ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — It was a productive 2022 for Rock Island. Many new projects began due to the city receiving $26.5 million in federal funding. At this year's State of the City address, Mayor Mike Thoms says the focus on 2023 will be on "progress and partnerships."
"The state of flux is positive. We have $7 million set aside to do some renovations downtown. Then there's private development like the new federal courthouse, the YWCA, the YMCA, the parking ramp coming down. It's all part of the future and what we are going to see changing in the next several years," said Thoms.
In addition to community development, 40 housing rehab projects were completed in 2022, with an additional $300,000 grant secured for this year.
Part of the plan to better Rock Island is to combat the issue of crime that spiked last year. Crime rates in Rock Island were higher than 73.9% of U.S. Cities according to Crime-Data.com.
"There is a plan. We are working with the federal government, the ATF and the FBI and working on getting some more resources here to work on it. Not just for the City of Rock Island but for the Quad Cities," Thoms said.
Not only will these renovations benefit Quad Citizens themselves, but it should bring more tourist to Rock Island. President and CEO of Visit Quad Cities, Dave Herrell feels these new projects will be "transformative" for Rock Island.
"Rock Island obviously is going through a transformation and whatever we can do from a destination marketing, a destination management perspective, we are aligned with the city and I think there are some very bright things on the horizon," Herrell said.
The link to Mayor Thoms' entire speech is here.