COLUMN: City trending up in good ways this summer
We’ve invited Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell to share updates from the city in a monthly column on CassCountyOnline.com.
It’s been said that in some Midwest cities, there are only two seasons – winter and construction.
Fortunately, we’re past the first one for 2018. We’re on the cusp of the second one, and it looks to be one that continues one of many trends that reflect growth in our city.
Last month, we said good-bye to B&K East at 24th and Market. The project that is replacing it will be a Burger King that represents more than $1 million in new investment in the east end. That project alone has catapulted construction for the year ahead of 2017 at this time, continuing a trend of increasing investment in Logansport. We expect more to come throughout the year with interest, visits and conversation in our industrial park. Meanwhile, the construction permit process is moving forward at both the Logan Square apartment project at Third and Broadway and the former Marsh and Hook’s buildings on North Third. Talks continue on both the Logansport Mall and 14th Street Marsh properties and it is possible to have at least one and possibly two new tenants in the industrial park by the end of the year. Downtown, we now have another new business, Fifty Shades of Beauty.
Major infrastructure projects are just starting. The 18th Street Bridge is on track to open Labor Day weekend. By that time, we’ll know details about the Market Street Bridge project, LMU’s East Melbourne Avenue stormwater project that will take up to two years and the reconstruction of West Market from Front to Heath. These projects present a challenge for us to coordinate access to businesses some might consider “stranded” by construction. We don’t want to let that happen.
While some local detours can be anticipated, we’re also working on more street improvements this summer. Already, Water Street, Eberts Road and Humphrey have been paved. The former Salin Bank drive-thru is expected to come down soon. And crews are working on the extension of our Streetscape project downtown in the 200 block of East Broadway.
What has been evident again in the last month is the outstanding work our police and firefighters do on our behalf. The Humphrey Street fire that led to a rescue of an unresponsive man trapped inside in the middle of the night became the stuff of Logansport public safety lore. Police and firefighters working together saved his life. He recovered in time to see the men who put their own lives on the line recognized for their heroism. As I said to them, there are many things we evaluate when we hire police and firefighters, but we can never measure their heart until situations like that one arise. The hearts of our heroes are as big as it gets. We’re fortunate to have them, and I have no doubts that if the call been on other shifts, other officers and firefighters would have responded the same way. We’re fortunate to have people like that working for us.
I spent time last month returning the favor of the Chinese consulate, visiting him for a luncheon in the Windy City. We spoke one-on-one about ways our two countries, Indiana’s sister province and our sister city can work together for cultural exchanges, economic development, education and tourism.
The Logansport Parks and Recreation Department hosted a state parks conference at the Penman Building. As league play began, a new press box at Crain Field opened thanks to hundreds of hours of volunteer effort and tens of thousands in donations. New restrooms at Riverside opened as well, just in time for its peak season.
Finally, there are days when I stay on guard from being too proud of Logansport. I know everyone doesn’t view it to be the great place and hometown I do, and that can be said about any place and anyone. But one businessman who isn’t from here or from Indiana recently visited here and told me even though he was simply looking for an industrial site, we have a very beautiful and interesting city in so many ways. Like any compliment, it means more when it’s not your own family or friends saying it. Let’s do what we can to earn as many of those in 2018 as we can.
It’s a privilege to serve you as citizens of Logansport and ratepayers of the Logansport Municipal Utilities. If you have a comment, a concern, a suggestion or a complaint, don’t hesitate to contact my office at 574-753-2551 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.