Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks delivered his State of the City address to a packed room at Athens State University ballroom Wednesday afternoon. He was all smiles because he had great news to report: a city surplus of about a half-million dollars.
"Financially, our revenue streams exceed our expenditures somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000," Marks said before his speech. He attributes the city's success in a tough economy to teamwork among city leaders.
However, the city is still facing financial challenges, including funding the city's new public library as well as making necessary improvements to infrastructure in the city. Marks pointed to the widening project of Lindsey Lane in Athens as an example of an improvement that will make the city even more attractive to industry.
"That will carry so much traffic into the Huntsville area, the BRAC, and also it will create more industry and the possibility of retail development in that area," said Marks.
Marks explained there are other road projects in Athens that will need much more funding than what is in the city's surplus. And he knows other levels of government aren't fairing as well as Athens. Nonetheless, the city has applied for state grants to assist with funding projects, including improvements to Nuclear Plant Road for which they're working with Limestone County and the state to bring to fruition.