Alton Mayor Tom Hoechst delivered his third State of the City address last night at the National Great Rivers Museum. The hour long speech provided those in attendance with a view of the "big picture" as Hoechst used statistics to reflect the fiscal responsibility of the government, growth of the city and the promise of things to come.
After recognizing city employees and their spouses, the mayor explained how they were able to decrease the deficit facing the city from $1.8-million when he took office, to just over $500-thousand entering this fiscal year.
Hoechst didn't shy away from the fact that they were forced to layoff employees in the past, saying that those were the moves that have allowed the city to progress.
The mayor praised the work of both the fire and police departments who have reduced costs by revising their dispatching processes. He also applauded the efforts of citizens who have been taking life saving courses so that they can be prepared and assist fire fighters and paramedics in emergency situations.
Hoechst concluded his speech by saying that lower crime rates, citizens who care about the image of their city and a financially responsible government are drawing more businesses to Alton. He says that Alton is closer than ever to getting a movie theater in the city and he anticipates a possible announcement could be made in the coming months. He also says they are continuing the process of building a hotel in downtown Alton and that he is optimistic about what the future holds for the city.