In his State of the City address Tuesday, Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley said hundreds of new jobs will be created in the city in 2013, and he looked back on a year in which crimes rates fell and 20 new businesses opened.|
The mayor also promised no increase in the city's property tax rate in 2013 during the speech at a joint meeting of the Rock Island Rotaryand Kiwanis Clubs at the Quad City Botanical Center.
A new Walmart Supercenter on 11th Street that will be built this year will create 400 jobs, and a new Fareway store to be built on 18th Avenue will create 100 jobs, Mayor Pauley said.
Crime fell 8 percent in 2011 and was down 12.5 percent through October 2012 compared to the same period for the previous year, he said.
Painting a rosy picture of the year ahead for the local economy, the mayor saidSteel Warehouse recently bought a second 120,000-square-foot building for its steel processing business in the Southwest Industrial Park and has plans to add 10 jobs in 2013.
Economic development group Quad Cities First is working to create an industrial distribution center on the Lawson Property, a 100-acre site on Andalusia Road annexed by Rock Island 10 years ago, Mayor Pauley said.
Plans also are gathering steam for new development on an 88-acre site north of Jumer's Casino earmarked for commercial properties, he said.
The mayor also outlined plans for city investment in public infrastructure, including fulfilling what he said was the need for a new police station.
"We are currently in the planning phase, and a new facility designed to meet the needs of the citizens of the police department will be built," Mayor Pauley said.
Looking back on 2012, the mayor highlighted Augustana College's investments in its campus, which included a new student center and launch of a renovation of the college's football stadium.
The Crawford Company completed a $1.7 million expansion that included construction of a new 20,650-square-foot building. The company specializes inheating, air conditioning, plumbing and laser cutting for industrial, commercial and residential markets.
Rock Island River Terminal is in the process of an $8.5 million expansion, which will include a new warehouse and shop, according to the mayor.
Mayor Pauley praised Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation for its work on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program through which 36 vacant or foreclosed homes were purchased and renovated or demolished. The group has sold 18 of 23 renovated homes, he said.
"The Neighborhood Stabilization Program has been extremely successful in Rock Island, and this partnership will continue to help rebuild Rock Island one block at a time," the mayor said.
The city's finances, meanwhile, are healthy, Mayor Pauley said."We are in fine financial shape and plan on beginning the next fiscal year with no increase in the property tax rate."
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