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Henderson faces challenges as it embarks on 60 years

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Updated: 1/31/2013 10:20 pm
HENDERSON, Nev. — As Henderson celebrates 60, Mayor Andy Hafen noted the city’s heritage and future in his “State of the City” Address at Green Valley Ranch Thursday.

“It's a place John F. Kennedy visited and called it a city of destiny,” Hafen told nearly 900 people.

From its humble beginnings, Henderson has grown over the past six decades. Hafen noted when his father opened a tire shop long ago, and how some things have not changed since then.

“We've had our ups and downs but the essence of what makes Henderson great has never changed,” Hafen said.

However the economy has changed. It was hit hard by the recession. Like the rest of the valley, it has been tightening its belt, as more people have moved in.

Hafen says within city government, the cuts have been extensive: from the budget to the employees, including a hiring freeze and salary reductions. It has saved the city nearly $8 million dollars he says in the current and upcoming years.

“We've worked tirelessly to save money, reduce spending and look for ways to be more efficient,” Hafen said.

The mayor touted "safety" and that Forbes Magazine called Henderson the “Second Safest City in America”.

The International City and County Association analyzed the police department and rated it a “highly effective organization”.

New business is also coming. The mayor announced Brock Racing will start making trailers in Henderson. That would bring up to 50 jobs.

“A lot of people in the automotive industry that have to haul cars to advance in that have really taken an interest in those trailers because of how economical they can be,” Hafen said.

And the much anticipated Cowabunga Bay Water Park is on track to open on Memorial Day.

Also, the pathway to Lake Las Vegas continues to be paved with construction extending from Galleria Road.

There is progress in tight times in a city celebrating 60.

Notably absent in the state of the city were updates about downtown development, that has been stalled in the recession.

There was also no mention of the Union Village Medical Complex Project , which we have been told is still in the works.

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