"I know everyone felt the effects of the recession, but we are at a point now where we can start fresh," Mathews told the crowd gathered at the Kennesaw Business Association meeting on Tuesday.
Business-license revenue exceeded projections by 9 percent, Mathews said, bringing in $867,000. And the city's police department was one of only 38 in Georgia and 760 in the nation to be certified by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies when it earned its accreditation this year. The parks and recreation also saw a 7 percent increase in participation from 2008.
The pedestrian underpass being constructed downtown under the CSX tracks is among improvements expected for 2010.
"The vision of a pedestrian underpass began in 1996 when Atlanta hosted the Olympics. While it was scheduled to open in January, weather issues held it back. It will definitely be open by the end of March and for the Big Shanty Festival," Mathews said.
The L-shaped underpass is expected to be 115 feet long and 8 feet tall, with sloped ramps leading into it with no steps.
"I thought his speech was very promising," KBA President Dana Doris said later. "I was pleased with everything he highlighted from 2009, and look forward to continuing our great relationship with the city. Our membership grew in 2009, and continues to see growth, so we see that as being great both for our association and the city."
"We live in the best community in the world," Mathews said. "Thanks to involvement by people like you, I see 2010 as a prosperous year for all of us and look forward to a better tomorrow."