OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert delivered her annual State of the City address on Friday afternoon in the city's legislative chambers. She said Omaha is strong, resilient, and ready for the future.
"We are now well into 2022, the year of recovery reinvestment and rebuilding. Omaha is positioned or unprecedented growth for population, employment, reputation and world class initiatives. We’re hopeful the worst is behind us," said Mayor Jean Stothert.
Stothert says some of the biggest challenges the state is facing are labor and inflation. Two issues that she believes will be addressed by the Urban Core Housing and Mobility plan and UNMC's Project Next.
"We have to make Omaha, especially downtown, more attractive and that’s exactly what we’re doing. If we want more businesses coming here we have to have more people coming here and we have to make it more attractive," said Stothert. "We have to look and have the amenities people are looking for. We have to look at everything, transportation, housing, affordable housing, workforce housing we have to look at open spaces, we have to look at entertainment, we have to look at jobs."
Although those two projects are huge undertakings and won't be complete for years to come, she says the city will be able to see some benefits quite soon.
Money, specifically $4 million, for the hotel industry will also boost economic impact.
"We felt like it was very important. It’s over a billion-dollar industry for the city of Omaha. Bringing people and spending in Omaha so we wanted to help Omaha get back on its feet," said Stothert.
She says it was also important for her to use most of the ARPA funding for community needs.
"It's urgent, especially with the ERAP, emergency rental assistance with utilities mental health. The needs out there in our community were so great," Mayor Stothert said.
Omaha will receive the other half of the ARPA funds this spring. She says some of it will go towards nonprofits to help address basic needs like food, programs for the homeless, and mental health programs.
Although she outlined numerous plans for the city, she said the main priority is public safety. She says crime rates have lowered over the past year after a spike in 2020. Mental health diversion programs and restorative justice programs will be expanded.
Following her speech, the mayor spoke with the press. 3 News Now reporter, Alyssa Curtis was there and will bring your more in our evening newscasts at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Mayor Stothert’s state of the city is about to begin. Follow along as she outlines the plans for Omaha ⬇️— Alyssa Curtis (@AlyssaNCurtis) April 1, 2022
Watch below or on our Facebook page.