In real time, Logansport gains a ranking that matters

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

Logansport Mayor
Dave Kitchell

Maybe it’s the sports fans among us who have driven us to talk about things that are ranked highly, from the best-dressed celebrities, to the best places to retire to the best colleges and universities.

Rankings are often if not usually subjective and can change from week to week.

But when any city in America is ranked No. 1 in the nation, it is cause for reflection on what that means. Last month, Realtor.com came out with its 2018 rankings for the Top 10 Affordable Small Towns Where You’d Actually Want to Live in the U.S. Of all the cities and towns with 10,000 to 50,000 people in the 3,000 counties nationwide, Logansport emerged No. 1.

Reactions locally I’ve seen range from absolutely no surprise to shock that somehow we could be ranked ahead of so many cities in California, Florida, Texas, the Carolinas, the East Coast and the upper Midwest. While many Logansport citizens were basking in the sunshine in Florida over Spring Break, many of us shivering here were basking in the recognition that Logansport has succeeded in garnering attention for things that matter – public safety, affordable housing costs, low unemployment and parks and other quality of life amenities that, for a city our size, are probably second to none in at least Indiana.

Aside from that ranking, which spiked our posts and post engagements on the city Facebook page, March was a good month for the community. The city council met during Spring Break to forward tax abatement incentives for the expansion of Myers Spring and Matthew-Warren. Combined, the two local companies will create an additional 50 jobs in the community. The project will expand the tax base for the city and create increased demand for local utilities. The Matthew-Warren project in particular is good news because earlier in this decade, it was shedding jobs to Illinois. Now, some of those jobs are returning to Indiana.

Another positive during March were the projections that the population loss in Cass County is grinding to a halt after a decade of decline. Census projections show the county had a net loss of just 19 people from July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017. That was the fourth lowest population decline in the state, but those statistics were compiled before other job announcements locally.

Our investments in infrastructure continue, and those efforts were visible on Logansport’s East Broadway boulevard. Logansport Municipal Utilities crews completed the installation of new Streetscape light poles with 21st century LED lighting that will dramatically reduce the civil city cost of lighting the city. The new lights also provide greater brightness for safety.

Work on the 18th Street Bridge began during the month. The city and county collaboratively are executing plans to improve the surface and railings on the bridge. For the first time, lighting will be added to make 18th Street safer and more inviting to visitors.

Efforts to demolish abandoned and condemned structures continue. When the 18th Street Bridge reopens later this year, visitors will notice the former Iannelly’s market at 18th and Woodlawn has finally been removed.

Although an early April snow may not signal it, it is spring, and that means local residents will be able to apply for our 50/50 matching curb and sidewalk program through the Street Department at Sixth and Race streets. I expect many will again take advantage of the program to improve their properties.

Baseball practices have already begun, and many will notice the recently completed press box at Crain Field in Fairview Park. If you haven’t noticed, a new roof is being installed on the carousel at Riverside Park. Construction of new restrooms at Riverside continues.

It’s our pleasure to serve you and to further Logansport as a community where you’d actually want to live, and others will want to live, work and play, too. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to call us at 574-753-2551 or e-mail me at dkitchell@cityoflogansport.org.