6/6/2014 9:35:00 AM Statues Already Attracting Attention Downtown
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer From the Mayor
I’ve got to admit, the deadline for today’s article snuck up on me. Things have been extremely busy at City Hall, and that’s a good thing. I continually tell people who ask how I like being mayor that it is very busy and I really enjoy the challenge, but you have to be “wired” a certain way to keep up with all the demands. Obviously, today’s big story is the unveiling of 16 Seward Johnson sculptures in the “Walk-n-Wander Warsaw” exhibit of public art. Larry Plummer and our parks department did an admirable job of unloading and setting the sculptures a few days ago, and the attention the statues have attracted already is incredible. The exhibit officially opens today at First Friday and with great weather predicted, it will be a wonderful evening to enjoy the sculptures. I must acknowledge Michelle Bormet for initiating the idea and then organizing the exhibit. I would also be remiss not to thank her committee and all of the private sponsors who funded the entire exhibit. The sculptures will be on display from now until Sept. 28. If the first few days are any indication, these lifelike sculptures will be making many friends while visiting Warsaw. Work began this week on the road leading into the new phase of the Warsaw Tech Park. Shortly after the road is completed, work will begin on the industrial shell building. This project has been 2-1/2 years in the making and will fill a great need for attraction and expansion of our industrial partners. With the improvement of the Winona Avenue bike and pedestrian lanes nearing completion, the city is in preparation to begin improvements on Market Street. This will be a large project that will take several years to complete. Widening the road will allow parking to continue on Market Street. This will also have a “traffic calming” effect by keeping speeds down. Pedestrian and bicycle lanes will be a large part of this project, completing a significant connection of the main trail system. Storm water lines will also need to be evaluated and repaired or replaced as apart of that project. The Market Street project will be divided into two phases, with Argonne Road to Bronson Street being the first phase and Bronson to Hickory Street being the second phase. We have applied to INDOT for federal funds to do the second phase. When completed, I am sure the neighborhoods along Market will welcome the improvements. Finally, the city is beginning the budgeting process for 2015. For the past several years, many Indiana cities and towns have been hit very hard by revenue decline as the result of property tax caps and income tax declines. While less affected than most, Warsaw has not been exempt from this problem as reserves are being affected. Budgets will be scrutinized as we look for solutions to retain municipal services that are becoming more expensive while revenues fail to keep up. It will be very busy but have a great summer. We deserve it.