By: Christine Souders
Exciting plans are in the works for Rock Island, that's what Mayor Dennis Pauley announced in his annual 'State of the City' address on Tuesday, and here's what Rock Islanders have to look forward to.
In the near future, a new Metrolink Bus Station will be built in parking lot C, and just north of the parking lot, a 34 unit apartment complex.
The Mayor's main focus during his speech was on economic development, which he said is vital to the future of Rock Island, "We're aggressively marketing the community."
Long time Resident Berlinda Tyler-Jamison said she likes the idea of making the city more attractive to new businesses, "Taking care of some of the blight areas and not only tearing things down but building things up."
Bent River Brewery Company is one of several businesses that expanded into Rock Island last year, and Co-Owner Nick Bowes said it was a good move, "We're in this for the long haul. We plan on being here for a very long time, that was one of things that attracted us was this corner coming right off the arsenal, and we just put in new roads in front of here, so yeah we're happy."
Mayor Pauley said adding new businesses like Bent River Brewery, Walmart and Fareway Grocery to the city's roster will help keep the city in good financial shape.
But it doesn't stop there, the Mayor announced plans to create a College Hill District near Augustana, and expanding Jumer's casino, "We've had a lot of great accomplishments this year and in the last couple years and we're going to continue progress."
"Rock on Rock Island! Very proud to be here and very proud that people are beginning to see what it is we have to offer in this city," said Berlinda.
The Mayor also announced the city has plans to build a new police station.
And those new ventures will also help the wallets of Rock Island homeowners.
"When you bring in property sales tax from the commercial side, that's less tax on property owners," said Thomas Thomas, the City Manager.
Mayor Pauley said because of Rock Island's economic growth this past year, there won't be an increase in the property tax rate for residents.