By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - To a crowd of nearly 400 Lubbockites, Mayor Tom Martin went into detail about Lubbock's accomplishments in 2009 and what's to come in 2010 during today's State of the City Address.
Among many of the topics was Lubbock's job market and unemployment.
"We've been very, very fortunate that our unemployment rate here at 5.4% in the latest available month is either the first or second best unemployment rate in the state," said Martin. Nationwide the unemployment rate is around 10% nearly double that of Lubbock.
One reason for the low rates is industrial growth. A few manufacturing companies listed during the address like Tyler Technologies added 40 new jobs locally in 2009. Industrial Molding added 70; the four Hurley Companies added 23, and another 20 new employees for Shearer's Food Company.
Martin also gives credit to higher college enrollment for the fall with nearly 4,000 more students.
"That means more money brought into our community, more people buying homes, shopping here in Lubbock and helping our community thrive," said Martin.
Also discussed were city projects like the construction on 4th Street and Loop 289, downtown water line improvements, and the ongoing Lake Alan Henry project. Those along with three other projects were expected to cost the city 86-million dollars, but final estimated costs came out to 53 million a total of 32.9 million in savings.
The biggest news, according to Martin, was Lubbock Power and Light purchasing the retail assets of Xcel Energy.
"This will be a catalyst that will really allow us to be aggressive in rebuilding and revitalizing our downtown area," said Martin. The purchase is under regulatory review and the transaction is expected to close October 1st.
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