As 2016 comes to end, I have been reflecting on my first year in office as a Portage City Councilman. And boy, what a year it has been!
Truth be told, this journey has been different than I expected when I announced my candidacy back in January of 2015. From day one, we have been moving non-stop in Portage. Whether it was approving close to $10 million in new infrastructure projects or watching our downtown take shape with the new Police Station, Fire Station and the Indiana American Water Pavilion, 2016 has been a big year for Portage.
Along the way, the elected leaders in Portage have had our disagreement. I imagine all cities and towns can say the same. But, at the end of the day, we shake hands and work together for our City.
Here is just a small list of things we accomplished this year;
- A $10 million Utility Service Bond to address serious drainage and infrastructure projects
- Approving the Planned Unit Development for the $75 million Sport Resort
- A new incentive to jump-start development in Marina Shores
- Renaming the Portage Marina in honor of Former Mayor Sammie Maletta, who without which the Marina would not exist today.
- Opening of MonoSol and Polymer Logistics, creating many new jobs - Ribbon cuttings at the Police Department, Fire Station, and amphitheater in downtown
- A boom in new home starts showing the housing market in Portage is back in business
- Multiple expansions of existing businesses through City support, creating even more jobs
I came on board in the middle of the boom that Portage is experiencing now. For that, I have to thank those who have worked so hard in the past. From current and former Mayors and City Council Members to the extremely dedicated employees and civil servants, I honestly believe Portage is blessed to have so many dedicated individuals who are committed to our City’s success.
Now, I would be remiss to not address the recent developments. The past few weeks have been a trying time in our City but, as I said a few weeks ago - I want to ensure the citizens of Portage and the 5th District that the business of the City will continue, unimpeded.
When looking forward to 2017, I see nothing but success for Portage because we are well positioned for just that. Despite the political troubles our City faces, the progress we have made in the past two decades will not stop. I am thrilled to be part of this journey and hope to be for years to come.
I urge you to attend the year end Town Hall Meeting that fellow Councilman Scott Williams and I are hosting on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Portage Public Library. We will be going over the major decisions and events from 2016 as well as discussing what is in store for Portage’s future in 2017 and beyond!