It's been an overall good year for the city of Quincy.
KHQA sat down with Mayor John Spring Tuesday afternoon to get his take on 2010 and his outlook for 2011.
"Finances are always your top concern," says Mayor John Spring.
And once again in 2010, they were.
"The last few years with the recession has really made it difficult. We've had a slow down from income from the state, a slowdown on revenue being produced within your own municipality or sales tax revenue, etc." says Spring.
The good news here is Mayor Spring says the city handled the rough patch just fine. Three and a half million dollars was cut from the budget, the city reduced spending, and lost 30 employees to an early retirement program and attrition. The part that makes this a good thing for Mayor Spring is he says residents saw no lapse in service.
Transportation was also a bright spot in 2010.
"The advent now of three major highways going through here. The I-72 corridor, the completion of the Chicago to Kansas City Expressway. Additionally, the Avenue of the Saints was completed between Minneapolis/St. Paul and St. Louis, Missouri," says Spring.
Plus Amtrak rider ship stayed high at more than 209,000 riders for the year, and Cape Air spent its full year at Quincy Regional Airport with great success. There were also a lot of road projects in the Quincy area. Interstate 172, Broadway, and several other city streets were resurfaced. All thanks to federal stimulus money. There was also some growth for the city with Prince Agri-Products and Fitzpatricks expanding or opening new manufacturing place, plus Menards opened on Quincy's east side. Spring says he hopes this growth continues into the new year. Some projects on the horizon include about 150 new apartments in the downtown area including the Franklin Square project. The Adams County Health Department spent its first full year in its new building, and the Salvation Army Kroc Center got off to a great start, with a planned opening of fall 2011. Work should also continue in 2011 on the city's plans to build an inter modal facility to house all transportation. The city is also in the process of testing fiber optic internet capabilities with a company from Britain, though there are still a number of questions to be answered before the city moves ahead with that. And finally, the year ended on a good note when the city got word that the passing of the Bush era tax cuts gave the city 12 extra months to work on getting everything set up to turn Lock and Dam 21 into a hydroelectric plant.
As far as low lights from 2010, the Mayor told KHQA state funding fell even further behind putting hospitals, nursing homes, and schools in a pinch.
He says when that happens, it becomes a burden on the entire community.
Another low light, that ended well is on the person front for Mayor Spring.
Just after Christmas last year, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
He spent a good portion of 2010 being treated for that disease, and is doing well now.