Good things come in threes with one notice in the mail
We’ve invited Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell to share information from the city in a monthly update on CassCountyOnline.com.
If you own property in Logansport, you may have received something in the mail recently simply known as “Form 11.”
When I received mine a couple of weeks ago, it showed me something I liked. The assessed value of my home increased $4,000 over the previous year. After checking with our county assessor and doing a little research, I learned the value had gone down each year for at least the past five years. That’s progress.
You may have read a recent story in the Pharos-Tribune which reported that more frequent market value assessments are leading to reports that many property owners are finding their values are up.
That’s good news for our city in three ways. First, higher property values can translate into lower tax rates, and who doesn’t want that? Second, it means that the greatest investment most people make in their lives – their home – is growing in value and is worth more on the market or to a bank willing to lend them money against it. Third, it’s a sign efforts like the Blight Elimination Program, tidying up properties through code enforcement and the Board of Works, and encouraging historic preservation are slowly working to improve the city. Yes, we still have our share of properties that need attention, but the city dashboard for how that equates to progress is trending positive.
July was a month for enjoying and celebrating not only the Fourth of July at Riverside Park, but the news the Indiana Transportation Museum will be relocating much of its rolling stock here from Noblesville. I signed a memorandum of understanding with the museum’s board to produce short-term and long-term plans for their move that will hopefully return excursion trains similar to those used for the Iron Horse Festivals. The museum still has a 1918 steam engine it used to power the 1988 train excursions in Logansport. The museum’s board and sustaining members’ commitment is a compliment to us and our heritage when you consider that the Indiana Transportation Museum could have relocated most anywhere in the state – but chose Logansport.
Another strong sign for us is the continued support of property owners who are renewing their commitment to our city and their presence in it. One of them is James Curtis of Indianapolis. He recently received approval from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority for an extensive rehabilitation of Cass Plaza Apartments. A $3.4 million state bond together with $195,113 in rental housing tax credits will result in a $4.7 million project to ensure the apartments will be a mainstay at the end of the boulevard for decades to come.
Much of my time over the past month has been consumed with the closure of the Marsh Supermarket chain and its two stores here. I’m hopeful that at least one new supermarket may be here soon, but regardless of when or if that happens, I will do what we can to alleviate the “food deserts” that have been created by the closure.
While the news that J.C. Penney is finally closing and layoffs at Carter Fuel came as no surprise after previous announcements, our unemployment rate continues to be lower than the national average, though moving up slightly when it was below the state average in June. Our current rate is below both neighboring Howard and Miami counties.
The owner of the Logansport Mall has assured me that there is dialogue progressing on its sale and redevelopment. Our streets continue to be addressed and we are finalizing our application for a Community Development Block Grant for the Memorial Center. If we’re successful in securing that $500,000, together with $125,000 committed from the city and county and another $60,000 from the Redevelopment Commission, I’m confident we will have finally turned a corner on that property, which is long overdue.
Finally, one of the best moments in the past month was not in our city, but just outside it. Sue Jones, 88, returned for an inaugural softball tournament sponsored by the city. Dozens of girls from Indiana, Michigan and Illinois had a chance to meet her and to spend a weekend in our community.
August means the start of school and as students begin riding bicycles and walking through neighborhoods, we hope drivers will be mindful of looking out for extra traffic at intersections.
It is a privilege to serve as your mayor, and if you have a question, comment or concern, please reach out to us at 753-2551 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.