City of Crawfordsville

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jstephenconn/3051019997
J. Stephen Conn

Though he’s had a couple dozen people express interest in serving on the city’s reconstituted human rights commission, Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton says there’s a problem: almost all of them are white.

“I am struggling with it a little bit because when I look at the group, we’ve had some really good people express interest and I’m excited about that," Barton says. "My primary concern: there’s not much diversity in that group and that does trouble me somewhat.”

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

A new 20-acre solar park has opened in Crawfordsville – providing enough energy for a few hundred homes.

But even as the city is set for a transformation through the Stellar Communities program, it lacks a real identity. Could embracing alternative energy be a gateway to getting people to think of Crawfordsville as a “green” destination?

Also on this week’s program:

Kenneth Spencer / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kendo26/5606710714

Crawfordsville’s mayor is organizing an informal social media campaign to put pressure on railroad operator CSX to pay more attention to the city.

Mayor Todd Barton, speaking Thursday on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, encouraged Crawfordsville residents to phone CSX to complain about trains clogging intersections in the city.

But he says the idea of an angry phone call may be passé.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Later this month, Crawfordsville leaders will learn if they’re the recipients of millions of dollars in state aid through the Stellar Communities program.

It’s the fourth time the city has applied and the second time it’s been named a finalist. But the application is only half the process.

WBAA’s Stan Jastrzebski went to Crawfordsville last week and tagged along as officials from the Lieutenant Governor’s office and the state’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs scouted the city.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Indiana Department of Transportation officials say they don’t know when the Hoosier State Amtrak line will transition to operation by Iowa Pacific, but they do know it won’t be this week.

INDOT and Iowa Pacific officials had been working to make the switch on July first, but contracts between the state, the company and the cities served by the line haven’t been finalized yet.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jstephenconn/3051019997
J. Stephen Conn

Crawfordsville officials are preparing for the state to send people to vet the city’s Stellar Communities grant application. The city was named a finalist earlier this month and now Mayor Todd Barton (R) and other leaders are formulating a presentation to make their case in more detail.

Because Crawfordsville is losing younger citizens, Barton plans to use the Stellar money to enhance the city’s downtown. His proposal centers on what he calls a “fusion center” – bringing like-minded people and groups together to enhance collaboration and efficiency.

Ask The Mayor: Crawfordsville's Todd Barton

Apr 23, 2015
City of Crawfordsville / Mayor's office

Cities around Indiana continue to look for creative ways to fight Brain Drain and keep younger people in their communities. We talk with Crawfordsville’s Todd Barton about how they city’s Stellar Communities application fits into that effort. How will Crawfordsville distinguish itself from the other finalists in the grant program, and what does Mayor Barton plan to do with the money if the city wins?

We also chat about plans for a new solar farm on the northeast side of town. How did Crawfordsville manage to land the project when there were other cities vying for it?

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

As it always does, the cold has descended on West Central Indiana and with it comes the annual challenges for cities: how to keep citizens warm, how to keep roads from cracking and how to make sure efficiencies are identified.

We find out how Crawfordsville is weathering those challenges on this week's Ask The Mayor.

We’re joined in-studio by Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton, and we follow up on last month’s conversation about investment in the city.

Chriss Haight Pagani / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nwartist/4427561580

Lafayette city leaders are trying to turn a negative into a positive when dealing with the city’s ballooning feral cat population.

Mayor Tony Roswarski says some city residents have begun to feed colonies of the homeless felines, which encourages them to breed and their numbers to grow further.

“We cannot even keep up with the number of calls that we get from the people that are complaining about the feral cats or the people that already are trying to trap some of the feral cats,” Roswarski says.

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Some questions asked of the mayor this week:

You recently got back an assessment from a company in South Carolina assessing how ready the county is for economic development. Tell me your initial impressions of what the report says.

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