Economic development, public safety dominate State of the City

Feb 27, 2014

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert says new projects and opportunities will bring economic development to the city.

Credit Mayor's Office/Google Images

Stothert gave her first State of the City address Wednesday. She says the city has a $10 million dollar budget surplus, and will bring in a projected $27.7 million in revenue from the restaurant tax.

Stothert also highlighted projects in development, including 75 North.

“The goal is to provide high-quality housing, improve academic achievement, and provide services to families. This concept has worked in other cities, changing high-crime, high-poverty neighborhoods in to communities offering a better quality of life. That’s the vision of 75 North.”

Groundbreaking on 75 North is scheduled to happen by this fall. She also pointed to the Crossroads Village redevelopment project, and the sale of the Civic Auditorium, as economic development opportunities for Omaha.

Stothert says public safety remains her top priority.

She highlighted planned expansions of the Omaha Police Gang Unit, as well as a new recruit class beginning in April. Stothert also praised the community’s compassion and resolve following the January shooting death of 5-year-old Payton Benson.

“Omaha is family, and when we lose a member of our family it hurts. Every life matters, and every violent death is unacceptable. Public safety is my number one priority and responsibility, it always has been and it always will be. We are focused on policing and crime-fighting strategies to address the long-standing problem of violence in our city. It’s clear more needs to be done, and more will be done.”

Stothert says the members of the April recruit class will be on the streets in December. She also highlighted the Citizen Complaint Review Board. More than 150 people have applied for a position on the police oversight panel, and members will be chosen next month.