City Council: Savannah poverty rate down to 21 percent

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In today's meeting, Savannah City Council said that new statistics compiled by the Savannah Economic Development Authority show that the City of Savannah poverty rate is down to 21 percent from 26.4 percent, which they say meets the current council's goal of reducing the poverty rate by a point each year.

Mayor Eddie DeLoach said "one in five is still in poverty and that's something we still need to work on."

Alderwoman Estella Shabazz said it is still higher than rest of the state but still a great improvement and cause for celebration.

There will be a public celebratory event later this month.

In other news, City Council formally approved adopting Savannah Cultural Arts Center as the name of the new facility at Oglethorpe Avenue and MLK Jr. Boulevard
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Only 163 responses were received from a call for public suggestions, with that name as the overwhelming favorite. Most prominent name among individuals suggested was Bobi Perry. Responses included at least one suggestion for 'Googly Eyes Arts Center."



The controversial decision to decommission the Marine One fire rescue vessel came up during a discussion of the newly completed 2019 City of Savannah budget.

City Manager Rob Hernandez told Council they "were very clear" that they wanted him to totally eliminate the Marine One rescue boat from operation in budget cuts to Savannah Fire and Emergency Services.

Alderman Van Johnson asked who will respond now if there's a fire on the Savannah River. Hernandez replied that now the Georgia Ports Authority/Port of Savannah is expected to be responsible for any fire on the navigable waterway. 
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