Todd Barton

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

A ten-county area of West Central Indiana is about to get a nearly $40 million investment from the Lilly Endowment aimed at making farming and related industries more internet-compatible.

The cash is going to the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network, or WHIN (pronounced “win”), which will send the cash to Purdue University as research seed money.

WHIN, which includes Purdue President Mitch Daniels and several Purdue trustees, will send the cash to the school’s Birck Nanotechnology Center, where much of the research will be done.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It’s been more than two years since Crawfordsville was named one of the winners of Indiana’s Stellar Communities grant program.

In that time, there’s been a lot of planning, but not a lot of construction.

Mayor Todd Barton says 2018 will see much of that building get underway, but there are still a few priorities which appear behind schedule.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

For the next 100 years, a time capsule will be buried at Crawfordsville’s city building. What, from this time, will leave a lasting impression on the city and what will the residents of the future think of what Crawfordsville was like in 2017?

In our talk with Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton, we’ll also talk about the Community Showcase – an event designed to promote the city and its surrounding county as a prime place to do business. But was it successful? What do investors notice when they get to Crawfordsville?

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.

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.

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

The city of Crawfordsville completed its final budget workshop Monday night, and despite a 10-percent health insurance premium increase, the mayor says it could have been much worse.

During the meeting, Crawfordsville mayor Todd Barton said at the county level, premiums are going up 20-percent. The city’s employees are also receiving a two-percent salary increase.

The majority of the city’s departments have little to no significant change in their budget for next year, which Barton says is due to planning.

City of Crawfordsville / Parks & Recreation

The city of Crawfordsville has begun workshopping its 2018 budget, and Mayor Todd Barton says employee retention is a priority.

The city will offer a 2-percent salary increase for municipal employees.

And Barton says departments such as Parks and Recreation are getting more money to improve the city’s quality of life.

“We’re going back and we’ve really assessed where we are with that tax levy and we’re comfortable in making some increases,” he says. “I’ve directed the parks department to step it up a notch. We need good, quality parks for our citizens.”

courtesy City of Crawfordsville

The Crawfordsville City Council has approved the consolidation of several properties into a single clearinghouse which will also play home to emergency management services.

Currently, the city’s EMA department operates out of an office in the basement of Crawfordsville’s city hall.

Mayor Todd Barton says when it is, the city will move some large pieces of equipment there, including a backup fire truck and a couple incident command trailers used in emergencies.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton has made visits this month to businesses granted tax abatements by the city.

It’s normal – required, in many cases – for some sort of check-in to happen, but on this week’s Ask The Mayor, we find out whether Mayor Barton thinks changes that could be afoot in the coming years thanks to Stellar Cities money may change the way the city looks at abatements.

Also on this week’s show, we check back in on the progress of the reconstituted Crawfordsville Human Rights Commission.

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