With the city's economy rebounding, the completion of the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail and the installation of a $41 million infrastructure improvement plan, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said this year's State of the City address was a more positive one than the one he delivered in 2013.
On the development of business in Wilmington Saffo mentioned the investments companies like nCino and Castle Branch are making in the market as highlights of progress economically. However, Saffo also mentioned the uncertain future of the state of North Carolina's film incentive program as something that could hamper the economic vitality of the region.
"And 2014 is off to a good start too with four projects already committed to our area: "Sleepy Hollow," "Under the Dome," "Secrets and Lies," and "How and Why," Saffo said. "But unfortunately we have already heard from some in the industry that they won't be coming back to our area without the tax credit."
As for the crime rate in the city Saffo said the overall number of crimes dropped 12 percent throughout the last quarter of 2013. Another positive note is the series of community gang violence discussions that was spearheaded by Wilmington City Manager Sterling Cheatham.
"We will be wrapping up those meetings next month and will then work on a series of recommendations that the public policy makers such as this council, the schools, the business community and the county commissioners will consider," he said.
In 2014 Saffo said the Wilmington City Council would, "continue to look for opportunities to help our local economy and to improve upon our quality of life."