On Wednesday, Hobart Mayor Brian K. Snedecor delivered his annual State of the City address at the Hobart Chamber of Commerce’s Monthly Luncheon at the Hobart Community Center on beautiful Lake George.
“Seeing all the people here today that are in some way infused in the city is remarkable,” said Mayor Snedecor. “People that serve on boards, people that serve on non-profit organizations within the city in some fashion. It’s an amazing mix of people.”
“Many of you have probably seen some of the things going on in the city and all the excitement in the city,” Snedecor said. “Whenever I do projects like this I try to make it a team approach. When we work with the business community like we have here today we feel like it’s a little bit of a different approach. We need to look at what things that, as business people who are invested in our community, are important to you.”
“From 2015 now going into 2016 I almost feel like I’ve got that giddy feeling you got when you were a kid about what’s happening in the city of Hobart,” Snedecor continued. “So much smart growth. That’s been one of the keynotes of what we’ve tried to say. If we’re going to grow as a community we need to grow in a very sound way. Don’t rush. We’ve seen some communities around the region who had that growing spurt and they grew so quickly and they didn’t have provisions in place to handle the growth. Then things got out of sync and that’s one thing that Hobart wants to be careful about. Grow with smart, manageable, and sustainable both residential and commercial growth.”
Snedecor described 2015 as a banner year for the city of Hobart. The city invested $41 million into new construction within the city and attracted 44 new businesses who moved to Hobart last year. Speaking to the business oriented Hobart Chamber, Snedecor and Hobart Clerk Treasurer, Deb Longer, highlighted the city government's financial climate and health.
“The city works very hard to increase the assessed valuation to keep the tax rate lower,” said Longer. “We are always working to bring new business and new developments to town to keep that assessed valuation up. We leverage the dollars we have as much as we can. Everybody on staff is very aware that we are a region. We use each other, we watch each other and we communicate with each other so that we are maximizing whatever we do. I’m very proud of our bond rating. It is currently at a AA- rating on the cusp being kicked up again. It’s the third time in five years we’ve increased our bond rating. What they’re seeing is that we’re fiscally responsible.”
In closing, Snedecor outlined the attitude of the city going into 2016 with the slogan “Solution Driven in 2016.”
“I’ve seen too many times somebody goes into City Hall or some other government building and says, ‘I need to do this,’ and someone answers them with, ‘Nope, can’t do that’ and they push them out the door with no solutions,” Snedecor said. “I believe that as a city, if we really want to be what we can be, we need to be solution driven.”
Also taking place at the Chamber Luncheon was the donation of $500 from the Hobart Chamber of Commerce to the Hobart Historical Society in honor of Virginia Curtis.
“Virginia Curtis was a very strong, passionate lady that really wanted to better the quality of life here in Hobart,” said Chamber Executive Director, Lisa Winstead. “That was her mission and so they started the City Improvement Committee, they started the free concerts in the park, and the beautification of downtown and so many projects in Hobart. Anybody that knew Virginia could never forget Virginia. She sat on the Hobart Chamber Board of Directors for fifty years so the Hobart Chamber of Commerce wants to make the donation today in honor of her.”