Charity starts at home in big way in city

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

An old proverb proved to be as true as ever last month in Logansport.

Logansport Mayor
Dave Kitchell

When Milt Cole stepped up at a downtown press conference called by officials from the Cass County Family Y, what he said was worth hearing – and a lot more. The long-time businessman and owner of Cole Hardwood announced he was contributing $1 million to a $3.5 million capital campaign for the Y. A room full of local residents applauded. Before the month was out, city council members tentatively pledged another $500,000 over five years and Logansport Savings Bank stepped up to pledge another $200,000. Just like that, a 50-year-old facility located in one of the oldest areas of the city will bring new life to a neighborhood and the area at the edge of downtown. As Brian Morrill, a former Y executive director said later, there may not have been a $3 million investment in downtown Logansport in his lifetime.

As Milt said when he presented his gift – and he has said before – there isn’t anything our community can’t accomplish when we work together.

That might have been the same thought some of our young baseball and softball players had on their minds during the month. Our all-star boys pitched and slugged their way to state finals and semi-finals appearances and the Logan Pride 12 and Under team finished national runner-up in a tournament in Columbus. Rains played havoc with local tournaments, but motel and hotel rooms and restaurants filled thanks to the tourney hosted by our local committee headed by Mike McMahan and Logansport Youth Baseball. The same could be said of the second annual Sue Jones Tournament at Aim-Hi Park. The city-sponsored event attracted 10 teams thanks to local organizer Bob Peconga.

Despite all the recent high school and college grads entering the local work force in June, it was a month when unemployment inched slightly up to 3.8 percent – better than two neighboring counties and all but two of our peer counties in the North Central Conference. Indiana’s unemployment rate has been below 4 percent for four years, and our local rate ranks below every surrounding state’s rate.

Our local redevelopment commission committed dollars for the new supermarket project at the former North Third Street Marsh. Even with the closure of the Market Street Bridge, new businesses sprung up on West Market. Terry Osborn sought and received zoning approval to renovate and open a car lot at the former Steve Taylor Auto Sales, which has been vacant for years. Mom’s Taxi re-emerged to fill the former Craig’s Sunoco Building. And the sale of the closed Zip-Thru at West Market and Cicott was finalized.

B&K East was leveled, and across the street from it, a new business opened.

City paving crews cleared the way for new surfacing in the east end. The Logansport Parks and Recreation Board welcomed former parks administrator Jan Fawley back to her post. And the city’s housing master plan hit full throttle when a consultant visited Logansport to gather data on the housing stock and tour the city’s targeted neighborhoods for new housing.

Cass County fair-goers had a chance to participate in the Logansport Re-Imagined work done by its

committee.

Logansport housed a health care town hall at Ivy Tech Community College, with representatives from business, education, government and health care participating.

Alas, a busy summer is about to give way to school bells, and a taste of football weather is already in the air.

It’s a privilege to serve you, and if you have a problem, a comment or an idea, please feel free to contact our office at 753-2551, or e-mail me at dkitchell@cityoflogansport.org.