As the Mayor of the city, I have the solemn responsibility of being a steward of the taxpayer’s money. Four years of smart financial planning has resulted in a 10% reduction of the city’s yearly operating budget.
In 2010, the city received the bond rating of Aa3 from Moody's investors Service, one of the highest ratings available. These achievements were reached by establishing oversight on city spending and by constant communication with the State Board of Accounts and the Department of Local Government Finance. These relationships ensure that monies are being spent in a proper manner.
I believe that transparency and community involvement are also vital to proper planning of budgetary items. One of the instruments that my administration has used has been a public forum. We have held several of these forums to give the public a chance to see what issues are facing the city and to give their input before any decisions are made.
In order to ensure that residents of Crown Point get the greatest possible return for their tax dollars, we have worked with private foundations, state agencies and federal officials to secure funds and matching grants for key improvements throughout the City of Crown Point. Some examples:
Working with the office of Congressman Pete Visclosky, we secured a $900,000 grant for improvements to 109th Avenue, and a $1.8 million grant for the North West Street Project.
We were awarded two Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grants from the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration totaling almost $1.6 million for improvements at the intersection of Summit and Merrillville Roads, and for new signal lights to replace stop signs at North Street and Summit on Indiana Avenue.
$600,000 in federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act were used to repave Greenwood and South Court Street.
A $1 million dollar grant from the Dean & Barbara White Family Foundation was applied to the new Crown Point Sportsplex. We also applied $1.1 million net proceeds from the sale of the former Breyfogle Farm to that project.
In negotiation with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) we were able to expedite the $6.1 million dollar construction project on Broadway from 2020 to 2010.
We also worked with INDOT to coordinate the acquisition of land needed for the $16 million dollar I-65 expansion project at 109th Avenue.
Multiple federal grants covered 80 percent of the $2 million dollar cost of completion to the extension of the Erie Lackawanna Bike Trail, plus securing an additional $636,000 used for trail head construction and parking facilities at 93rd Avenue and Summit Street.
Since the incorporation of the City in 1834 generations of residents and businesses have helped us achieve a net worth of almost $1.4 billion dollar community. We will continue to promote economic growth, keeping taxes low and being responsible stewards of our city's finances. That way we can ensure that we pass on a better, stronger and more valuable community to the next generation.