economic development

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In this week’s elections in Tippecanoe County, Democrats fielded a candidate in just two of the seven countywide races. It’s the continuation of a trend of apathy from the party in recent years.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we talk with the highest-ranking Democrat in the county – Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski – about what that dearth of participation means for his party – especially in a year where Democrats were supposed to be energized.

City of Frankfort

As development along Interstate 65 becomes a topic in Clinton County elections this year, Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes finds himself between a highway and a hard place.

On the one hand, he had to forego his plan to annex land from the city limits out to I-65. On the other, he watched county officials begin to develop land near the State Road 28 interchange and now hears county commissioner candidates ask his city to extend its utilities westward to serve those new investments.

City of Frankfort

The City of Frankfort recently received half-a-million dollars in donations for a park that Mayor Chris McBarnes hopes will revitalize downtown and bring new, long-term investment to the area.

But some detractors at a recent meeting say it’s as though the mayor is trying to buy a new car at a steep price when he could have fixed up the existing vehicle – the city’s other parks that some see as run-down – for far less money.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In the 21st Century, it’s a bit of an open question how small-to-midsized Indiana cities will attract industry or grow their population base.

Gone are the days of a railroad or a new university creating a boomtown, so what’s a place like Crawfordsville to do?

The answer is probably not going to be “build a windfarm,” so perhaps instead of trying to grow the permanent populace, the city can try to attract visitors on more weekends.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

There aren’t that many movies staged and shot in Crawfordsville. And probably only a small subset of those involve replica firearms. So when a Crawfordsville police officer encountered what looked like a robbery earlier this week and fired a bullet at an actor carrying an air gun, people began to formulate questions.

city of West Lafayette

West Lafayette’s mayor wants to give people more places to have an adult beverage – as long as those new establishments follow some stricter rules than most West Lafayette bars currently do.

It’s allowed under a law in which mayors whose cities have so-called “riverfront districts” – as Lafayette and West Lafayette do – can authorize liquor licenses.

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

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton has returned from the state’s economic development trip to Japan, where he visited with executives of two long-time Montgomery County employers.

Barton says city officials have begun trying to get other prospective Japanese investors with whom the mayor had contact to travel to Indiana.

UPDATE: Indianapolis officials have since announced their plans to formally bid for the Amazon project. Read the story here

State officials won’t say if Indianapolis will join the race to house Amazon’s next headquarters. And despite the Hoosier capital’s push to become a tech hub, analysts say the it may face an uphill battle if it opts to bid on the massive project.

More than two-thirds of people who are blind or visually impaired are unemployed. Technology to help them enter the workforce is rapidly developing and recent advances could help level the playing field for blind job seekers in Indiana.

Jim Durst has been the superintendent of the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for 26 years. He says students want to work when they leave – and they can do the job.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

A group of about 50 City of West Lafayette employees, all clad in blue tee shirts, flanked the city’s redesigned State Street Monday, welcoming Purdue students back to campus. WBAA’s Stan Jastrzebski walked along with Mayor John Dennis and City Clerk Sana Booker and sent an audio postcard.

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