Jobs, housing and streets are September city highlights
We’ve invited Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell to share updates from the city in a monthly column.
In the month of Labor Day, Logansport found itself with a lower unemployment rate than it had a year earlier, with more jobs on the way.
Perhaps the best jobs announcement this year came last month. Word that Cal Comp is adding 70 jobs and investing $50 million in Logansport made “Inside Indiana Business” in Indianapolis. Investment like that doesn’t happen very often, and what made it better is that it represented jobs being moved from the other side of the Pacific Rim to ours. It also means that the wages paid at Cal Comp will be higher than the local market average. It also builds on Logansport’s tradition as a hub for advanced manufacturing.
The announcement will no doubt mean an even lower unemployment rate is ahead, and it begs the question, “Where will these people live?”
The answer came when the city council approved an economic incentive package for the redevelopment of the Logan Square Office Building for up to 40 market rate apartments. Work on that project had already begun when the city finalized a parking agreement, clearing the way for five loft apartments on Fifth Street. We also spent time this month with an Indianapolis firm that wants to purchase an estimated 30 city-owned lots for single-family dwellings. Our staff continues to work on that project.
Miller’s Merry Manor also announced its expansion plans. Combined with the rest of the progress the city has experienced this year, total construction in the city for the year was projected to surpass the 2016 mark with three months still remaining in 2017.
With crews continuing to work on the repaving and sealing of city streets, the Indiana Department of Transportation announced that the city’s efforts to secure more additional road funding were successful. Logansport will receive $547,000 from the Community Crossings program, which will be matched with local funds. That total was more than Kokomo or Lafayette received. Only one of Logansport’s six peer cities in the state received more funding, but four of the six received none.
Additionally, the city was awarded another state grant to enhance “placemaking” efforts to attract and retain more permanent residents and visitors to our city.
Meanwhile, we are working on resolving downtown flooding problems at the State Theater. The first Mayor’s Golf Tourney raised more than $1,000 for safety measures on city trails. Our community foundation announced generous funding above what was requested for the Salvation Army hot lunch program for the needy.
I was honored to be one of eight mayors hosting a bipartisan summit on climate change in Indianapolis. I was proud to indicate to more than 100 leaders from throughout the state that we are working on Logansport’s first solar energy project.
It is a privilege to serve as your mayor. If you have a comment, a concern or an idea that will make our city a better place to live, work or play, please call me at 574-753-2551 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.