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mc mayor looks to add to gains

Friday, June 23, 2017 16:56 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Continuing with the momentum in redeveloping Michigan City was a main theme of the mayor's Tuesday night state of the city speech.

Since elected in 2012, Ron Meer touted a long list of accomplishments ranging from the ongoing revitalization of the downtown to more high speed internet connections for local industries and demolition making way for a future hotel along U.S 12 close to the lakefront.

''The road to success is always under construction but by no means are we done. Michigan City still has much to do and much to accomplish,'' said Meer.

Other projects aimed at more growth include the now underway development of Ameriplex at U.S 20 and Cleveland Ave. and a rebranding entitled ''Create Play Repeat'' that just got underway with a website listing things to do locally to be functioning later in the summer.

The ongoing construction of the new Franciscan Alliance hospital at U.S 421 and Interstate 94 and recent improvements to that interchange featuring Michigan City in block letters with a blue wave representating the lake on the overpass were just a sampling of the other things happening in the city aggressively following a strategic plan aimed at revitalization the past 10-years.

Meer also challenged others to rethink the quality of the schools here and praised schools superintendent Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins for her work since coming here from Chicago in 2010.

''We're second to none in northwest Indiana and I think folks have to start realizing it,'' said Meer, who revealed the senior class of 2017 was the first to receive up to $5,000 a year scholarships under a program funded by casino revenue.

Other achievements cited by Meer included the recent conversion of Pine, Washington and 9th streets from one to two-way travel to make traveling to the lakefront and throughout the north end easier and the 2016 transformation of once abandoned six story Warren Building into 44 units for artists to live and create and display their works.

He also talked briefly about the governor signing legisilation in May to provide state funding for the much anticipated upgrades to the South Shore communter line to reduce travel times to and from Chicago.

The $290 million project hinges on approval of federal monies that would pay half the cost.

Meer said he has not and will never be a mayor who after studies are done leaves them on a shelf to collect dust.

''This administration has taken pride in identifying goals and doing our due diligence as we work toward those goals and then carrying through and executing a plan to make those goals a reality,'' said Meer.
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