Monroe Mayor discusses "Monroe Smart" city initiatives in State of the City address

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MONROE, La. (KNOE) Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo discussed "Monroe Smart" city initiatives in the State of the City address on Thursday.

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo discussed "Monroe Smart" city initiatives in the State of the City address on Thursday.

"These and other Smart City initiatives are being embraced and implemented to help provide more efficient services, save taxpayer dollars, and also engage our residents," he said.

These initiatives include a planned "Eye on Water" app that would allow customers to monitor their water usage down to the hour. City media coordinator Rod Washington said the app is expected to be implemented in three to five months.

A video presentation also highlighted the Monroe Transit System providing SPOT, or Spatial Position On Transit. Residents can download the app "to get real-time bus station information via the internet, smartphone, and SMS notification," according to the presentation.

The presentation also highlighted other initiatives, such as the decision to replace more than 3,500 fluorescent light bulbs in city facilities with LED lights. According to the city's website, this saves the city more than $31,000 per year in energy costs.

"Our community development division, they're now using software to help it go paperless, and our Code Enforcement will implement a software called Building Blocks. This will allow citizens to track the progress of code violations they report," said Mayo.

The mayor also highlighted upcoming flood reduction projects coming to the city, as well as what he called a record fund-balance of $14.1 million at the end of the most recent fiscal year, among other topics.

After the address, Monroe mayoral candidate Marie Brown said she didn't hear anything regarding city workers, which disturbed her, and she still had a problem with upcoming plans for a new city arena. She also questioned why some of these problems hadn't been addressed before the election season.

"All the things the mayor talked about just now, all of those are good things. But a lot of those things could have been taken care of before election time, especially the things in the rec center, working with the children. Why must we always wait until it's election time before we even hear from you? And how do we know these things are going to be done after the election. So that's why we need to make sure that we take care of these things way ahead of time," she said.

In a statement, Monroe mayoral candidate Fredrick Louis said:

"Today Mayor Mayo gave the the state of the City address. The truth for too many citizens is that the things listed have been too long in coming. It seems now that projects are brought to light that have been absent in non-election years. With all the touted “achievements” it's sad to say that not all citizens can enjoy the “progress” that has been made. For example, Tower Armand, he said was woods when the he took office and is now a flourishing district but citizens who live in the area of Winnsboro Road, Second Street, or Renwick Avenue have seen the yearly deterioration and decline of once prominent neighborhoods with no real plan for change. Finally, though the numbers he gave say progress to him, the question remains, Has our perceived progress brought city unity? When only a minority of your citizens can agree that progress has been made the answer is a resounding, “No!”"

KNOE also reached out to Monroe mayoral candidates Friday Ellis and Ronnie Scott for comment but did not hear back.

For the list of smart city initiatives, click here .

To watch the full address, click here .