Todd Barton

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton was unopposed in this month’s general election – usually a sign of a politician’s strength.

But it may also represent a high bar for him to clear in his next four years, especially as the city tries to make good on the promise of its Stellar Communities designation.

Today on Ask The Mayor, we find out from Mayor Barton whether he’s managing expectations about his next term in office.

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

It’s been a summer of sometimes frustrating road construction for Crawfordsville. Its local streets have been buffeted by orange cones and snarled by stopped trains and its interstate construction was delayed because of the I-65 mess in Tippecanoe County.

So this week on Ask The Mayor, we have Todd Barton weigh in on Governor Pence’s new road funding plan – which doesn’t give any new money to local road projects.

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:

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

A 3-megawatt energy park has opened in Crawfordsville.

The Indiana Municipal Power Agency -- a group started by cities such as Crawfordsville which own their own utilities -- has installed 20 acres of solar panels on the city’s northeast side. Crawfordsville proposed a good location, driving some of the cost down.

Crawfordsville mayor Todd Barton says the park also helps the city’s tax base.

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.

J. Stephen Conn / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jstephenconn/3051857316/

Crawfordsville has been named a Stellar Communities grant recipient, but it’s not certain how much money the city will receive.

Mayor Todd Barton says the city wants $18 million to invest in a slate of proposed projects, but he says that’s the best case scenario.

Barton says the Lieutenant Governor’s office will now review funding for the proposed projects, but there’s still work to do before money starts coming to the city.

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.

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

To paraphrase Norma Desmond, Crawfordsville is ready for its close-up. But before officials from the Lieutenant Governor’s office visit the city in the waning days of this month, we take one more opportunity to ask Mayor Todd Barton what he’s got up his sleeve – and whether he’s scouting the competition to see if there are any areas where he might gain an extra edge.

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.

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Next week, Crawfordsville is set to celebrate the rebirth of the Hoosier State Amtrak line – assuming that comes to pass.

On this week’s Ask The Mayor, we talk with Todd Barton about how the city is preparing to embrace the trains – and whether their new operators still have work to do before residents can truly embrace mass transit.

Shortly after the new Amtrak service begins, site selectors from the lieutenant governor’s office will visit Crawfordsville to judge whether it’s worthy of a Stellar Communities grant.

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