HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Quality of life is defined as 'the standard of health, comfort, and happiness experienced by an individual or group' and if you lived in Huntsville this past year, you could see the city’s commitment to just that. From being named the best place to live, to all the working space exploration, you can say Huntsville had a pretty good year.
Today many gathered at the Von Braun Center for this year's State of the City address. This year's theme "quality of life infrastructure" which Mayor Battle says is the key to what makes the city so great.
" Quality of life touches all, and it's very hard to wrap your arms around," Battle stated. "But you can ride your bike down a scenic greenway, and that's quality of life. You can meet some friends on a pickleball court, it's quality of life. Quality of life can also be about how we feel about our well-being, about our safety, and about our security is something we're always looking to safeguard and improve."
Among the many projects to see fruition, over the next few years is the second phase of Mayor Battle’s Restore Our Roads initiative. The projects, which will cost an estimated $800 million, will enhance traffic flow around the city and in and out of Redstone Arsenal.
“With growth, we may not be able to provide an 18-minute commute for everyone, but we’re working to keep traffic moving, safe
, and manageable,” Mayor Battle said. “None of these projects would be possible without careful planning, wise spending and strong relationships with our regional, state and federal partners.”
Mayor Battle also touched on the City’s historic growth in the commercial, industrial and residential construction sectors. He said the City’s Inspections Department issued more certificates of occupancy in the last year since the department began keeping records in 1983.
He also touched on the subject of affordable housing, which has been a big concern for families in the area. While a concrete plan has not been finalized, Battle says the city has been working on several ideas.
"We're looking at, you know, how to do how to do ancillary housing, how to do housing with a main house and then maybe you have a carriage apartment behind it, how to work some of those things in that fit very well with affordable housing," Battle states. "We're working with several nonprofit groups and each of our goals is to be able to fix up some houses that need to be fixed up, but they become affordable housing at that point."
Mayor Battle also proudly highlighted the 24% growth in employment in the Huntsville metro area over the past 12 years, not in just the high paying sectors but for everyday individuals as well.
"We have a full gamut of opportunity for people out there," Battle states. "When you start looking at it, we have the entry level jobs that have always been here. We had the upper hand jobs which were, you know, aerospace jobs, rocket scientist, etc., etc., but we really didn't have the middle-class jobs. We've been able to establish a good middle income area, 40 to $60000 a year that you can go out there and make. It gives people an opportunity to take a job and to put a roof over their head, put food on the table and raise a family."
Visit Huntsville city website to watch Mayor Battle’s full 2022 State of the City Address.