Greenville Mayor gives "State of the County" address

Greenville Mayor gives "State of the County" address (Reporter: Amanda Brannon)

GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Mayor Allen Thomas spoke about the state of the city and county at the Annual Power Luncheon Tuesday afternoon held at Brook Valley Country Club.

Thomas spoke in front of more than forty people.

He talked about the budget and how he feels the city is moving in a positive direction.

Thomas said the city has also seen significant growth in population. Between 2000-2011, the city grew nearly 40% in size.  He said they hope to be competitive with other big cities in the state including: Raleigh and Charlotte.

NewsChannel 12 spoke with the Mayor afterwards to get more specifics about the city's budget.

"This year's budget was a very unique situation. For the first time since the Great Depression, the City of Greenville lost property value so it was a big hole in our budget. But we responded by going to our departments and asked them to tighten the belt. And we became more efficient and we ended up having a 2.5 million tax break for our citizens in Greenville. We're pretty proud of that," Mayor Thomas said.

Thomas did touch on where the city needs to improve. Two main areas include: the sanitation department and road improvements.

"If we don't change the way we do sanitation in our city this will be a multi-million dollar hole," Thomas said.

He added about road conditions in the city, "our plan is to go from a 75 year replacement cycle on our roads to a 25 year replacement cycle. That's all making us a better community."

Jimmy Garris with the Pitt County Board of Commissioners said they hope to improve the city without placing a burden on people in the community.

"We are very innovative in our ways of coming up with additional funding and we will explore every opportunity to see what we can do to generate that revenue without raising taxes. That's our goal. That's our objective," Garris said.

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