PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover delivered the State of the City address Friday at Rivers Casino, highlighting its success and others in the city, along with future plans to bring new businesses, grow offshore wind and expand the entertainment district.
The success of Rivers Casino created the district after bringing millions to the Portsmouth economy as well as over 1,200 permanent jobs.
“We want to be that place,” Glover said. “We want to diversify our economy. What the entertainment district has allowed us to do is to create a vision for just that.”
Decreasing crime was also a big topic, as violent crime rates continue to steadily increase in the city.
Portsmouth plans to fight that rise with advanced technology.
The city will implement a crime center and city-wide cameras that will be able to pick up a cars’ make, color and license plate.
“That’s really cutting-edge information, and it’s real time, and we’ll be able to see what is going on, where it’s going on, which will allow for us to act in a more appropriate and efficient manner,” Glover said.
He also touted the city’s efforts in ending homelessness, as they gave 388 beds to people without a home.
Portsmouth City Councilman Vernon Tillage said the city must be unified if they want to see growth.
“We’re going to focus on having a unified message,” Tillage said, “making sure that we have a unified goal and making sure that we are able to have measurable results.”
Glover detailed the city’s first steps in expanding Portsmouth’s entertainment – one that includes building a hotel for Rivers Casino.
“We can have more events,” Glover said, “if we have that hotel on site. “