After two weather delays, Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey delivered his third State of the City address to Rotary members earlier this week. According to Pavey, he feels the city is headed toward the future in the proper way. During the address, Pavey said cooperation between his office and the various city and county departments have been paramount and resulted in many positive outcomes during the past 12 months.
When Pavey took office in January 2012, he said he went in blind to many of the inner workings of city government. He continued by saying that his first year was spent doing homework in many areas and that during the past 12 months, his administration began laying the foundation for the future of Rushville.
He stressed the importance of re-establishing relationships and working closely with not only the various city departments, but also the chamber of commerce and the ECDC as a means of moving Rushville forward, not only short term, but also for the future.
Since taking office, department heads and city leaders have realized a $350,000 increase in general funds during 2013 and anticipate and additional $439,000 during 2014.
Projects currently underway or are soon to start include:
- North Industrial Park, $2.8 M (funded, bid and awarded).
- 16th Street Extension Project, $2.4 M (not including utility and lighting).
- Highway 52 from the city limits to SR 3, $4 M (scope).
- $5.3 Rushville City Utility Upgrade (funded, bid and awarded).
Pavey continued by saying the aforementioned projects were accomplished without the use of stimulus monies and were funded locally.
The mayor said the utility project price increase (to end users) was the most difficult decision he and his administration have had to make and will probably remain the defining moment of his administration.
Pavey then turned his attention to the ECDC and the hiring of John McCane in March 2013 and the local effort of embracing Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) as two essential parts of the local landscape for years to come. Currently, unemployment in Rush County is listed at 5.4 percent. Pavey told those in attendance the city has made investments in a number of new and local business ventures through small business loans (SBL) and that changes and requirements in the process to those seeking SBL’s is having an impact on the future landscape as well.
Joint efforts between the city parks and street department resulted in a number of improvements during the past year:
- Extending Harrison Street into Riverside Park Amphitheater.
- Extending the fitness trail to the nature center.
- Summer camp program (attended by nearly 100 area youth).
- Upgrades to the shelter house in Laughlin Park.
- Canoe/boat launch on the bank of Flatrock River.
Thirteen of 20 housing grants were awarded as a means to allow local residents to remain in their homes versus be relocated to extended care facilities were also realized and the city hosted a Veteran’s Day Memorial Grand Prix on city streets near RCHS.
Looking ahead has been a priority for the current administration as a means to leave the community a better place for years to come. Pavey said a goal of city officials and department heads is to train and retain local residents in the job market. He cited 2013’s recognition of Rushville as a certified “Work Ready” community a step in that direction and one that will pay dividends to current and future employers. The continuing education effort offered through RCHS and Ivy Tech are also beneficial and vital to the future of Rushville.
The mayor then turned his attention to communication, technology improvements and the transparency regarding the inner workings of local government. He said that a new and improved Rushville website is nearly ready to be rolled out that will allow residents easier access to city offices and information.
Other notable accomplishments during 2013 were:
- Park Restaurant lawsuit settlement.
- Comprehensive Plan award.
- American Disabilities Act Plan
- Demolition of unsafe property in the 300 block of North Arthur Street undertaken.
In closing Pavey said that change is coming to the downtown area in the coming months.
“We will not limit ourselves to the city limits. We will aid economic development where asked,” Pavey said.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.