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Corpus Christi Mayor Guajardo delivers first State of the City

Corpus Christi City Council members take the stage with Mayor Paulette Guajardo on Thursday, July 15, at her first State of the City address. The council includes (from left) Mike Pusley, at-large; Ben Molina, District 2; Greg Smith, District 4; John Martinez, at-large; Mayor Guajardo; Michael Hunter, at-large; Gil Hernandez, District 5; Billy Lerma, District 1; and Roland Barrera, District 3. Courtesy photo

Guajardo predicts an era of prosperity for the city

More than 800 Corpus Christi business owners and city leaders attended Mayor Paulette Guajardo’s first State of the City address Thursday, July 15.

The overall message was one of hope and promise for the city. The meeting began with Guajardo thanking council members for their dedicated service.

"Today, there is tremendous hope for our future,” the mayor said. “Corpus Christi, I am here to tell you unequivocally that the state of our city is stronger than ever before. And with your help, together, we are ushering in a new and unprecedented era of prosperity because it is our time, and it is a new day, and we have only just begun."

Guajardo added that neither property taxes nor utilities have increased despite city budgets of $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2020 and $1 billion for 2021.

City leadership is guided by unity and teamwork, and Corpus Christi is “becoming one of the great cities of Texas … in an era of prosperity,” she continued.

She also addressed chronic problems the city has faced over the years, such as streets in disrepair. She pointed out that the current council has allocated $200 million toward street rehabilitation and numerous repair and repaving projects are currently underway.

Also, the airport will see $20 million in upgrades, and another $20 million was allocated to make improvements to the Corpus Christi Marina.

Downtown is continuing to experience economic growth with the seawall and marina drawing more people. The seawall is currently being cleaned for the first time in long time, Guajardo added.

Other improvement items on the city's agenda include parks and trails development and infrastructure upgrades. The city will use part of the $70 million received from the American Rescue Plan Act for water line replacement and lift station upgrades.

Guajardo pointed out the impact that the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corp. has on the city through investment projects that bring in millions of dollars via property taxes.

She addressed new investment projects, including $1.9 billion that will bring the city $147.8 million in property taxes over the next 10 years as well as 1,000 new jobs. The projects are through Voestalpine, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, and Cheniere Energy.

The tourism industry is also seeing growth. The city is on pace to break several visitation records, including overnight visits.

Other important issues that Guajardo brought up were the city’s current national search for a police chief and the hiring of more police officers.

The Corpus Christi State of the City is an annual event hosted by the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce. It was held at the American Bank Center.

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