State of the city . . . part two
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 10:00 PM
This is Part II reporting on Mayor Todd D. Barton's "State of the City" address to the March Lunch with the League.
Mayor Barton stated that citizens expect better lines of communication with local government than ever before. Later in March, the Mayor will be hosting his 27th community forum event which provide residents with the opportunity to speak directly with the Mayor about their concerns, issues and ideas for making Crawfordsville even better. The new website is up, and social media presence reaches thousands of people every day.
Cooperative efforts played a significant part of the 2013 success. The new splash park was cooperative effort between the city, Union Township, and the Montgomery County Community Foundation and will be fully functional for the 2014 season.
The city worked in joint effort with Crawfordsville Main Street and MCCF to have the clock tower at Main and Water refurbished. They also worked together to replace and update the downtown holiday lighting. Mayor Barton praised the Holiday Décor Committee for creating a festive and inviting environment in downtown.
Efforts to promote tourism and event attraction are being enhanced. Crawfordsville successfully hosted the Great Lakes Valley Conference Swimming and Diving Championship bringing hundreds of participants and visitors to the community. Two more motocross events will be held this year in addition to the Ironman. Multimillion dollar athletes will be performing on live network television in our community and bringing thousands of visitors to our area.
The Mayor praised the Street Department which has done a great job in spite of record snows and frigid temperatures of meeting the challenges to keep city streets cleared and the city open to business with traffic flowing as normal as possible. Potholes have been repaired, and a major traffic route was improved with the repaving of east Wabash Avenue and installing of a new railroad crossing near California Pellet Mill.
The Crawfordsville Police Department has been restructured to place more officers on the streets, going to a new 12 hour shift staffing arrangement, and increasing the minimum number of officers on streets at any given time from 3 to 4. Three additional officers will be added to department this year to increase safety of the community and that of the officers who protect us.
A major step forward with the Fire Department was the establishment of a fire merit system, providing firefighters with unbiased protection they deserve and removing the process of hiring and promoting firefighters from the political realm.
The Mayor praised the Department of Planning and Community Development which is busier than ever and has played a key role in each of the recent successes. "The amount of work that flows through this department is staggering and they do an amazing job of making it all happen."
The Parks Department continues to provide high quality recreational opportunities for residents of community breathing new life into parks and improving facilities which had suffered from budget cuts several years ago. Fourth of July activities at Milligan Park were bigger last year, and the park was chosen to host the Indianapolis Colts Fan Fest last summer.
Major advances in efficiency of waste water operations have been made, successfully addressing the long-standing discharge violation issues which have now been corrected. Legal matters with DOJ and EPA have been resolved.
Part III of "State of Community" will address the three biggest achievements in 2013-Old Hospital Property, sale of the power plant and Accelplus-as well as continuing challenges and the Mayor's clear roadmap for the future to maintain and improve our quality of life.
The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan, multi-issue political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase public understanding of major policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. All men and women are invited to join the LWV where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement. For information about the League, visit the website www.lwvmontco.org or send message P.O.101 Crawfordsville, 47933 or firstname.lastname@example.org.