Tammy Mutasa, Garland Reporter
Garland's mayor Ronald E. Jones is optimistic about his city's future thanks to big highway expansion and local business expansion.
In his annual State of the City address Monday afternoon, Garland's mayor said the city was in great shape for the future.
Mayor Ronald E. Jones said highway and business expansions were a few of the things that sprung good economic news. Jones also cited new infrastructure, more jobs and redevelopment.
Jones boasted of the city's stable $22.9 million tax value.
"I think what makes Garland unique is, it continues to grow and has never ever had a regression in population and businesses," Jones said.
The George Bush Turnpike Eastern Extension, which opened in December, contributed to some of that growth.
"It has been anticipated," Jones said. "Many companies, businesses and developers have waited to complete various stages of that to make their final economic investment decisions."
In addition, 1,115 jobs were created after 15 companies either expanded, relocated or opened up in Garland. Some beefed up the manufacturing sector in Garland, the ninth-largest in Texas.
"It is very crucial," Jones said. "Manufacturing is key to the city of Garland, and so we are working very hard and very diligently with various entities of the community. "
Garland Power & Light also participated in a high-profile wind energy transmission project that is anticipated to lower electric bill costs for residents.
As for the future, the mayor said he wants to focus on phase-two redevelopment around downtown Garland.
Recently, the City Council approved a 190 mixed-use apartment complex expansion in downtown.
Local businesses owners said any redevelopment will help boost business and bring in more customers.
"Business brings tax dollars," said Jim Dorsey, owner of the Generator Coffee Shop. "It helps everybody. When business does good, the whole neighborhood does good."
An Interstate 635 frontage project is also in the works to bring more development to South Garland.