Duluth State of the City Video Focuses on Flooding
Posted at: 03/04/2013 9:11 PM
| Updated at: 03/04/2013 10:12 PM
In his 2013 State of the City Address, Duluth Mayor Don Ness tried a new approach, for the first time presenting a video rather than speaking from a podium.
According to Ness, the hope is the video will get more viewers than a traditional speech. Much of the speech was about flooding in June, and Ness told Eyewitness News he also wanted the emotions that come with images and video of the flood to be captured in his address.
The video, shown Monday at an event at Clyde Iron Works, featured countless photos of flooded streets and neighborhoods and clips of the first news conferences after the rain. In the video was a clip of Ness addressing a room full of news cameras and reporters back in June. In it, he said "this is an opportunity for Duluthians to stand up and to be resilient and to lift up our neighbors and to roll up our sleeves and to pitch in to clean up."
Mayor Ness praised city staff and volunteers in his video, saying they logged thousands of hours to begin cleaning up. However, he said much of the work is still ahead. "The heaviest lifting in 2013 will be continuation of flood recovery efforts," he said.
Before and after photos of flooding, Ness announced some better news. He said Duluth is seeing signs of what may be the city's greatest economic expansion since the 1950s. "Progress is evident in several sectors. For example, not only did the aviation industry in Duluth survive the recession, but now it is thriving."
Ness mentioned aircraft maintenance company AAR, and Kestrel Aircraft in Superior, saying they will bring hundreds of jobs to the Twin Ports in the coming years.
In the video, Ness said he expects the new terminal at the Duluth International Airport to bring in a record number of passengers. He said "2012 was the second busiest passenger year in the history of the airport, and that was flying out of the old terminal."
Ness also spoke of the engineering industry, saying Duluth is quickly becoming a national hub, with companies hiring more than 400 new employees over the last few years. He said that growth looks to continue.
Meanwhile, he said "over the last 5 years there has been over $740 million of construction - more than any 5 year period in Duluth's history."
Construction will continue in 2013, according to Ness. He said some projects include renovations at the Norshor Theatre and the construction of an $80 million corporate tower.
To watch the full address, visit the City of Duluth website.