Council president talks Hoover economy

Published 12:40 pm Friday, December 18, 2015

The city of Hoover could be out of debt by 2022, according to city officials. (File)

The city of Hoover could be out of debt by 2022, according to city officials. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—A debt-free future may be on the horizon for the city of Hoover. The city’s nearly $65 million in debt could be paid off by 2022, Councilman Jack Wright said at a Hoover Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee meeting.

“Hoover surprisingly is going to be out of debt by 2022,” Wright said at the Dec. 3 meeting. “That’s enviable, and I’d be tickled to live in a city like that. No other city looks like that, Hoover leads (the way).”

Fiscal year 2015 concluded with a $64.9 million outstanding debt. The city plans to pay roughly $9 million during the 2016 fiscal year to reduce the debt to $55.9 million, according to a chart Wright handed out. The city will continue to reduce the debt by roughly $10 million each year until 2022.

Along with the possibility of eliminating the city’s debt, Wright discussed Hoover’s economy and the many factors that contribute to its strength, including safety, the school system, transportation and tax policies.

“We’re trying to create the environment in the city that attracts (businesses),” Wright said. “Sales taxes are important, the lower they are the more they attract businesses.”

Wright noted the importance of the police and fire departments in making the city business-friendly.

“Our police do a heck of a job. Our police will track criminals down and people know we’ll chase them down,” Wright said. “Truth is, it’s hard to die in Hoover if our paramedics get there…Our fire department is fantastic, they save lives and that’s important to the economy and business.”

The Hoover City School System also plays a role in the city’s economic success by attracting families to the city and supporting property values.

“Everyone in Hoover has a vested interest in our schools,” Wright said. “Why do people want to come to Hoover? Schools are a primary thing. Schools are a driving force in a vibrant community.”

Wright said he looks forward to continued progress in Hoover over the coming years.

“We’re open to anything if it makes Hoover better and life better for our citizens,” Wright said. “The day we quit trying to be better is the day we cease to be great.”