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City leader positive about Mustang's future

Assistant City Manager Justin Battles thinks Mustang’s rapid growth will continue.
By Steve Gust, For The Oklahoman Modified: July 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm •  Published: July 29, 2014

“One management rule I follow is to surround yourself with people who are smarter, and I did that with Justin,” he said.

Vision for city

Battles is positive about Mustang’s future. He thinks the population will reach 20,000 — and maybe 30,000 — sometime in the next five years.

A lot of the people making Mustang home will be young professionals rearing families. They will be there for the small-town feel as well as the Mustang schools.

The city has played a role in creating a pleasant atmosphere for families. Battles said a lot of that can be traced to 1999 in a plan known as Vision 2000, led by former Mayor Ross Duckett and former City Manager Pat Long. Voters passed a 1 cent sales tax extension to help fund projects including a new police station, community center, aquatics center and athletic fields.

That community center is now known as the Town Center, with 66,000 square feet. Many events can be held there, including banquets, conferences, workshops, weddings and receptions. The complex is home to the Mustang Aquatic Center as well as the library.

“Mustang doesn’t have the traditional downtown city area, so this fills that role well,” Battles said. “It helps to give us the high quality of life people look for when they come here.”

Growing pains

New youth baseball fields opened this spring in the complex, although they are not 100 percent complete.

“We will have the concession areas ready in the fall,” Battles said.

The mission for Mustang’s city government in the next few years will be to address the growing pains, Battles said. That will include more infrastructure, including water lines and an upgrade to the Waste Water plant.

“My job is to deal with people and solve problems,” he said.

He doesn’t look at his job as a stepping stone to another leadership position in another city.

“I really like Mustang and plan to be here a long time,” he said.