Carbondale mayor gives State of the City Address - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Carbondale mayor gives State of the City Address

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Acting Carbondale Mayor Don Monty gave the State of the City Address on Tuesday, addressing positive developments happening right now around the city.

He says anyone who drives along Main Street or Route 13 in Carbondale can see the changes going on.

From a new apartment building, to several new fast-food restaurants, Acting Mayor Don Monty says the city is growing.

Aside from the obvious changes, Mayor Monty says there are a few projects he hopes to see happen over the next few years, including a new train and bus depot and several other restaurants beginning to take shape, along with a new water park that will open May 2015.

During his State of the City Address, he revealed what he hopes to turn the existing train depot in to and gave some insight into projects that haven't been announced.

“There is a big rumor floating around town, another chain, fast-food kind of place that has bought a piece of property in Carbondale but they are not ready to announce yet. But there are things that are going on and that's very hopeful. The more economic activity that can occur in this city obviously the better it is for the entire community,” says Monty.

The projects don't stop there.

Planned additions to the downtown include increasing parking with a parking garage, building a new hotel and adding upscale housing.

Of course all of these projects take money.

Mayor Monty didn't sugarcoat some of the financial struggles the city is facing now and could face five years down the road if changes are not made.

Financial problems were the one of the main topics in acting Mayor Don Monty's State of the City address.

While he says the city has seen plenty of physical developments, the future looks grim if changes aren't made to the city's spending.

According to Mayor Monty, in recent years, the city's major sources of revenue have been relatively flat.

Monty blames some of it on the struggling economy, declining enrollment at SIU, and a shortage of income tax.

He predicts that if the city government continues to spend like it is and the tax revenue stays the same, their general fund could dip below a projected $400,000 by 2019.

Monty says efforts have been made to cut utility costs and reducing city employees.

But as health insurance and pension costs continue to grow it is becoming more and more of a challenge to stay afloat.

“The preferred method would be to see the economy grow but sometimes you get in a situation where you may have expenses that you really have trouble controlling. Pension costs, that you may have to cover by raising taxes,” he says.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.
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