Logansport made unexpected strides in 2017
We’ve invited Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell to share updates from the city in a monthly column on CassCountyOnline.com.
Looking back on the year just concluded brings to mind many things that we could not have predicted at this point last year.
One is that our unemployment rate entering 2018 would be nearly a full point lower than it was a year ago. Another is what a difference a year made at Logan Square. After the building missed the cut for state funding, we secured, through the county’s help, market rate housing that was better than what we had hoped to have.
We couldn’t have seen the potential for the Memorial Center to be leased to an entity from outside the county and the chance to employ more than a dozen people. We certainly couldn’t expect the Indiana Transportation Museum would come here along with 14,000 passengers on the Polar Bear Express before the end of the year. Or how about the 23-2 Berries who ran the table in winning the North Central Conference?
We also wouldn’t have predicted that 2017 would go down as the year of public safety in our city, but it did. More take home police cars were added. The Logansport Fire Department purchased its first new ambulance – ever. New tornado warning sirens replaced non-functioning ones and automatic electronic defibrillation units (AEDs) were installed in the City Building, the Welcome Center, the airport, the parks office and other city structures for the first time. A text alert system was funded and with money appropriated by the city council and raised through the Mayor’s Tournament, money became available for trail monitoring cameras.
Possibly no one could have predicted that we would be able to land a $50 million investment from Cal Comp in Logansport that created 70 jobs, or that Form 11 property statements would reflect increases in property values in many areas of the city – in some cases, for the first time in many years.
There is much that can’t be predicted, and that is the beauty of a new year. It is the point when potential and the future collide, intentionally or unintentionally.
I’m grateful for those who have invested $85 million in economic development in the city the past two years, but I think we have the potential to do more not only this year, but next year. Expectations can sometimes be hard to manage, but progress never comes to those who don’t want it or don’t work for it. A great example came in the form of Logansport Memorial Hospital which scored national recognition for prenatal care that leads the nation. Yes, that happened in Logansport.
Last year at the State of the City and County Luncheon, I described the state of Logansport as “optimistic” in 2017. As the year unfolded, our administration and all the people who serve on our council, boards and commissions have made it a memorable year.
Want to predict what will happen this year? I won’t. But I will say our city’s fortunes have made a metamorphosis from a time when outsiders – and many among us – would not bet on us to thrive. As 2018 dawns, the only thing I’ll predict is that people won’t be betting against our city anymore. In many sectors, there are people who believe in Logansport and what we can do together.
Here’s to a prosperous 2018 for all of us. It’s a privilege to serve you, and if we can be of any help, please call us at (574) 753-2551 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.