On Wednesday, February 7, local businesses and members of the community welcomed Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. at today’s State of the City address at Dynasty Banquets. First on the stage was Interim Executive Director of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Robert Migliorini, who thanked everyone for attending and introduced McDermott Jr.
“Today gives the mayor an opportunity to speak and the businesses to hear about what's been going on in the city for the past year, along with what the plans are for the next year and years to come. This is the 20th anniversary of him serving as the mayor, and the excitement level is very energetic. It's exciting what's going on – we have people and businesses moving into the city, and the rail line coming in is so awesome for Hammond,” said Migliorini.
McDermott Jr. covered all concerns and future projects coming up for the city while also thanking everyone for coming out for the event, including the person who got him into politics, his father Thomas McDermott Sr. The projects that were touched on include an expansion on the train stations and an expansion on the Hammond Sportsplex downtown. There were also notions of a potential filtration plant.
“Water is the future, but gambling is a luxury. This is not a luxury. Hammond is situated better than any city in America. Our next door neighbor, Chicago, controls water for millions of people, and they started setting the price. We are cheaper than that, so people want our water – it's the same water. We have the potential to distribute massive amounts of water in the Southside of Chicago, but right now we're sort of tapped out. We think that another filtration plant is in order; we want to be a major player of water on the Southside of Chicago,” said McDermott Jr.
McDermott Jr. spoke on the good and bad that has happened over the past few years within Hammond, including game revenue coming from the Horseshoe Hammond Casino, which had representatives in attendance.
The local businesses in attendance have all played a part in the growth and renovation of the city of Hammond.
“I am very optimistic that we are moving in the right direction in downtown Hammond. I am very thankful for everyone in this room – there are so many people in this room that had something to do with all of this. Between the investment made by the federal government, the state of Indiana, the Regional Development Authority, the Region, and the Forum, how far we have come is amazing,” said McDermott Jr.
All-in-all, everyone in attendance got a taste of what is coming for the city of Hammond and how they have grown over the past 21 years of McDermott’s time as Mayor. Hammond has people within its city that are confident and excited for what is up next for them.
To learn more about the City of Hammond, visit www.gohammond.com.