Energy, economic development on city agenda

Last Updated on May 2, 2017 by cassnetwork

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

Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell
Logansport Mayor
Dave Kitchell

Charles Dickens’ most famous lines ever written were “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times” and those words often apply to our lives as it has in the past month.

To employees of Logansport’s J.C. Penney store at the Logansport Mall and the Marsh Store on North Third Street, April was among the worst of times. They learned their businesses would be closing.

Fortunately, while those closing grab headlines because of the length of time both businesses have been a part of Logansport, the economic news in virtually every other way represents the best of times – low unemployment, a robust stock market and job and income growth. Linked-in sent me an e-mail today that said there are 2,000 open jobs in the Kokomo region that includes us. Some of those jobs are represented by the four employers locally who have answered our call to contact our office to hire any of the workers displaced by Penney’s and Marsh.

Our local economy will soon receive a boost from hirings at LMC Workholdings, better known as Logan Machine, on the city’s west side. At our city council meeting tonight, a tax abatement for more jobs at that manufacturing plant were approved. Our Cass-Logansport Economic Development Foundation is a busy place right now, because LMC isn’t the only project both Bill Cuppy and myself are focusing on to bring more jobs to the city. In fact, we expect at least one special meeting of the Logansport City Council will be held this month and perhaps a second next month to accommodate fast-track schedules for economic expansion in our city. Memorial Hospital has set the wheels in motion to begin construction on its cancer center this summer. Further investment is in the works to upgrade an east end housing complex that will represent a multi-million investment. In the past two weeks, our office has been involved in some serious discussions about the future of the Logansport Mall property and Logan Square. We’re listening to people who are not only interested in investing in those properties, but other areas of our city, including the Heartland.

If you haven’t heard, the city is moving ahead with plans to convert streetlights to energy saving LED lights. The test areas will be downtown from Third Street to Eel River Avenue on Broadway and on the boulevard in the east end. New lighting, thanks to the Logansport Redevelopment Commission and the Logansport Municipal Utilities, should be installed by the end of the year.

For the second year in a row, the council has approved money for more façade improvements downtown, as well as summer internships with local businesses and industries. Our traffic management consultant is preparing recommendations for improvements to the Burlington Avenue interchange and other heavily traveled areas. But as we head into late spring, it’s important to remember and celebrate the best of times – proms, graduations and weddings. Our LHS high school students had a terrific and safe  prom. Let’s all do what we can to ensure that the celebrations ahead are Logansport’s best of times.

As usual, if you have any comments or questions, please contact me at dkitchell@cityoflogansport.org.