TYLER, Texas, (KETK) — The city of Tyler will be spending millions in the next few years on infrastructure, parks and special projects as it emerges from the pandemic, Tyler Mayor Don Warren said Tuesday.
“We have bounced back (from the pandemic) and we’re resilient,” Warren said in giving his State of the City address at the Green Acres Baptist Church’s CrossWalk Center.
‘We have a very resilient community,” he said.
Warren said the pandemic did not affect Tyler as negatively as other cities.
“We thought the sales tax was going to be dead,” Warren said of a worse-case scenario of how the pandemic was going to negatively impact the city budget. “It was affected, but not as much as we thought.”
City departments were challenged to make adjustments, such as using technology to conduct meetings and getting work done remotely.
“We learned to adapt just like ya’ll did,” he said.
Progress continued, he said, noting residential construction increased and more people began using city parks.
“Our parks were in a good place to have them (people) come and visit,” said the mayor. The city has spent about $10 million since 2014 to improve parks.
The city also built two fire stations and launched a project to create more affordable housing in northern Tyler.
He said the city is working with a Dallas developer on a 540-acre project in the Bellwood Lake area that is expected to spur growth in the western part of the city.
Warren said projects downtown include a development of townhomes a few blocks west of the square.
“People are bringing this new energy to downtown and it’s fabulous,” he said. “Downtown really has changed and people are excited about it.”
A goal is to increase the “walkability” of downtown and better connect it to other areas.
Improving infrastructure — especially streets and drainage — remain a priority, he said.
The city plans to spend millions to improve traffic flow. A system to better synchronize lights on Broadway is expected to be in place by the end of the year, he said.
Warren is excited that a medical school is being built in Tyler. The school is expected to have an economic impact of $1.7 billion a year.
“It is one of the biggest things that has ever happened to our community going forward,” he said.
Warren praised the $28 million Rose City Complex project that now is under way. The project calls for replacing Harvey Convention Center with a larger convention center and making other improvements.
“It’s going to be huge,” he said.
“There is a lot going on in our city. A lot to be proud of,” he said.
Warren praised Tyler as a community where people work together.
“It is everybody in this room,” he said. “It’s the people in this room that make people say, ‘I want to move to Tyler, Texas.”
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