ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — Mayor Mike Thoms gave the Annual State of the City Address on Monday, January 13th at noon during a joint meeting of the Rock Island Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs at the Quad City Botanical Center.
Thomas began the speech lauding Rock Island’s 2019 achievements, especially the growth of the city’s businesses. He did note a continuing lack of revenue growth due to increasing expenses and the state of Illinois keeping much of the revenue from sales and income tax.
Thoms reminisced on the chaotic year of weather Mother Nature doled out to the city between record floods and serious winter storms, which costed the city a lot in recovery.
Thoms noted several improvements in energy efficiency, such as new LED street lights that have made in the year to help keep costs down.
One of the heaviest financial burdens currently facing the city, Thoms says, are pension funds for police and firefighters.
Thoms stresses the importance of the city’s social responsibilities and highlights the increasing success of the Rock Island Library, especially the new Library-To-Go that launched at no expense to the taxpayers. In a section lauding the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Thoms highlights a team of three students who qualified for Illinois’s student robotics competition as a result of the center’s hard work.
The Park and Recreation has been able to remodel a number of parks in the city and improve sports facilities.
Thoms also announces an overall decrease in Rock Island’s crime rate.
For the first big 2020 project, Thoms says that engineering firms are being brought in to assess energy efficiency and other infrastructure needs.
He also stresses the importance of the city’s water filtration overhaul and the need for the city to develop more cannabis dispensaries to hit that revenue stream head-on.
In his closing statement, Mayor Thoms reassured the room of the city’s greatness with the fitting closer, “This city rocks!”
WQAD was at the scene bringing the address to the citizens on our Facebook page.
Mayor Thoms will also give the Address at the City Council meeting on Monday, January 13th starting at 6:45 pm in City Council Chambers at City Hall. The City Council meeting is open to the public. Citizens can watch it live or anytime after the Council meeting on the City’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/RockIslandIL/live and Mediacom subscribers can watch the Address on Channel 9.