The city of Rock Island is in good shape financially, but must continue to look for new revenue and control spending. That was the message Monday from Mayor Mike Thoms during his annual state of the city address to a joint meeting of Rotary and Kiwanis clubs.
He says new businesses and those already in Rock Island invested more than 30 million dollars in new and expanded facilities last year, and added hundreds of jobs. But the city still has not found a retail business to take over Watchtower Plaza - so he's asking for suggestions.
"If it's not retail, if it's something else that draws traffic that then draws retail and development in the rest of the 11th Street corridor. Who know what it could be. We've all thrown out a few ideas here and there. But what is the Quad Cities missing that Rock Island could have the one of, that would be great there."
Two major street re-surfacing projects were completed last year, 38th Street and 18th Avenue, and the new, 20 million dollar water filtration plant will be completed soon.
One of his major projects coming up is the census, and making sure everyone in Rock Island is counted.
"The city of Rock Island is very diversified and should be very proud of that. We have a lot of great people here in Rock Island and we should embrace that and work with that."
One other project still in the works but not completed is the demolition of the former Servus Rubber plant - Mayor Thoms says the property is now tied up in bankruptcy court and he doesn't know when the private owner will be able to finish the job.