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Mayor delivers ‘State of the City’ address

Mayor John Gilleland presents his “State of the City” address to Lincolnton Rotary Club members on Monday.

Gilleland: Development going well; lack of water customers a threat

SARAH LOWERY
Staff Writer

Mayor John Gilleland presented his “State of the City” address at the Rotary Club of Lincolnton’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 city’s future challenges, he noted that he would like to see a stronger general-fund balance, which he said has experienced a continued decline.
“We’ve got to tighten it up,” 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 “biggest threat to our city” is the lack of water sales, resulting partly from lower textile usage of water.
“We’re not the only ones feeling the effects of lower water usage,” he pointed out, citing surrounding areas’ 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 Dunkin’ 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 Association’s efforts in recruiting these industries.
He also said he wanted to give credit to the businesses for “betting on Lincolnton.”
Regarding the issue he said he receives the most phone calls about from citizens of Lincolnton, Gilleland noted that the new Ingles should be “up and going before 2013,” as has been announced at recent meetings of the city council.
Gilleland also discussed the national recognition Lincolnton has recently experienced from ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Lincolnton Furniture Company on NBC’s Rock Center With Brian Williams and Bruce Cochrane, owner and CEO of Lincolnton Furniture, at the president’s State of the Union address.
“Bruce has done a heck of a job,” 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.
“Things are going to come back,” he stressed.

Image courtesy of Ray Gora / LTN

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