COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers delivered his sixth State of the City address Thursday morning, highlighting the city’s resilience through trying times, both current and past, the pending arrival of the city’s 150th birthday, and exciting economic developments in Colorado Springs.
"Today, I will also describe our city as resilient, among the most resilient in the country," he said. "...As we meet today, we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic."
Suthers said our economy came to a sudden halt in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He mentioned our local unemployment rate skyrocketed in 45 days and more provided the "ingredients" to greatly hurt the economy, but the city was resilient.
He mentioned that the city has remained low in the grand scheme of the virus statewide, construction is at a record high, and residents are working again in our industries.
The mayor brought up that the city not only showed resiliency in regards to COVID-19, but the city showed resiliency in May after the murder of George Floyd sparked national protests on police brutality.
"The peaceful protests and the meaningful community dialogue that has resulted, including a Law Enforcement Accountability Commission, is a real testament to our community’s resilience," he said.
He said the growth of downtown Colorado Springs, at the airport, and the Interquest corridor will bring more jobs and revenue to the city. He discussed the Robson Arena, the Olympic and Paralympic Museum, three new downtown hotels, Scheel’s Sporting Goods and more developments throughout the city.
Suthers reiterated the city's homelessness initiative "made significant progress" since it started last year.
"With daily vacancies in the triple digits, we can now confidently say that we have an adequate amount of shelter beds in our community. And just this morning we celebrated the strategic expansion of the Springs Rescue Mission with the opening of a full-service kitchen," the mayor said.
In late June, the city released the findings of a study analyzing the economic impacts of loans and grants created to help support businesses during the pandemic.
At the release of the findings, Suther said the Survive and Thrive initiative helped support more than 4,000 businesses and 40,000 jobs representing billions in economic impact to the city alongside an estimated $33.8 million in the form of sales tax revenue.
Last year, Suthers discussed familiar topics of infrastructure progress, public safety improvements, and other city accomplishments. As part of his pitch, he reminded the audience the city is asking the voters to continue the 2C paving projects.
Because of COVID-19 guidelines, the mayor will be giving this address scheduled to begin virtually at 10 a.m. News5 will have the stream on our Facebook page.