Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope gave the 2018 State of the City message on Tuesday to a live audience inside the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

A presentation video has since been uploaded to the official City of Lubbock website that details city accomplishments and improvements for 2017 and also the many hopes and expectations for Lubbock in 2018.

As an overview of 2017, Lubbock is currently at a low unemployment rate of 2.7% as compared to the statewide rate of 3.7% and the national unemployment rate of 4.1%, with over 5,500 jobs added to the Lubbock workforce over the past two years.

City-wide development also saw an increase in construction permits of 23% in 2017, helping make Lubbock the 7th most popular travel destination in Texas, according to the presentation.

Juan Chadis, elected to serve District 1 on the Lubbock City Council, praised community efforts in neighborhood cleanups in 2017 and highlighted Texas Tech’s 2nd annual Tech the Town community cleanup.

Moving on to 2018, the Lubbock City Council has approved over $1 million dollars in funding for public park improvements. That includes at least two new dog parks, pavilions, grills, benches, and picnic tables.

The City Council has also approved over $7 million to be spent on street maintenance and transportation upgrades. Construction efforts continue on the widening of Marsha Sharp Freeway and designs are in the works for up to $45 million dollars of improvements to be made to the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

98th Street between Milwaukee Avenue and Upland is set to be paved sometime in 2018, with funding also approved for improvements to Erskine Street and other unpaved roads.

Drainage projects to reduce city flooding are also underway thanks to a $35 million dollar interest free loan from the Texas Water Development Board.

In public safety, plans for a new de-centralized Lubbock police force were approved late last year. Designs for three new police substations are in the works that will serve East, North, and South Lubbock. A new downtown headquarters, property room, municipal court, and even a crime lab should see construction beginning in 2019. Construction of a new Emergency Operations Center has already been completed, along with the implementation of the city’s new LBK alert system.

The City Council’s new 37-member Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee is hard at work on developing a new 40-year plan for Lubbock. So far, they’ve completed a future land use plan which will help modernize future zoning procedures as the city expands.

In downtown Lubbock, which has struggled to be revitalized over the past decade, is finally seeing improvements, according to the presentation. Notable projects include the $150 million dollar Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences Building which is set to be completed by 2020, and also the rebirth of the new Citizens Tower, which should be finished by fall of 2019.