As a guest of the Charlotte Rotary Club Charlotte Mayor Tim Lewis gave his first State of the City address Tuesday, April 4, and identified several aspects that make Charlotte a great city.
“You belong to a great group here,” Lewis told Rotary members. “You live in a great community, and there is a great future ahead.”
Lewis’ address summarized many of the positive impacts made within the city over the course of the last year by a number of organizations, not just city government. He also identified opportunities and challenges that have faced council.
“A great city works on the tough issues the public wants to see addressed,” Lewis said.
He identified the city’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate streets, calm downtown semi-truck traffic and reconstruct city parking lots as areas of priority for city council. He said the city’s five-year street improvement plan will put an estimated $7 million into street rehabilitation and reconstruction.
He added that he remains optimistic the city will be able to work with the Michigan Department of Transportation to calm semi traffic downtown.
“I think this is the opportunity for the city if we are going to have one,” Lewis said. “The governor wants Charlotte to succeed. We’re saying we need change downtown to make that happen … We’re step-by-step on this. I don’t want to be too optimistic, but I’m very optimistic.”
Lewis said a great city needs the right people in administrative positions, adding that believes Charlotte has that. He said a great city needs great facilities, and pointed to AL!VE, the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, Courthouse Square, and a number of other locations as examples.
Lewis said a great community has fun community events, pointing to Charlotte Frontier Days, Celebrate Charlotte, the Michigan Nordic Fire Festival as prime examples of events that make Charlotte a great city.
Lewis also talked about the recent development taking place in Charlotte — $7 million project at Parkside Condos; $10 million project at the old junior high; $2 million invested in the old chair factory property; proposed $8 million investment at the former IGA building; $2 million investment in the former Christensen’s Furniture Building; $1 million investment in The Dolson Restaurant; and $500,000 investment in the Masonic Temple.