Mayor John Gilleland presented his â€œState of the Cityâ€ address at the Rotary Club of Lincolntonâ€™s meeting on Monday afternoon.
Gilleland outlined some of his concerns for the city, as well as its achievements, from the past year.
While detailing the cityâ€™s future challenges, he noted that he would like to see a stronger general-fund balance, which he said has experienced a continued decline.
â€œWeâ€™ve got to tighten it up,â€ he said, adding that there was a negative cash flow last year.
Gilleland specifically stressed the need for the recruitment of water customers, saying that the â€œbiggest threat to our cityâ€ is the lack of water sales, resulting partly from lower textile usage of water.
â€œWeâ€™re not the only ones feeling the effects of lower water usage,â€ he pointed out, citing surrounding areasâ€™ troubles, as well.
On the positive side of things, Gilleland highlighted the various new development projects that have come to Lincolnton over the last year, including Dunkinâ€™ Donuts, the Super Wal-Mart and AutoZone, among many others.
Additionally, he emphasized the industrial growth resulting from the opening of Lincolnton Furniture Company, Main Filter and Technical Parts Manufacturing, calling attention to the Lincoln Economic Development Associationâ€™s efforts in recruiting these industries.
He also said he wanted to give credit to the businesses for â€œbetting on Lincolnton.â€
Regarding the issue he said he receives the most phone calls about from citizens of Lincolnton, Gilleland noted that the new Ingles should be â€œup and going before 2013,â€ as has been announced at recent meetings of the city council.
Gilleland also discussed the national recognition Lincolnton has recently experienced from ABCâ€™s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Lincolnton Furniture Company on NBCâ€™s Rock Center With Brian Williams and Bruce Cochrane, owner and CEO of Lincolnton Furniture, at the presidentâ€™s State of the Union address.
â€œBruce has done a heck of a job,â€ he said, noting that he received an email from a woman in another state who saw the NBC segment, which aired on Jan. 30, and wanted to know if Cochrane was taking orders. Gilleland said he copied Cochrane on the email reply, letting the woman know that she could absolutely place an order.
Overall, Gilleland emphasized a positive outlook for the city of Lincolnton while also noting the areas he sees as having room for improvement, such as the general-fund balance and the decline in water usage.
â€œThings are going to come back,â€ he stressed.