RENO, NV - Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger addressed the media Wednesday morning to go over a variety of things. The complete text is on the PDF to the right of this story.
The city of Reno is pushing for innovation next year, making it the hub for new businesses. Wednesday's speech gives residents a snap shot of where the city stands, by exposing every challenge it has faced and highlighting every effort made to make itself a more sustainable place to live.
A lot has been done over the last year, but there's still much more to come.
"Our economy is recovering, population is growing, educational options are exceptional," said Reno City Manager, Andrew Clinger.
He says overall, the city has had solid achievements, made major progress, but has plenty more challenges ahead. The city is still paying off major debt--more than $500 million worth--but has also saved about $4.3 million in the General Fund and $1.5 million to the Street Fund.
"The city's assessed valuation stands at $6.3 billion, a 7.7 percent rise over the prior year," Clinger added.
This year, the city has added 7000 jobs, putting the unemployment rate in the Reno and Sparks areas at 7.3 percent, which is a decrease from 13 percent, three years ago.
"The city permits for nearly 700 single-family homes last year, up 55 percent from the previous year and the most since 2008."
It's a sign of a healthy economy. Reno City Council member, Sharon Zadra says that gives her hope after recovering from one of the nations worst economic downturns.
"What it really forced us to do is work together truly as a community, develop more public/private partnerships to take these issues on and bring solutions," she said.
However, with the good, there's also the bad. The city is working on revitalizing some of the city's most neglected parks and infrastructures, but it doesn't have enough money to cover them.
"Unfortunately, expenditures are outpacing revenues threatening our ability to properly maintain our assets," said clinger.
As the city moves forward, so is Mayor Bob Cashell. He bid a bittersweet farewell to the people he's worked closest with for the past 12 years and offers a bit of advice:
Clinger says the biggest project to look forward to in the next year is the completion of the Virginia Street Bridge, this, after 15 years of planning.
Another big issue the city is working on in the future is funding homeless shelters and curbing graffiti.