Growth and investment were the themes of this year’s State of the City/County address, held Wednesday at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center.
“This is an unprecedented time, at least in the last couple of decades,” Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson said after the address. “To see this align this way, to be able to match those resources with the community priorities that we’ve been working on and talking about for a very long time.”
The address, put on by the Mobile Chamber, featured a panel discussion with the Mobile County Commission and a question-and-answer session with Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. Nearly 700 people attended the sold-out event.
First up, the Mobile County Commission discussed the investments coming to the region as a result of the county’s largest-ever budget, a confluence of federal money, grants and conservative budgeting. The county’s budget for this fiscal year includes a $45 million carryover from years past, around $300 million in restricted dollars from federal and state grants, and $120 million in dedicated dollars.
As a result, each county commissioner highlighted projects in their districts that they’re making progress on, including the Mobile County Sportsplex and the Bayfront Park. At the beginning of the fiscal year, the county commission dedicated $10 million to the construction of the aquatic center in the sportsplex, in addition to continuing investments in the soccer fields. Earlier this week, the county commission allocated another $3.9 million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) money to Bayfront Park.