Carbondale Mayor gives State of the City address - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Carbondale Mayor gives State of the City address

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Mayor Mike Henry talked with business leaders and community members this afternoon for his annual State of the City Address. 

In just four months, Carbondale's new budget year will begin. Mayor Henry said the difficult process of figuring out the city's finances is top priority right now, due in part to the continued uncertainty of funding from the state. 

"There is again the very real possibility that the state will demand higher contributions to the state's pension systems, while at the same time reducing their payments to us," said Henry. 

Henry also talked about challenges in higher education and the city's commitment to SIU in making Carbondale an attractive place for prospective students.  He highlighted the $1.1 million phase 2 portion of the Downtown Streetscape Project. 

"This project also included the installation of Wi-Fi throughout downtown, which was a number one priority of SIU students who answered a survey," said Henry.

As part of the commitment to SIU, and the city's other major employer, SIH, Mayor Henry says city leaders and representatives from both institutions will make another trip to Washington, D.C. in pursuit of funding for the regional multi-modal station. 

"This effort will also enhance our visibility with our federal legislators, improve relationships with federal agencies, and provide Carbondale with a voice in our nation's capital," said Henry.

He added, meetings with CEOs from the regions largest employers and mayors will continue in 2019 to find ways to boost southern Illinois' economy.

Mayor Henry said 13 new businesses opened their doors this year with more expected to call Carbondale home in 2019. Planning for phase 3 of downtown revitalization will also begin in the coming year.

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