Abilene city manager, mayor discuss goals for 2018

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - The new year is here and many people have set goals for 2018. The City of Abilene is no different.

The Abilene city council, Mayor Anthony Williams and City Manager Robert Hanna have outlined six focuses for the calendar year. We sat down with Mayor Williams and Mr. Hanna to learn more about these topics.

Mayor Williams says all six of the focus points will boost economic development for Abilene.

"Abilene is in miss of a significant economic boost," Mayor Williams says. "Since 2011, our economy has grown $800 million. We have a total GDP in Abilene of 6.49 billion. Thematically, most of those goals center around aiding in that ED."

First and foremost, a plan for street maintenance.

"We want to put that to bed and provide the community with a long-term plan for streets and I'm confident that will happen in 2018," Mayor Williams explains.

City manager Robert Hanna says a plan will be placed on the ballot in May unless council decides otherwise.

"Now we're focusing our efforts on making sure we have the information for the voter to be informed to make a decision," Hanna says.

Another focus for 2018, the downtown hotel. Hanna says progress is being made.

"I really see the downtown hotel, the deal being inked, probably within the first quarter of this year," he says.

"I  think they'll provide a great opportunity for our community, leverage for downtown and really aid in the opportunity to grow our economy," Mayor Williams adds.

Finally, putting focus on the I-20 corridor in 2018 is a major goal for the city.

"It's an important part of our community too and things are starting to grow and pop there," Hanna says.

"We have over 22,000 vehicles a day that hit that stretch of I-20," Mayor Williams adds.

Mayor Williams says I-20 offers many opportunities for economic development.

"I think we have an opportunity both on I-20 and 351 for a multi-million dollar addition, expansions of different businesses," he says.

Other goals include evaluating how money is spent and maintenance on buildings.

More discussions with the public will be held throughout the year to learn which issues are most important to citizens.

The full interview with Robert Hanna and Anthony Williams will air Sunday, January 7, on KTAB's political talk show, Big Country Politics at 6:30 am.


 


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