County celebrates successes, plans future - WNEM TV 5

County celebrates successes, plans future

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Business and political leaders listen to speakers during the State of the Community luncheon. WNEM Business and political leaders listen to speakers during the State of the Community luncheon. WNEM
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

Moving Bay County forward was the message of this year's State of the Community luncheon.

"Ensuring that we all sit at the table and talk about the different ideas that are coming up, understanding that we're not all going to agree but how are we going to advance the call," said Ryan Carley, president and CEO of Our Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

Government and business leaders from across Bay County heard from the city manager and county executive on the progress made over the last year.

"I think we've got a lot of good things going for us here in the bay area, not only in the city, but the surrounding townships," said Tom Hickner, Bay County executive.

Some of the progress being made in Bay City includes a balanced budget for the city and regrowth, including the uptown development project that continues to grow and welcome new businesses.

"The economic development that's occurred in the city obviously we've got the uptown we've got other things the down town is going through a transformation with more businesses," said Bay City manager, Rick Finn.

Leaders said it's important for the city, county and the townships for all work together in order to more forward.

"The key is that we've got to work together set some common goals and objectives and then implement them," Hickner said.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee said it’s good to see the collaboration between community leaders.

"The city and the county have a shared vision as to the direction of the community and when we see county and city government working together like this there's no limit to the amount of good that can be accomplished," Kildee said.

Hickner said the county has made progress in several areas over the last year including economic development efforts and improving the 911 system. 

But Hickner said there are still challenges ahead.

“We've got to deal with some infrastructure issues that the city and townships face still a lot of potential for the riverfront development with uptown being a key part of that," Hickner said.

Finn said what Bay County seen so far is just the beginning, there's still a lot of progress to be made.

"Bay City is going through transformation right now there’s so many different positive things that are happening and there is more to come," Finn said.

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