(COLORADO SPRINGS) — We’re rewinding back to the beginning of the year. Many people living in Colorado remember the beginning of 2022 as the year of fire. This in turn prompted concerns raised about evacuation plans in place.

“The city embarked on a nationwide campaign called COS Ready,” said Ryan Trujillo, Chief of Staff for the City of Colorado Springs. “This helps inform and educate residents to prepare for an emergency.”

The plan launched in August.

“Colorado Springs is going to be better prepared for any kind of emergency based on this system,” said Chief Randy Royal with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

Along the lines of safety, 67 men and women graduated from CSPD Academy at the end of March. Now, Mayor John Suthers is planning on putting more into the budget for safety in 2023.

“Our 2023 budget was recently approved in which 55 percent of the general fund is dedicated to public safety,” Trujillo said.

Which means more firefighter and police positions will be made available. But, city leaders said they are pleased with their response time on the number of fires and major crime incidents.

“We’re really proud of our public safety officials who have really performed well this year,” Trujillo said.

Colorado Springs also saw the reopening of various recreational sites, including Panorama Park.

“This is truly a gem in the southeast portion of our community,” Trujillo said.

Jacob Butterfield with Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation added, “Every element in this playground is making sure that, no matter if you have a disability or not, there’s something there for you.”

Along with recreation, the city had seen a lot of economic growth, with the closing of ten economic development projects thanks to the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC and the city’s economic development project.

“This capital investment alone is 746.7 million dollars… as well as 2,060 new high-paying jobs, mainly by the tech and defense industries,” Trujillo said.

More recently, Colorado Springs saw the completion of several infrastructure projects like replacing and building bridges and the Centennial Boulevard extension with the help of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.

“PPRTA Three was overwhelmingly approved this past November,” said Trujillo, “which helps extend that critical infrastructure investment in our community.”

All this to continue looking to the future and making Colorado Springs the best it can be.

“Colorado Springs is a great place to live, work and play,” Trujillo said. “It’s a safe community. It’s a great community to raise a family in. It’s an attractive community with all of the accolades that we continue to get for our community.”

For 2023, the city said it’s planning on continuing to focus on public safety, investing in infrastructure and driving economic prosperity.