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Our history, future collide in a super September for city

Last Updated on October 9, 2016 by cassnetwork

We’ve invited Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell to share updates from the city in a monthly column on CassCountyOnline.com.

Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell
Logansport Mayor
Dave Kitchell

As summer turned the corner into fall in September, the city of Logansport is gradually showing signs that we are turning some corners together.

September was a month ushered in by word that Logansport was selected as one of two cities in the state for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative. Through state support from Purdue, Ball State and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, a broad-based coalition of Logansport residents and community leaders were chosen to lead a discussion focusing on Logansport’s future direction, as well as Cass County’s. This process will advance a community agenda established separately from our city administration agenda in order to further the goals of meeting our community needs and fostering a stronger community. We’re fortunate to have nearly two dozen local residents involved in this process, and they will each commit 100 hours of their time to the city’s future. It is the kind of exercise really progressive communities in Indiana are doing that leads to bigger and better things for everyone.

Another planning initiative through the Lilly Endowment is including Cass and 11 other counties. We’re fortunate to have Lilly as a partner in attracting, retaining and expanding our high-wage employers. This initiative may serve to spur that in this region for a generation to come.

Volunteers, including some of our own city employees, made United Way’s Live United Day possible. In addition to the work they performed, it’s important to focus on the new United Way fund drive and all the volunteers who make that possible. I hope everyone can help put United Way over the top in Chris Armstrong’s initial campaign. We in the Mayor’s Office have increased the giving level of the office this year, and it is my sincere hope that people from throughout the community will follow suit.

September also was witness to a great scene at Boondocker’s on a Saturday night: A fund-raiser for public art at the corner of Fifth Street and Erie Avenue. More to the point, Pam Leeman and volunteers from Logansport’s Italian-American community sponsored an authentic Italian feast, course by course, that will be talked about for years.

Any month is memorable when you can say your community received word that it has the Indiana Teacher of the Year. Our congratulations go out to Jitka Nelson, one of my former colleagues, who I’m proud to say is a shining example of naturalized Americans who contribute to the only nation ever formed by immigration. And speaking of education, September was a month when Trine University cut the ribbon for the renovation of the former Salin Bank building. I also want to note that we presented the first Margaret Newby Teacher Awards to Kathy Bahnaman and Marla Sellers.

September was a month when we also celebrated a look back at Logan Machine’s first 100 years and looked proudly forward to its next 100 thanks to Jay Duerr, the third generation of the Duerr family to lead the company.

The annual Logansport firefighters boot drive raised a record amount.

Our assessed valuation rose and it was boosted by our decision to waive a portion of the Tax Increment Financing fees captured by the city.

McDonald’s on U.S. 24 East moved closer to reality.

Our renovated Web site is nearing completion and we have two new housing projects starting as we wrap our latest round of blight elimination and owner-occupied rehabilitation funding.

As always, please contact us if we can help you, your family, your organization or your business. It’s an honor to serve you.