Mayor Don Ness put a spin on the State of the City speech this year by presenting it in video format to more accurately cover the recent hardships and success in Duluth.
The video was released to the public on March 4, 2013, at Clyde Iron Works.
Ness covers many topics in his speech but mainly focuses on flood recovery, successful economic development and strengthening the finances of the city.
The damage left from the summer 2012 flood has now become one of the highest priorities of the city. Duluth was hit hard and left with many of the already treacherous streets in ruins. Emergency repairs have taken place since then, but there is still plenty of recovery work due.
Thankfully, many local and national non-profit organizations came together to clean up the damage.
“This historic disaster has demonstrated the strength, resilience, and compassion of our community,” said Ness.
New economic development in Duluth has shown as more multi-national corporations are making their home here in the Twin Ports.
Many of the companies involve aviation, which has not only survived the recent recession but is now thriving. From the U.S. Air Force to Kestrel Aircraft, many more job opportunities are opening up.
“Duluth is also quickly becoming a nation hub for the engineering industry,” Ness explained.
Engineering companies have hired over 400 new employees in the past few years. Duluth has become an ideal place for such firms because of UMD’s world-class engineering department.
The city has greatly improved its health care, higher education and retail opportunities.
The finances of the city have also become a high priority topic. Since Duluth has been on a lower general fund budget and has lost 6 million dollars of revenue from the Fond du Luth Casino downtown, the city must come up with new ways to accommodate for that loss.
In an effort to do so, the city has been able to reduce spending money and has built up a reserve from a negative to a positive over the past few years.
Living up to its new motto, “Own it, Save it, Take Pride”, Duluth has been able to rebuild its community and make its way out of a recession successfully.