Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey was the featured speaker during Tuesday’s weekly gathering of Rotarians and delivered his 2015 State of the City speech.
The Rushville mayor said that a combined effort between city leaders, department heads and others during 2014 resulted in the numerous successes being realized locally.
Since taking office, Pavey said his administration’s plan was to define four to five fundamental areas of focus and make noticeable improvements in each of the areas. The areas of focus were:
• Economic Development and infrastructure
• Quality of life
• Communication transparent (administration)
• Instill community pride and confidence
• Governance – policy and leadership
During the past 12-months not only does he believe the administration made positive strides in each of the areas, but felt it was also important to gain the public’s feeling on the issues.
With work on those targeted areas of focus underway, he and his administration wanted to know if they had defined the proper targets and what the public perception was and what areas did the public consider the most important.
A 2014 comprehensive plan was developed as a means to seek the public’s opinion.
Pavey said 1,035 citizens participated in the poll, a number far greater than he had anticipated. It showed the public cares and is interested in the future of their community.
“Some have critiqued the investment in planning, but I would say that the planning process promotes a dialogue between our leaders and citizens. It promotes strategic thinking. As well as, it allows impute through polling of a segment of the community that might otherwise not feel comfortable expressing their opinion,” Pavey said.
The public poll defined areas Pavey feels is very similar to those defined by his administration:
• Land use
• Economic development
• Natural resources and recreation
• Infrastructure and utilities
• 16th Street extension
• Travel on SR 3 between I-74 and I-70
• Rushville downtown revitalization plan.
“The poll found that the general public is very knowledgeable, love their community, are willing to discuss difficult topics, are engaged and energized about the process,” Pavey said.
The mayor then turned his attention to 2014 improvements in development and infrastructure. He noted the awarding of funding for the design and construction of Phase I for the Cherry Street extension project. The city is responsible for $1.2 million of the $5.8 million project.
Pavey then discussed construction projects undertaken and or completed during 2014 - the conclusion of 16th Street extension, North Industrial Park (Commerce Park) on SR 3 near CR 200N, upgrades to the Rushville City Utility and the U.S 52 road improvement project.
The mayor then touched upon the new interactive Rushville website and thanked each of the city department heads for their efforts. Some of the major accomplishments during the year in Rushville were:
• The roll out of the new trash and recycling program.
• Pizza King south parking lot improvement on Perkins Street.
• The removal of buildings that will result in the Farmers Market site.
• New lighting as a part of the Second Street, U.S. 52 project.
• Improvements to the walking trails in the city.
• The city run fire department EMT ambulance service for Rushville residents.
In closing, Pavey again cited that cooperation between the Rush County Schools, Rush County leaders and the city officials is and will continue to be the key to success for Rushville in looking forward.
“As we move forward, we need to always realize we are stewards of our community. We need to look beyond ourselves and our years – to our children’s years – even to our grandchildren’s years,” Pavey said.