Friday, Jan. 11, 2013
Odom gives final “State of the City” address to chamber
By Bethany Bashioum
Outgoing Belton Mayor Jimmy Odom gave his farewell to the post he has held for seven years during the mayor’s annual “State of the City” address Jan. 8 at the Belton Chamber of Commerce Meeting.
In his opening remarks, Odom thanked the community for allowing him to serve the city for a number of years.
“I want to thank everybody for your continued trust in my leadership as I move onto the county,” Odom said. “I am very proud of the accomplishments that happened in 2012.”
An ongoing joke since Belton native Tate Steven’s rise to fame, the mayor of “Tatenation” also displayed an artist’s rendering of the city’s plan to paint one of the city’s water towers in honor of the music star.
The plan to paint the water tower was unveiled during Odom’s few minutes on national television during FOX TV’s finale of “The X Factor.”
In order to cover the $8,000 cost to paint the tower, Odom started an account at the Bank of Belton for community members to donate funds. The name of the account is “Paint the Water Tower Fund,” and about $5,000 more is needed.
Odom asked area businesses to do what they can to help raise funds.
“This is exciting for our city,” he said.
“We could not have paid for the kind of advertising that we’ve had over the last several months and I want to thank the staff for putting this together and we’re going to get this done.”
In his report, Odom said the future is bright for Belton and the opportunities presented by the addition of Interstate 49 will only help the city.
“I don’t know if we really understand what that really means to our community,” he said. “But to have Frontage Road on U.S. 71/I-49, there is a lot of interstate stuff out there will only come because it’s an interstate.”
Odom said the development of the interstate has the potential to bring in as many as 5,000 jobs in the next five years in the Cass County area.
In 2012, there was a total evaluation of more than $1 million in residential remodeling permits, $6.4 million in new commercial permits, and $3 million in commercial remodeling.
“Belton has continued to maintain a strong commercial presence in the market,” Odom said.
Odom also took time to acknowledge the progress of the Belton School District and the high school expansion, as well as Metropolitan Community College’s establishment in the community.
Lastly, Odom briefly discussed the city’s plan to put a $14.5 million bond issue on the April ballot for city wide public works improvement projects, and said more information will be released in coming months.