EVANSVILLE  — Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said Tuesday during his State of the City address that Evansville is stronger than ever and growing in terms of infrastructure, partnerships and quality of life initiatives. 

The nearly hour-long address was spent touting project completions, new job opportunities, tourism and housing opportunities and referencing a few city-wide challenges. 

"Our city is changing," Winnecke said.

Here are some of the highlights of his address at the Rotary luncheon. 

Farmers Market

Evansville is bringing back its Farmers Market. The new market will be on Main Street, outside the Ford Center and open 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays beginning the first week in June. 

U.S. 41 and Washington Avenue intersection

An online petition recently surfaced requesting there be an overpass or pedestrian bridge built near Bosse High School for students and those who walk across the busy highway on a daily basis. 

Winnecke said there is an ongoing conversation with the Indiana Department of Transportation to encourage the entity to reconsider building a pedestrian bridge near Bosse or offer a similar solution to help students get across U.S. 41 safely.

INDOT has said they will hire a safety consultant to determine viable options at that intersection that should be completed later this summer.   

"Immediately, the city will hire new crossing guards (or Evansville Police) at the 41/Washington intersection to assist students for the remainder of school year," Winnecke said. 

The City is launching an 18-month process to update the zoning and subdivision codes. The last major rewrite of the zoning codes happened in 1962, Winnecke said. 

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Mental health initiatives 

Winnecke announced the future development of a Crisis Care Center to help individuals receive rehabilitative care for mental health issues. 

"The idea is that law enforcement encounters someone in a mental health crisis," he said. "Instead of taking them to jail or a hospital, they can drop them off at the Crisis Care Center."

The Mayor's Substance Abuse Task Force is developing a business plan and identifying funding for a long-term substance abuse treatment center in Evansville. 

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"We know there's a need," he said. "Whether it's treatment for alcohol abuse or opioids."

There was also talk of establishing a Mental Health Treatment Facility. 

Ted Ziemer

Winnecke awarded Ted Ziemer with the Key to the City for his role in securing funding for newly-built Mickey's Kingdom. His son accepted the award on his behalf. Ziemer is known as a long-time fundraiser for the Vanderburgh County Republican Party.

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