Mayor Rogero gives State of the City address

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville Mayor, Madeline Rogero gave her last State of The City address on Friday, April 26. The address took place at the future site of Knoxville's Urban Wilderness Gateway Park in South Knoxville, a place where Rogero has put a lot of focus on during her terms.

Rogero was sworn in as Knoxville's first female mayor in 2011.

One project Rogero has been working on is to create a new Public Safety Headquarters for the Knoxville Police, Fire and City Court. They are still focusing on the old St. Mary's Hospital as the location for it, because they can make use of existing buildings and it's centrally located. The next step is to finalize a deal with Tennova to have the land transferred to the city.

"This centrally located property, after renovation and some new construction on the southern half of the site, will provide modern, efficient, accessible space that meets current and future needs of our current and professional and accredited police and fire department, city court and the city pension office," Rogero said.

She said at the May 7 City Council meeting, she will present those plans, that with the Council's approval, will make the transition a reality.

Another goal of Rogero's is to bring back the Tennessee Smokies baseball club to downtown Knoxville. The Smokies left for Sevier County in 1999.

"The team owner has secured land and invested resources in creating preliminary designs and layouts of a ballpark on the eastern edge of the Old City. We have researched successful ballpark models that serve the community year-round and have spurred significant economic investment," Rogero said.

She also said over the last year, they have purposefully reserved fund balance and borrowing capacity in order to make this happen. Since she believes she has run out of time to secure the deal before her term ends, she hopes to see the next mayor and council make it a reality.

The full 2017 year in review is available for the public to read here.

According to the report, " Our Police Department responded to more than 200,000 calls for service; our 311 Call Center specialists answered more than 166,000 queries; our Engineering Department oversaw the repaving of more than 50 miles of City streets and the replacement or construction of more than 18,000 linear feet of sidewalk; the Fire Department responded to more than 21,000 calls for emergency service and its Fire Prevention Division performed more than 3,000 property inspections; the Special Events Office coordinated plans for more than 1,500 festivals, races, fundraisers and concerts; and our Public Service Department completed more than 4,000 work orders, ranging from pothole repairs to greenway construction and ditch cleaning."