Valdosta's Annual State of the City Address

By: Dontaye Carter Email
By: Dontaye Carter Email

"One of the popular mantras around the country has been to say well now we have to "Do more with less".

Valdosta Mayor John Fretti didn't hold back when he talked about the challenges of working with less in 2010.

With an unemployment rate hitting near 9-percent, Fretti encouraged residents to look at a much bigger picture.

"We have other indicators they include an unemployment rate for the city of eight-point-nine percent while the state holds at ten-point-two. The city also saw a net gain, yes a net gain of 713 new business licenses issued in 2010," said Fretti.

For some residents it was the positive news they were waiting to hear.

"I like what the mayor said, we're progressive forward thinking and I think that's the only way you can do it," said Ted Bilak.

Fretti says signs of stability in Valdosta can be seen on the main street area where 70 new employees were hired.

He emphasized how Valdosta's retail attractions helped bring in 59-percent of what the city collects on sales tax from residents outside the county.

"The general outlook for Valdosta has improved steady yet slowly over the past year and it is anticipated that growth in real estate, industry, hospitality and retail development will continue to slowly rebound as
Valdosta emerges from the effects of the national economic downturn," said Fretti.

Another reason why Fretti says 2011 is a year to be very hopeful.

Fretti also says they have the reserve funds to weather an economic storm and there is no general fund debt as of June 30. 2010.

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