HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle covered a lot of ground in his 30-minute State of the City Address. It even included videos. The whole speech was intended, as the mayor said, “To reflect on who we are and what we do, and a time to look at the future, where we want to be.”
The speech had three major themes, with the first being economic health. Among the numbers the Mayor read to the 11-hundred strong crowd, were a 21-billion dollar city gross domestic product. He also talked about 135-million in sales tax revenues, and 34 jobs expansion projects that have a potential of employing more than 10-thousand people.
The mayor informed the gathering that the city is beginning a comprehensive city-wide planning program. “The planning process will give us the opportunity to identify how we can make the lives for ever Huntsville family even better, from the roads on which we drive to the jobs we work, to the neighborhoods in which we live,” said the Mayor.
The crowd chuckled when Mayor Battle talked about the thousands of potholes filled by Public Works, but roads were a big part of the State of the City speech. “We were frankly stunned when the state highway department announced in May it was delaying 15 of our major road projects up to 10-years,” said the Mayor.
He said the “Restore our Roads” project is well underway, with city, county and even region leaders helping with the appeal to the state. Now, the Mayor says, the city is working closely with Governor Bentley and the highway department to make sure the money and projects Huntsville needs actually make it here.
“Road work is king, we understand that it’s part of your quality of life and quality of life is what makes people want to move here, makes companies want to move here. Roads are part of it, schools are part of it, parks and greenways are part of it, but all of it fits together to make the quality of life that you’ve got to have,” said the Mayor.
He finished his address by telling the crowd, “The state of our city is sound and strong. The state of our future is unlimited, and the best will continue to get better.”