Stevenson Mayor Rickey Steele gave his annual State of the City address at the Stevenson Choo Choo Tuesday morning.
Steele said 2019 was a good year for the City of Stevenson, but it was also a bad year for the City of Stevenson. He said the city is still reaping the benefits from TVA, but TVA in lieu of tax dollars are decreasing. He said TVA was great to get the city to where it is today, but it is up to citizens and elected officials to move the city forward. Stevenson lost a major tax base when Shop-Rite closed. Steele said he got in contact with the owner of Bruce’s Foodland and pitched him to come to Stevenson.
He was hesitant, but Steele said he projected what the store would do, and Bruce’s Foodland opened a store in Stevenson. Steele said out of the bad things that happened in 2019, the city has turned them around into positive things.
Steele said one thing he wants to portray to citizens is the importance of filling out the census report. He said TVA in lieu of tax dollars are based on the population of the city. He also said road paving dollars are based on the city’s population.
He said the new gas tax is based on population, and Stevenson will receive about $17,000 this year, $18,000 next year and$19,000 next year.
Steele said a great deal has changed in Stevenson since he was elected mayor. He said the city’s budget when he was first elected was $1.1 million, and now it has about a $3 million budget.
Road paving will be one of the city’s main goals for 2020. Steele said if he could get $5 million or $6 million, he could pave every road in the city. He said the roads are going to be paved anyway. The city recently bought a paver and a street sweeper. He said they are looking and another street sweeper, garbage truck and other equipment.
Steele said they would start paving at the park. He said they would pave the RV park after that. He said the city would use revenue from people renting spots at the RV park to pave other streets in the city.
Overall, Steele is excited for what is to come for the City of Stevenson in 2020.