LaPorte’s new mayor is staying the course with the baton handed to him seven months ago by former Mayor Blair Milo.
Mark Krentz opened his first State of the City speech Friday congratulating Milo for her "enthusiastic leadership."
"I want to keep the ball rolling in a positive direction," Krentz said.
Milo, 34, resigned in the sixth year when she was appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to lead the charge of filling a projected 1 million job openings, mostly from baby boomers retiring statewide over the next decade.
In 2017, Krentz said $38.7 million in capital investment was made by the private sector from companies like Boss Air, American Renolit Corp. and American Licorice.
As a result, 77 new jobs were created and 275 jobs retained, he said.
He also mentioned growth at New Porte Landing with Starbucks opening in December and Dunes Volleyball Club currently going up.
Krentz said other achievements last year include $250,000 from the city’s Urban Enterprise Association for facade improvements downtown and another $300,000 from UEA to purchase and renovate a structure at 518 Lincolnway.
A brew pub there is planned by the new property owner, he said.
Another 13.6 miles of streets were reconstructed and repaved last year, with nearly half the cost paid with state and federal dollars.
Outside revenue sources are being sought again this year to fix streets.
Krentz also cited 2,738 complaints investigated by code enforcement and a wastewater plant to be powered this year by solar energy as examples of a talented, dedicated staff.
Future plans include remaining dedicated to improving quality of life with trails and other amenities.
He also vowed to stay aggressive in the fight against drugs and establishing a more skilled workforce.
"We are turning a corner. Maybe not fast enough, but we are turning it," Krentz said.