Mayor Ed Pawlowski delivered his 2013 State of The City address on Friday, January 25th during the Allentown Rotary Club luncheon at the Holiday Inn Center City. “The state of our city is one of transformation,” said the Mayor. “The city is seeing over a billion dollars in new investment and thousands of new jobs are now coming to a city once considered a lost cause.”
Pawlowski told the crowd of 85 Rotary Club members and guests that the city continues to leverage promise into success during a 25 minute speech. He said the hockey arena and 11-story office building across the street, as well as the expansion of the Alvin H. Butz Inc. headquarters will create more than 900 construction jobs and 1400 permanent jobs.
Pawlowski proudly reminded the receptive audience that the city has had eight consecutive years with no property tax increase and maintains its lowest staffing level in almost 20 years.
According to Pawlowski, the city has obtained $75.9 million in state and federal grants since he took office in 2006.
“Public safety is the first and most important obligation of government,” said Pawlowski, pointing out that the police department currently has 214 sworn officers, the highest number in over a decade.
The Mayor continued to promote the proposed 50 year lease of the city’s water and sewer system to solve the city’s unfunded pension liability problem. Pawlowski warned that the city’s minimal municipal obligation will rise to $24 million by 2015 which is up to 30 percent of the general fund budget. “This lease concession will put the City on solid fiscal ground for decades to come,” he stated. “The alternative is to tax our residents into oblivion with an increase of 75-to-100 percent.”