M.A. Ferguson-Rich
Ohio.com correspondent


City Manager Anthony Bales gave a state of the city address to the Rotary Club of Hudson on Wednesday.



2012 was "a good year for Hudson," Bales said.



Despite the economic climate, Bales feels there are signs the economy is beginning to recover both nationally and locally.



He cited an increase in new business in the city, growth in existing business and a gain in residential construction applications



Over 500 new jobs were created in 2012, most of which were generated by Catastrophe Management Solutions' new call center.



Collection Auto Group brought 35 jobs to Hudson by opening a Volkswagen dealership at the former Clarke Ford.



Gables of Hudson has located an assisted living facility in Hudson along with Heritage of Hudson for skilled care. They will eventually bring 160 new jobs. 



Bales said 114 new dwelling units were approved last year, including rental units for Trails of Hudson.  This development suggests to Bales that businesses are "more willing to invest in new housing construction, which had stalled since the housing bubble burst."



He described the city as financially stable and forward thinking.



It ended the year with a $10.3 million unencumbered general fund balance, which is over a $1 million increase from 2011.



The city also maintained its AAA bond rating with S and P.

However, not all information was positive.  Bales said that by the end of 2013, the city will feel the impact of state cuts in the Local Government Fund and the elimination of the estate tax. The loss of revenue will be about $2 million annually.



Bales said the city is seeking to do more with less, and has recently consolidated some city departments into new leased space on Executive Parkway



The consolidation will improve efficiency and generate savings, according to Bales, by reducing duplication of equipment and services.  There will be possible reductions in staff through attrition.



Bales said he is "optimistic about the future, because Hudson is a city that has always been able to transform ideas into action."