SAN ANTONIO – People across the globe are looking to make big changes in the new year, and Mayor Ron Nirenberg says 2020 will bring visible changes for San Antonio as well.
- 2020 will bring new construction to San Antonio
- Accurate census is a top priority
- New transportation projects will help tackle poverty
In a sit-down interview with Spectrum News, Nirenberg talked about everything from the importance of the 2020 census to several construction projects that will impact the city.
One of those construction projects is San Pedro Creek. The downtown portion will see its most significant construction this year. The four-phase project is in the second segment of phase one so it still has a way to go before completion. In 2020, workers will be constructing three prominent attractions, one of which is the Performance Plaza that will be adjacent to the Alameda Theater.
Construction is also ramping up at City Hall on a project to make the building more accessible to everyone. The renovation of the nearly 130-year-old building will cost $38 million. It will include extensive repair of electrical, plumbing, and elevator systems. And for the first time, ramps will be added to the front of the building to increase accessibility. The project of expected to be finished in early 2020.
UTSA's downtown expansion will be one more project the mayor will be watching closely, saying city leaders are working on, "Ensuring that as the university grows in the urban core that it also embraces the vibrancy and culture of the downtown area of San Antonio which is unique in the world."
Both the City of San Antonio and Bexar County already approved land transfers to make the expansion a reality.
But the mayor’s two most important tasks in 2020: make sure everyone is counted in this year's census and get a transportation plan passed by voters.
The mayor says an accurate census it vital for getting San Antonio its fair share of federal funding for years to come.
"We are going to be working with thousands of our neighbors. We have a complete count committee that's set up to ensure that we go door to door if necessary to make sure everyone in this community is counted,” he said.
Mayor Nirenberg also predicts 2020 will be an era of mobility that will play a role in tackling poverty.
"We have the keys to solving it with the choices that we make as a community including the choices we make with transportation. So we are working toward a transportation system that is efficient. That is a quality one that keeps us viable and our economy moving but also allows people to achieve their dreams. Get to work. Get to school and achieve their goals," he said.
The mayor also reflected on 2019 saying the accomplishment that stands out is the creation of Alamo Promise. The program allows for students from participating high schools to attention Alamo colleges without having to pay for tuition or mandatory fees.