Mayor touts Hoover’s economy, education system during ‘State of the City’

HOOVER – A growing and diverse economy is one of the many reasons residents can be thankful to live in Hoover, Mayor Frank Brocato said during an annual State of the City address given at the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 16.

Brocato noted the upcoming establishment of a business incubator, Regions moving 700 jobs to its Riverchase campus and a recent capital investment by McLeod Software to relocate and consolidate its headquarters in the Meadow Brook Corporate Park.

“Even though there are national challenges in the retail sector, we are holding our own,” Brocato said and noted Hoover’s investments in its digital infrastructure will prepare the city for future growth. “We’ll continue to diversify our Hoover economy.”

The Hoover Metropolitan Complex is also an economic engine for the city, Brocato said during the address at Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel.

Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin called the Met one of the top two college baseball facilities in the country, along with the site of the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, after his Commodores won the 2019 Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament that was played in Hoover, Brocato said.

More than 150,000 people came through the Finley Center in 2019, he said.

Hoover’s government in the past year has also made strides in transparency and adopted a comprehensive master plan, Brocato said.

Residents can now find on the city’s website a breakdown of how tax dollars are spent.

The master plan includes a long-term roadway plan and a bike and pedestrian plan, among other components.

The mayor noted Hoover City Schools’ high placement in recent rankings and the opening of the Riverchase Career Connection Center as highlights for the city’s education system.

“Families choose Hoover because of our school system,” Brocato said.

Thanks to the effort of the Hoover Police Department, the city has seen a 21-percent decrease in robberies from 2018 to 2019, even though 2018’s number of robberies was the lowest in Hoover in many years.

“The city of Hoover built its foundation on public safety,” Brocato said and added that there is now at least one school resource officer in each Hoover school at all times and eight new firefighter positions were created in 2019.

After Brocato’s presentation, the Chamber’s Board of Directors for 2020 was announced.

Paul Dangel of The Wynfrey Hotel is president, Alison Howell Steineker of Alabama Power Company is first vice president, David Custred of McLeod Software is second vice president and Terry Turner Jr. of Gentle, Turner & Sexton is immediate past president.

Other board members include Kathleen Spencer, Adam West, April Deluca, Greg Knighton, Matthew Allen, Emilio Cerice, Jeff McDowell, Lynn Ray, James Robinson, Sandy Syx, Mike White, Tyler Williams and Benjamin Yim.