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Hornell mayor outlines ambitious plans for city in annual address

In his recent State of the City address, Hornell Mayor John Buckley presented a promising future for the city with significant developments and public safety enhancements. Hornell is set for a “year of construction” in 2024, as the city embarks on a makeover of its downtown area, including sidewalk replacements and public art projects. This is part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Additionally, the city will see improvements at Veteran’s Memorial Park, such as new sports courts, a splash pad, and playground equipment.

Buckley also highlighted the challenges of 2023, including a record number of public safety calls largely attributed to mental health issues and the rise in fentanyl use. The Police and Fire Departments have expanded to meet these challenges. Buckley praised the emergency services for their life-saving efforts, particularly in administering NARCAN during overdose incidents.

The mayor emphasized ongoing economic growth, noting the launch of new businesses and the opening of the Hampton Inn. He also touched on the need for housing developments and mentioned the city securing almost $20 million in grants under his tenure. However, Buckley acknowledged ongoing challenges like inflation and high interest rates, calling for increased state funding and reforms in public safety laws. He concluded by urging the Common Council to maintain positivity and focus amidst external pressures, emphasizing teamwork and transparency in moving Hornell forward.