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4/7/2017 12:50:00 PM
State of Elkhart: Business attraction a major theme of Mayor Neese's annual address
By the numbers
2016 City Statistics

• $1,183 contributed per resident in 2016 toward the city's annual budget of $61.5 million

• 3,496 tons of leaves collected

• 636 miles of snow-covered streets plowed

• 19,440 tons of asphalt utilized

• 3,500 hours of volunteer work utilize to beautify city parks

• 60 percent of all Lerner Theatre tickets purchased from individuals outside the city

• 125,000 visitors to the Lerner

• Elkhart Fire Department received 73 more calls than in 2015, responded to 8,300 incidents

• Elkhart Police Department received 3,885 fewer calls than in 2015, received 71,000 calls for service



Ben Quiggle, Elkhart Truth

ELKHART — Mayor Tim Neese's State of the City speech on Thursday evening highlighted the prime position Elkhart is in to see both economic and residential growth over the next few years. 

With one of the strongest reserve balances in the state and a 2017 budget of approximately $61.5 million, Neese said it is time for the city to take neccessary steps that will continue to attract development opportunities. 

"Competition has never been greater, and if we are not willing to take the steps necessary to make our community attractive to business and development, we will lose investment to other communities," he said.

Neese said the planned $94 million worth of investment expected in the city's River District, which extends along East Jackson Boulevard, is a great first step and is positioning the city to be a frontrunner for development. 

"The unprecedented development we see today is an encouraging sign of more to come and sends a message that Elkhart is open for business," he said. "Businesses are already taking notice, and Elkhart has received interest from employers in other municipalities, and even two in Illinois, who are interested in moving to or expanding their business here."

Neese wants to create a Business Advisory Council that will assist his office in economic development decisions. The board would also assist with addressing key issues, including workforce housing and development, telecommunications and infrastructure upgrades.

Related Links:
• Elkhart Truth full text

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