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Elkhart mayor delivers State of the City address

“I am proud to deliver this year’s State of the City address,” said Mayor Neese as he opened for his third State of the City address Wednesday evening. Dozens of city employees were in attendance, curious to find out what the future holds for the city.

Mayor Neese covered several main topics during that speech including public safety, namely how badly the floods impacted the city.

“Approximately 800 structures were directly impacted and about 315 individuals were rescued by Elkhart’s first responders,” said Mayor Neese.

City employees reflected on those hardships too.

“We’re all kind of anxious to get back on our feet with all the flooding and everything and the building department is very instrumental in that. A lot of salaried employees that donated their time on weekends to get people back in their homes,” said Daniel Riddle, City of Elkhart Electrical Inspector.

But in recent accomplishments that the mayor brought up, Riddle, who works for the city’s Building Department, was happy to be part of a record breaking year for the city.

“In 2016, the Building Department issued over 29 hundred billion permits with a value of approximately $76 million. Last year, over $154 million in investment. That’s a record for this city,” SAID Mayor Neese.

“Bringing in new business,” said Riddle.

But a future project in particular had everyone’s eyes glued. Mayor Neese talked the future of the Elkhart River District with an expected $250 million mixed-use investment plan.

“As generations change, cities must change the way they think and talk about economic development,” said Mayor Neese.

“It’s going to completely revitalize the town,” said Riddle.

Much of that $250 million has already been committed from local investors and 50% of the work is anticipated to be completed in the next three years. Stay with ABC 57 for those developing details.

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