Mayor boasts 149 days in reserves during State of the City address

Mayor boasts 149 days in reserves during State of the City address
Photo: Phenix City Council discusses finances during the annual State of the City address. Photo|Denise DuBois

Last week, Phenix City officials talked to interested community members about the city’s financial state at the annual State of the City address. 

Mayor Eddie Lowe walked through the General Fund balance sheet and Debt Service Stress Test sheet. He revealed that the city has an annual budget of $43.7 million and a total of 149 days of operating expenses in reserves. 

The city has an S&P “AA-/Stable” rating as of September 2018. The assessment points included “strong management with good financial policies and practices, very strong budgetary flexibility, and very strong liquidity, with total government available cash at 24.2 percent of total governmental fund expenditures.” The report also noted that city’s market had grown by 3.3 percent over the past year to $1.6 billion in 2017. 

Lowe discussed the city’s infrastructure and projects that were under construction and in preliminary engineering. Those include: 5th Street South resurfacing and improvements from Seale Road to US 431, resurfacing Brickyard Road from Dillingham to State Docks Road, resurfacing Brickyard Road from State Docks Road to city limits, resurfacing South Railroad Street from the beginning to Stadium Drive, resurfacing South Railroad Street from Stadium Drive to Summerville Road, and the Seale Road Bridge replacement. The Opelika Road bridge replacement at Cutrate Road is listed as “under contract.”

From 2015 to 2019, the city lists 17.51 miles of road projects at a cost of $3,050,522. 

Utility rate comparisons were a topic of conversation. Lowe said the city still has lower rates than anywhere else in the area. 

Commercial developments in 2019 included the Villages at Crosswinds, which is still under construction; 280 & Main, a development that houses Planet Fitness and Roses, which will soon occupy a space in the strip; Phenix City Marketplace, which includes Culver’s and Aldi; and Phenix City Station that opened with Moe’s, Aspen Dental, and T-Mobile. Del Taco, Jack’s, Popeye’s, the Art Park, and Brickyard Bike Co. rounded out city developments. 

The economic impact was 289 jobs and a value of $29.2 million. 

Industrial developments at Vectorply, Daechang Seat Company, The Game, and Supply Chain Solutions total 233 jobs and a $26.3 million impact. 

Lowe encouraged residents to stay aware of what’s going on in the community by keeping up with the city’s social media pages, attending meetings, and contacting city council representatives.