Despite the pandemic Rock Island had a good year in 2020, and should be just as strong or stronger this year. That was the message Monday from Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms during his annual State of the City address to members of the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs.
He says it was a challenging year for the city, but services continued, and Rock Island had a balanced budget last year, and will have another this year. "We passed a zero per cent property tax rate increase, we improved our credit rating, we gave out grants not loans to those businesses that need help, and gave out tax incentives to businessses to help them grow and ones to open in Rock Island." Thoms says one of the many success stories for the city was the Parks and Recreation department, and how it adapted to the pandemic. "So they were able to make significant changes and run over 80 programs with 5,500 participants, they created 40 new outdoor fitness classes and added 25 new virtual fitness classes, all the while keeping the participants and themselves COVID safe." And he thanked city employees and city residents for their "resilience" and helping Rock Island continue to grow and prosper.