Mayor optimistic about Lubbock economy despite city debt - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Mayor optimistic about Lubbock economy despite city debt

Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson

The city is $1.158 billion in debt, but Mayor Robertson says the Lubbock economy is looking up.

"The state of the city is great," Robertson said. "Our sales tax revenues are up, our property tax revenues are up, unemployment is tremendously low."

72% of that number is backed by revenue bonds, which means that overall debt number is large, but manageable.

Those revenue bonds include the sale of water, storm water charges, and the sale of electricity, all of which makes Robertson feel the debt is secure.

Robertson said the biggest priority for next year is to get LP&L back on track.

The electric company had close to $18 million in revenue in 2005.

But that number declined to a loss of $3 million in recent years before pulling up to an $4 million this past year.

"What we've got to do is put all the differences aside and come together to find a solution for 2019." Robertson said.

But electricity isn't the only resource the city is concerned about.

Robertson said that if the people of Lubbock don't seriously implement water conservation, there's a chance that Lake Allen Henry could dry up by 2015. But recent investments to keep the lake filled should keep it as a resource for many more years.

"If we continue to fill these well fields, improve transmission, bring more water in and combine that with conserving water we truly have a water source for 75 to 100 years," Robertson said.

The city council is facing a number of challenges, including the recent firing of a city manager, lingering problems with LP&L, and most recently, a request by a City Attorney Sam Medina to be put on leave.

But Robertson remains confident that those challenges can be overcome and will better equip the city council to face any problem that come up in the coming year.

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