Crossett Mayor Crystal Marshall gave the annual State of the City speech last week on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

The speech addressed the city’s financial state and gave an outline of each department’s accomplishments in 2020 and plans in 2021.

Marshall said that if it wasn’t for a recent deduction taken by the Department of Finance, Crossett would have seen an increase in sales tax revenue in 2020.

She said that the Crossett Economic Development Foundation had been working hard to secure more grant funding. She also promoted the Revamp Crossett grant program — a $2500 grant open to all Crossett businesses that is matched by Crossett Economic Development — to those present in the audience.

“I might have already dropped by your office with a packet or, if not, I hope to get by there soon because it is important to me that everyone knows about this opportunity,” Marshall said.

The mayor also addressed the cleanup efforts around the city and improvements made by each department. 

She said city workers have made headway with the Cone Crossland Zoo property cleanup and other cleanup efforts around town. The Parks and Recreation Department has also been working to clean up Crossett, both with a litter initiative and with the paint the town projects.

Parks and Recreation has cleaned up some of the city park area, but Marshall said the department is currently working on a plan to remove the alligator grass, clean up the Lucas Pond island and make other improvements to the park and Lucas Pond. The department is also working with a local church to paint the tennis courts.

In other cleanup efforts, the code enforcement office has organized the cleanup of nine dilapidated properties over the last four months and is working with four different property owners who are going to be demolishing their own. 

Marshall said there are 11 properties currently in the legal process that must be followed before the city can take action and tear them down.

The mayor also gave an update on other city projects, such as the municipal parking lots that have been repaired and the ones that are on the list to be repaired.

“As funds will allow, we will continue to repair bite size pieces of these large projects,” Marshall said.

The speech also included discussion of the East Crossett Water Project. Marshall said that though no ground will be broken in 2021, there is a lot of work that will be done on that project this year. She said the engineering details have already begun and they will be working on the project all year even though the actual construction will not be visible.

The broadband project — funded by a $2 million federal grant and aiming to provide fast, reliable Internet service to Crossett — is in its final stages.

“The need for reliable, consistent, high speed Internet for our residents can not be overstated,” Marshall said.

The mayor’s review also included mention of grants that the Crossett Municipal Airport has received. She said the facility has several more grant funding streams its board will be seeking this year.

In the water department, Marshall said that they had implemented new digital meters in 2020 and rolled out an online payment system during the year.

In addition to working on city cleanup and aesthetics, she said the Parks and Recreation Department had also been working on things for the community to enjoy.

“We want to continue generating new ways for our community to have a better quality of life,” Marshall said. 

Parks and Recreation recently formed an auditorium board to oversee and improve the city auditorium and have other community activities in the works.

Marshall said overall she wants to see each department doing everything it can to move Crossett forward and she is proud of each one of the department heads and their commitment to the city.

“Each day I come to work I focus on ways to make Crossett better today than it was yesterday, and the more we accomplish the more I want to accomplish,” she said.

“I love Crossett and I hope you can see tonight there is so much to be proud of in our town, our home, and our future.”