Outlook on 2018

Southside mayors share their thoughts on 2017 and goals for the new year

Compiled by Nicole Davis

While the past year was full of ups and downs – from fighting crime and the loss of some great leaders to large development projects and goodwill from local residents – government officials say that 2018 is full of potential for economic growth in Southside communities. Entering 2018, Southside mayors share their goals and hopes for the coming year, emphasizing city revitalization, development projects and work to make their neighborhoods a more inviting place to live. Happy New Year!

Beech Grove celebrated the completion of the Churchman Avenue Sidewalk Project in 2017. *Photo by Nicole Davis.

Beech Grove

Buckley.

Answered by Mayor Dennis Buckley

What were the city’s greatest accomplishments of 2017?

  1. Property values increased by 5.5% for 2018

Lowered our debt obligation

Made significant improvements in public safety equipment

Continued to pave roads and invest in infrastructure

Installation of new sidewalks on Churchman Avenue and on North 9th. Avenue.

Replacement of sidewalk panels throughout our city

Drainage improvements throughout our city.

What is the biggest challenge the city overcame in 2017? How did it do so?

Continuing to fight crime and the use of heroin by increasing patrols, adding an additional officer and collecting unused medications. Teen Court was initiated at Beech Grove High School.

What project(s) are you most looking forward to for 2018?

  1. Preparing for the roundabout construction at Arlington and Churchman.

Preparing for the greenway construction.

Façade planning grant completion for Main Street from Emerson to 8th

Community Crossings ($396,000) Paving grant completion (paving more roads)

Possible awarding of funds for Phase 2 of the greenway, Elm Street reconstruction, and sidewalks on Thompson Road.

St. Francis dismantling is completed.

Beginning the process to add signage at the I-465 and Emerson interchange for “Beech Grove” and cleaning up the area.

Development of a “Master Plan” for the City of Beech Grove.

What do you feel is the greatest strength of your city, going into the new year?

Stable and open government with good functioning departments that provide an excellent service to the citizens of Beech Grove. Good equipment and adequate employment levels. Clean streets and local neighborhoods.

Good committees such as the BZA, Greenscape, RDC and Parks Board which all work to make our city better.

Is there anything else you would like to add, summarizing 2017 or looking forward to 2018?

2017 was a very good year for the City of Beech Grove and I have no reason to believe that 2018 will be any different. I want to study how our Police Department interacts with the school district and I would like to see our Fire Department begin a Community Paramedicine program with area hospitals.

Roundabout at Smith Valley Road. *Submitted photo

Greenwood

Myers.

Answered by Mayor Mark Myers

What were the city’s greatest accomplishments of 2017?

The City has had the opportunity to partner with many local businesses in our GROW Greenwood project. This has allowed local businesses to update their businesses outside appearance, thus making Greenwood more attractive. We have also completed another Round About on Smith Valley Rd., making our streets safer.  We also were able to announce FedEx Ground selecting Greenwood as their home! This is very exciting for the city as it brings many new jobs and a very large financial boost to our economy once built.

What is the biggest challenge the city overcame in 2017? How did it do so?

We have had numerous projects happen this past year. Our largest issue was the old dilapidated complex at County Line Rd and Madison Ave. The city has finally been able to purchase that property and will demolish all of the current buildings and remove the parking lot to make this a grassy park area with the possibility of future development.

What project(s) are you most looking forward to for 2018?

We will start the construction of the Surina Way/Market Plaza connector road along with the remake of Old City Park.  This is the first step to our downtown projects. We will also see the Madison Ave streetscape project that will occur this year. The first phase is from Pearl St. to Noble St.

Is there anything else you would like to add, summarizing 2017 or looking forward to 2018?

In 2018 we will also see the reconstruction of Smith Valley Rd at Madison Ave. intersection. This will include adding a roundabout at that intersection along with many other traffic enhances to that area.   

The Southport Municipal Complex is under construction. *Photo b Nicole Davis

Southport

McClure.

Answered by Mayor Russell McClure

What were the city’s greatest accomplishments of 2017?

– The construction of a new city building began. This is the first city building we’ve had since Southport started. This is the first, major city construction project since the early 70s. It’s the first time the police department will have dedicated training space for officers, outside agencies and the public. There will be better facilities for the city and council meetings, which frees up the current community building for nonprofit use and the general public to rent the space. We’ll apply for a grant to upgrade the current community building.

– We also had a commitment from a builder to redevelop the lumber yard property into a 100-unit apartment complex. When that project starts, it will bring even more interest from outside developers looking to help us redevelop the city and that downtown area. That development will also include the first portion of the trail we will build behind the old Walgreens to the city park.

– The Community Crossings grant we received from the state of Indiana for roads and sidewalks, a $271,000 grant.

What is the biggest challenge the city overcame in 2017? How did it do so?

The loss of Lt. Aaron Allan. We overcame it through the dedication of our police force, elected officials and the public support. The help we received from the public went a long way for us to process and get through it. We had lines and lines of people coming through with things for the family and offering their support for the police department and the city.

What project(s) are you most looking forward to for 2018?

– Completing the project for the development across from Renaissance, the old lumber yard.

– Our city building being completed.

– The park renovations that will be started in the spring. We’re going to have a new basketball court, they’re going to redevelop the softball diamond and there will be a lot of additional playground equipment with accessible pieces of equipment.

What do you feel is the greatest strength of your city, going into the new year?

Anytime anybody asks, I say our greatest strength is the citizens of Southport. Without them, there’s no reason to have a government or anything. The greatest strengths of our city aren’t buildings, roads, or infrastructure. It’s the people that live here. A close number two, the police are incredibly important too us for safety and the public service that they do.