Hoover mayor gives State of the City address

Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos gave a State of the City address at the Hoover Chamber luncheon Dec. 17, speaking about advances the city has made in the past year and goals for the year to come.

One of the first things he spoke about was the quest to get a hospital located within Hoover.

“A year ago, we were working hard to get a hospital in the city of Hoover,” he said. “We are still working towards that.”

He said one of the city’s major goals is to become a destination for events, such as the 2010 USA Track and Field Junior Olympic National Cross Country Championships, which will be held at Veterans Park on Dec. 11, 2010.

“This is an event that’s going to bring thousands into our community,” Petelos said.

He spoke about the city’s ongoing cooking oil project, in which used cooking oil is converted into biodiesel fuel for city vehicles.

“In two-and-a-half years, we have recycled 30,000-plus gallons of used cooking oil,” he said. “For people who don’t know what to do with their cooking oil, we can make fuel.”

Petelos said for Hoover to be a true shopping destination, traffic problems must be kept to a minimum.

“I’m very sensitive about shopping,” he said. “We want to protect our retailers and our businesses, and one way to do that is to keep traffic moving.”

He said several road projects happening in the near future, including the Alabama Department of Transportation plan to add extra lanes on Interstate 65, will help carry out that plan.

He applauded the Hoover Police Department for their efforts to keep the city safe.

“Has anybody been on Highways 31, 150 or 280 lately and not seen a police car?” he asked, to laughter.

He also spoke about the police’s willingness to make sacrifices for others when needed, specifically pointing out the case of slain Pelham Police Officer Philip Davis.

“A police officer lost his life last week in the line of duty. It was very senseless,” he said. “But what makes the Hoover police so special is they donated their time, 36 hours, to be in Pelham.”