February: Seeing the light and not the shadows in our city

Last Updated on February 9, 2017 by cassnetwork

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

Logansport Mayor
Dave Kitchell

One of the priorities of the new state administration is broadband Internet access in rural areas of our state.

To that end, the City of Logansport will host a public hearing for city and county residents at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the city council chambers. At our request, Drew Klacek of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute will present in-depth information about the correlation between Internet access and population growth in Indiana over the next quarter century. We also will be hearing about upcoming improvements to the existing Comcast Internet network in Logansport.

We want to gauge public input on the need for Internet service in areas of the city and county and opinions on the quality and cost of services currently provided locally. In an age when students are coming home from school with computers in their backpacks, access is as important as ever. In some ways, we have to think of the Internet as a service provided to this generation as electricity from REMCs were to previous generations in rural portions of Indiana.

That’s the first of two public meetings we are sponsoring this month. The second has tentatively been set for Feb. 27 at McHale Performing Arts Center. We’ve asked consultants to help us present the updated master plan for the Cass County Memorial Center. As many may have heard or read, we are in the process of applying for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state of Indiana. If we’re successful, matching local funds will provide more than one-third of the funding necessary to bring the center up to standards that will ensure the integrity of the building for decades to come.

Throughout this year, I’ll be working on my list of “17 for ‘17” goals for our administration. One of those goals is to complete the new five-year master plan for the parks system and analyze and adequately fund our parks and recreation department. In comparison with our peer cities in Indiana – some of which have neither a city golf course or a pool – our funding pales in comparison. In fact on a per capita basis with Fort Wayne, we spend roughly half what is spent per resident on city parks.

To be on par with our peer cities, we’d have to increase our parks budget by 20 percent. That would be another $130,000 in funding this year.

Meanwhile, there is renewed interest in building new industry in the Cass/Logan Industrial Park and from firms that are taking a serious look at redeveloping the Logansport Mall.

We potentially have a unique alignment in September with a new Hispanic Heritage Month Festival that’s still in the early planning stages.

This month, signs honoring Jitka Nelson as Indiana’s 2017 Teacher of the Year are welcoming visitors to Logansport. We’d also like to welcome Allan James, the new general manager of Logansport’s three radio stations.

Volunteers will again be serenading throughout the community for the community foundation. This weekend, our staff will be joining other residents from the community at the annual For the Love of Education dinner at Ivy Tech.

And the Berries continue to show the heart and soul of a pending North Central Conference champion, conquering foe after foe in one of the most rugged conferences in the state of Indiana. If you have not yet seen them play, this is a poised team that Coach Pat Skaggs has assembled. In workmanlike fashion, they have dispatched every North Central Conference team in our sectional. And in case you didn’t know it, Logansport hosts the regional. What a great season this has already been. Let’s make it even better for the young men who have sacrificed hundreds of hours to become a top 10 team this season. They’re currently in the top five.

If at any time you have a comment or concern about our community, please don’t hesitate to let us know by phoning us at (574) 753-2551, or via e-mail at