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Cox upbeat on Centralia

Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 5:04 pm

Running for a second term

In his first speech of the campaign season, Centralia Mayor Chis Cox, discussed what is right with Centralia and the challenges he has faced during his first term as mayor.

Editor’s note, next week we intend to run a similar article regarding former Centralia Mayor Tim Grenke, who is running against Cox on the April 6 election.

Speaking to an audience of 15, Cox covered a variety of city-government-related topics.

Centralia Mayor Chris Cox speaking to the Centralia Kiwanis.

Centralia is in a better fiscal position than several Boone County cities, he said.

“Local sales tax collections are up eight to nine, percent,” he said. “This is not surprising, people are staying home in Centralia, buying their gas, food, produce, rather than going to Columbia to spend their money.”

On the other hand, he warned against “Felling too warm and fuzzy, we are down almost 12 percent on our real-estate tax collections.”

Nevertheless, he said, Centralia is growing and that bodes well for the future. “A lot of homes are being torn down and new ones are going up.”

Cox predicted the next U.S. Census will show Centralia’s population up by “at least 300 more than the last one. People want to get away from Columbia… This is a great place to live and people here pull together to make it that way.”

Again, returning the theme of Centralia weathering the pandemic better than other Boone County towns, he said business is getting back to normal and Centralia only lost two business during the pandemic’s worst moments. “And one of those will probably open back up,” he said referring to Hog Haven BBQ. “But with business the way it’s been it is hard to run a restaurant and a successful catering business at the same time.”

Compared to Columbia, “We’ve weathered things pretty well.”

Part of that weathering, he said, included cost-cutting measures at Centralia City Hall, where three positions, one in the city office and two in the police department, were eliminated for “better efficiencies.”

For the full article, see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.