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Canby Mayor Brian Hodson's State of the City address emphasizes successes, need to keep planning for the future

Coming through loud and clear from Mayor Brian Hodson's State of our City is that Canby is strong and going through a state of change, which is sometimes slow and sometimes too fast.

He compared our city to a teenager, one who is sometimes awkward but constantly changing and growing and adjusting through those growth spurts. He made it clear that the city needs to plan and manage instead of being acted upon and reacting.

"Canby is a wonderful city, a great place to grow," he said.

Increasing industrial companies

From there, he went on to show how the city is growing in a good way. He talked about the Industrial Park, calling it "Canby's Economic Engine that's driving our city." It's important because of the jobs, with Columbia Distributing bringing more than 1,000 jobs, despite the traffic.

He noted the city is working to eliminate the traffic that success brings.

It may not be fully completed, but it's being worked on with new streets planned to take trucks from the industrial park out of city traffic to Highway 99E.

Hodson also discussed that Columbia Distributing isn't the last big business coming to Canby and mentioned Caruso Produce consolidating its business here in a 17,000 square-foot building, Stanton Furniture and some other newbies in the pipeline.

He mentioned the renovations going on at the former Parson's store that now is being turned to manufacturing and has signs up for renting retail areas for a possible restaurant.

He also noted there is interest in the old library building, which is up for lease or sale.

He also recognized B's Bake Shoppe that will be moving into the Dahlia this spring along with this year's Wayward Sandwiches and Canby Gifts & Toys.

KRISTEN WOHLERS - Canby Mayor Brian Hodson talks to the crowd during his State of the City address Thursday night.

Roads and homes

Hodson noted the Clackamas County roads that are in the city and need to be improved, including South Ivy and recognizing that Canby Area Transit is growing along with its services. Speaking of roads, Canby is getting its own traffic signal this year at Hazel Dell Way and Sequoia that will help improve congestion.

There's also growth in housing with five new complexes bringing on 314 units along with 505 homes being plotted this year and 100 homes being built.

Events have always been a big splash in Canby and now they are growing even bigger, he said. First Thursday has taken off, and even during the State of the City the venue was surrounded by 15 businesses welcoming and offering people tasty treats, coupons and even back- scratches.

The 2019 Independence Day event greeted at least 12,000 people with a parade, food and drink, fun games ending with fireworks.

Big Weekend featured a lot of dancing in the street fun as well as the Car Show that brought more than 800 cars. Don't forget the Light the Night parade and tree lighting in Wait Park.

Future happenings

Hodson suggested things the city are working to improve, such as tourism, destination developments, the city's 150th anniversary this summer, more park development and keeping the city's balance.

"…Fifty years ahead of now we still want to be planning; we don't want to be reacting," he said.

"We will need a comprehensive plan to take care of what we have before we go forward. The time is coming when we have to adjust to the new us. And during that time of adjustment, we must once again roll up our sleeves and come together to determine if we're going to plan and manage those next stages of growth or be acted upon and have to react," he said.

He said it's up to the people of Canby to stay a small town.

"I hold that Canby stays small because of the people that choose to come to our events, the people that choose to shop in our town and those that choose to go to new neighbors and say, 'Hi, welcome to Canby,' because that is what it takes to be a small town."


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