Charlie Coons
Charlie Coons
My Plan

What I will continue to do for Crawfordsville

Charlie Coons


I have been laying the groundwork for significant cost-effective improvements to our city, all within the framework of having to do more with less. With the cooperation of the City Council and other officials, in 2012 and beyond, I will push forward with projects that have been started and those that begin in the near future.

 Elmore Street - The next project up on the INDOT grant list after Mill Street is Elmore Street. The large employers along that street need better access to improve traffic flow to their factories, and the residents of that neighborhood need a safer and more attractive neighborhood.

 Nuisance Properties - I will continue to pursue owners of nuisance and abandoned properties, while balancing public safety and neighborhood property values against the cost to the taxpayer of making repairs and demolition. I have met with State and Local Officials concerning both the Old Culver Hospital and the Ben Hur Building, and will continue to use available tools for those properties and others, without breaking the taxpayer bank.

 Sewers - The current sewer system is nearing the limit of its capacity, especially on the south side of the city. I will implement a plan that includes cost-effective improvements that are necessary for Crawfordsville to be ready for future growth. The City should not lose an economic development opportunity because we lack the infrastructure that allows a company to build - and start hiring - promptly.

 Memorial Drive Extension - The county is proceeding with plans to extend Memorial Drive by a bridge across Sugar Creek to link up with U.S. 231 south of the hospital. I will continue to cooperate with the county to make sure this project improves traffic flow for the city, without damaging existing business or the Sugar Creek environment. Properly done, this project will make Crawfordsville a better place to live and do business. Now and in the future, city-county cooperation is crucial.

 Fire Protection - Station #2 on the side of Crawfordsville has served the city well, but it is too small for modern equipment. I have met with and had discussions with various property owners and fire officials about potential sites and I am exploring grant funding options to build a suitable, affordable station.

 Firefighting - Taking advantage of a federal "SAFER" grant, the city hired 8 firefighters to replace retiring and departing firefighters, and to ensure public safety staffing. We used all state and federal funding opportunities to reduce the ultimate cost to local taxpayers. I will continue to try and secure similar grants for the police department.

 Recycling - At the start of my term, the city was spending over $88,000 a year to have recycled materials hauled out of the city. Today, by competitive bidding, the city pays nothing, and convenient drop site exists at the former Mid-States Steel brownfield site, and also behind Crawfordsville High School. I will continue to reduce fees that the city is paying to dump trash, pick up recycling at curbside and I have also joined the Indiana Recycling Coalition to learn further ways to reduce our trash.

 Trash - At the start of my term, residential trash and recycling was collected by assorted city truck using various trucks and crews. Now, one combined trash/recycling truck collects both, with a crew of three. The property tax cost of this sevice has dropped dramatically. I have been open to either monthly billing or trash stickers, as long as trash gets collected promptly and cost effectively.

 Emergency Communications/Dispatch - This year in cooperation with the County Commissioners, E911 public safety answering and dispatching are being consolidated into a new County Communications Center, to be in place in 2012. This cooperation will reduce costs for the city while still providing the level of public safety response city residents require. In addition, city-county joint drug interdiction task force is making the community safer with reduced costs to both entities. I expect further city-county cooperation in areas like purchasing and permitting.

 Inter-departmental Cooperation - We have instituted a number of inter-departmental agreements and executive orders to share resources and reduce overlapping spending expenses like postage. For 2012, I am proposing a central garage to perform routine vehicle repairs and regular maintenance for city vehicles, which will prolong the life of much city equipment. For 2012, the separate positions of building inspector and special projects coordinator will be combined into a Code Enforcement Official.

 Budget - Each year of my term, the city made do with less and each year my department heads were good stewards of your tax money and actually returned money to the General Fund of the city. Thanks to all city employees, as well as the City Council and especially Clerk-Treasurer Terri Gadd, for this cooperation.

 Education - I have worked with the City Redevelopment Commission and IVY Tech regional officials to initiate a new 18,000 square foot IVY Tech Community College Campus at the Crawfordsville Commerce Park. There is more work to be done. Education is a vital part of filling the jobs of today and tomorrow, locally and regionally. The IVY Tech expansion of the new facility in the Commerce Park will add the jobs that need to be, especially in health care. It will be enriched through programs offered and work closely with our local hospital and assisted living facilities for placement possibilities in the near future. It will continue to draw students to its new facility by offering a full 2 year degree program, instead of starting here and finishing in Lafayette, or not at all. It will also offer training programs to students who wish to expand their knowledge to help in their current occupations.

This is not a total list of everything that I intend to push ahead with in 2012 and beyond. For example, there are improvements planned and/or in the works at the airport(runway extension), The Sugar Creek Trail (the trail extension), the park (van shelter), the pool(modernization) and more. There are more areas where costs might be reduced, such as combined purchasing and greater availability of online public services. I look forward to the voters giving me the opportunity to make all of these things happen in my next term, and I ask for your vote on November 8th. Thank you.