CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin is looking forward to what 2024 has to offer for the city she has led since 2019.

The two-term mayor delivered her State of the City address Tuesday night from City Hall. A few recurring words of her speech were “excited” and “investment.” She says things feel different in the capitol city, and in a good way.

“I am excited about this year. I say that every year but I am really excited about this year. I promise I am,” Goodwin said.

Amy Shuler Goodwin

Mayor Goodwin said 2023 ended on a high note with plenty of winter-related events downtown that were huge successes including “Light the Night” at GoMart Ballpark. She said that is a forecast of what she believes is ahead.

The State of the City address was something Goodwin wanted to do when she first became mayor as a way to have her and city council members be held accountable for the goals they set out for the city at the beginning of every year. She touted some investments that the city has made over the past five years.

Goodwin said the rainy day fund has grown since 2019 from $4 million to around $17 million. There have also been pension funding methods that have changed that Goodwin is also proud of.

“Because of those financial decisions, we now are afforded in the city an increase in our financial position of $270 million,” said Goodwin.

“We also are experiencing significant increases in our revenue in the city of Charleston,” she added.

Overall government revenue is up 25% and sales tax is 30%, according to the mayor.

“Those are the highest numbers we have seen in a really long time and something that we should be proud of,” said Goodwin.

The city has seen companies big and small make investments in the area. Goodwin said that will be their focus for the rest of 2024, for more investments to be welcomed while also making investments of their own into businesses, roads, sidewalks and services.

Mayor Goodwin also made significant proposals for improvements to be made to existing structures or new building projects to be started this year. One proposal is for the creation of a new state-of-the-art public safety center.

More investments are expected to be made in fire and EMS services. Goodwin said she will also ask city council to approve for the building of a new headquarters for fire and EMS personnel.

“They are there for us and so we should be there for them,” she said.

She’s also asking again for city employees to get a raise, as well as a raise for city police and fire members.

One of the other projects include the start of the Capital Sports Center. The goal is for construction on the facility to start sometime within the next year. She said the city can attract a lot of different sporting events and teams that will generate more money for the city.

“Sports tourism continues to be a growing industry for the city,” Goodwin said. “We’re a sports town, but we’re also an entertainment town.”

Mayor Goodwin also wants to build a new Municipal Auditorium so more events can be held there along with the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. The current Municipal Auditorium “has to be improved.”

A fourth project is building a new Fire/EMS headquarters building and improvements to the city’s 8 fire stations.

Goodwin said the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta was a massive summer hit in its second year back following a lengthy hiatus. The 2023 Regatta saw over 220,00 people and brought in $37.5 million for the city.

“Charleston has always been a city on the rise, but we can always be better and do better.”