- 483 misdemeanor drug arrests
- Seized more than $444,000 in assets associated with the arrest.
- The City of Florence is an active member in NKY Hates Heroin, a collation of cities and community stakeholders fighting the scourge of Heroin.
- Hosted town hall events
- Shares best practices with other communities
- Actively delivering materials designed to provide guidance and help to those addicted to opiates and heroin.