City’s housing needs come into focus

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

Logansport Mayor
Dave Kitchell

The number of political signs in Logansport yards far outnumbers the “For Sale” signs these days.

Demand for Logansport housing is up and expected to be the lowest in November that it has been all year.

The timing for the release of a housing market study for the city last month identified a need for up to 400 new residences – town houses, single family homes and “row houses.” A Fort Wayne consultant identified east end properties owned by the city, downtown and the site of the former Tipton Elementary School as projected sites for additional housing. The recommendations do not include an additional 40 market rate apartments at Logan Square or an estimated 30 single-family homes on Blight Elimination Properties the city already has committed to support. It’s a positive sign of growth, along with the report’s finding that the city’s official population has ascended above the 18,000 mark again. City population has been increasing since early 2016.

Another sign of growth was the news that both former Marsh supermarkets will be redeveloped. A new Marathon gas station is emerging from the city block that includes the former Marsh on North Third Street where a new independent supermarket is expected to open later this year. Meanwhile, Safeway announced it is pursuing local incentives to open a new supermarket and other amenities at 14th Street where the other Marsh was located.

Another sign of the times was the announcement of a major initiative to add more workers to the Indiana workforce. I attended the announcement with the governor in Indianapolis. Through the cooperation of the Markle Foundation, Walmart and Microsoft, Indiana will work with the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service to develop more workers for the state’s economy.

Along with Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhop, I spoke at a national fair housing conference in Indianapolis. Both Mayor Lienhop touched on community diversity as a strength.

October is Red Ribbon Month nationwide, and in Logansport, our local observance may have been the best ever. A Saturday breakfast at the McHale Community Complex recognized anti-drug efforts in poster and essay form from all four Cass County high schools. Police Chief Rob Smith and Judges Leo Burns and Rick Maughmer attended along with Sheriff Randy Pryor.

The month of October was one in which the state again projected unemployment in our county below 4 percent.

It’s a privilege to serve you as your mayor. If you have a comment, concern or criticism, please contact me at (574) 753-2551, or at dkitchell@cityoflogansport.org.