Wednesday marked Lubbock's 21st State of the City Address. Mayor Marc McDougal was the keynote speaker and he wrapped up accomplishments from 2004, and outlined goals for 2005.
There were three main issues that the Mayor felt were most important to the future of Lubbock. Those items are our water supply, public safety, and development and growth. McDougal said, "Tom Martin likes to say, 'If a city does not have orange cones and barrels along their roads, they are not growing.' Well in case you have not noticed, Lubbock is growing." Every topic in the Mayor's speech landed back at our city's growth. "Lubbock continues to grow, and houses continue to be built."
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Lubbock's population grew 1.4% this year which boosted residential and commercial construction to over $400 million with 1,500 permits going to housing.
Public safety is also on the front line for Lubbock. The police department is in the process of hiring 50 officers to help achieve the goal of two officers for every thousand citizens. The mayor also said adding code enforcement to the department has been a success.
McDougal said this about the fire department's role in public safety, "The fire department exceeds meeting the needs of protecting life and property." One way Lubbock fire is increasing public safety is hiring six new firefighters. Last year they received new equipment and saved $170 million in property damage.
The most important issue came last, "The council has made it known, under no certain terms, that our number one priority is water. Water issues were the big one. The council started a Water Advisory Commission that has been looking for secure water sources, as well as pro-actively planning for the future.
The Mayor wrapped things up by saying, "We faced a few difficulties, but we were provided with so many more opportunities. I look forward to this year, and to working with council members, city staff, and citizens in making Lubbock an even greater place to live."
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State of the City Address Transcript