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State of Hamilton County: Moving in right direction

Sarah Ramsey

Hamilton County is moving in the right direction and continuing to be strong despite facing challenging times. That's how Commission President Chris Monzel led off his 2014 State of the County address Thursday.

The speech focused on the three main priorities from last year's address: county infrastructure, finances and economic development.

Monzel pointed out the county is looking at how to best utilize its building stock and also take advantage of its newest acquisition - the former Mercy Mount Airy hospital site.

"We can utilize this campus as an opportunity to truly transform how we deliver services to the citizens of Hamilton County," Monzel said.

The county coroner will move to Mt. Airy once the site is ready. Monzel estimates that could be in 2016. Other county and city offices are also being considered for the site.

Monzel also highlighted cuts to the county and the sewer district's budgets, and pointed out the county actually made money last year by selling some parcels near the Banks project.

"We are right-sized," Monzel says, "1700 employees less. We've reduced our budget $71 million. It's the right things that we have to do to keep Hamilton County moving forward in the right direction."

See slides from Monzel's speech: