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2019 Outlook

2019 Outlook

Compiled by Nancy Price

Investments in infrastructure have led to beginning or finishing paved roads, new sidewalks, sidewalk panel replacements and roundabouts in Southside communities in 2018. As well, local parks are being renovated to include more playground equipment and areas for athletics, and trails are being added to make for walkable cities.

Although there are still concerns for drug-related crime, Southside police departments work hard to create safe havens for their residents (Beech Grove was recently named the 19th safest city in Indiana!). Southsiders can look forward to future developments in 2019, from construction on an Amazon facility to developing a fieldhouse.

Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley

Question: What were the city’s greatest accomplishments of 2018?

Buckley: Our property values continue to increase. The assessed value of our city continues to increase as well so that’s good news for business. Our debt continues to decrease. We’ve made significant investments in our public safety departments.

We have the highest staffing levels ever for our police and fire departments. This year we purchased new radios for the police and fire departments. We’ve purchased more police cars and we also re-chassied the ambulance. We’ve also ordered a new breathing apparatus with over 30 air tanks and 40 regulators. We purchased a new trash truck. We just recently became re-credited as a national ambulance service.

Beech Grove Parks was awarded a $13,000 matching grant for funds raised to replace the playground equipment in Sarah T. Bolton Park. (Submitted images)

We continue to pave local roads. We have a very good working relationship with INDOT. They have given us more than $800,000 in the last two years to pave local roads. We continue to conduct lining of sewer pipes. We continue to make drainage improvements in local neighborhoods.

Safety: Crime is really bad all around us. A lot of it is drug-related. We are working with other agencies to try to mitigate that. We filed a lawsuit in federal court for those who distribute opioids. Beech Grove was recently rated as the 19th safest city in Indiana last year. Beech Grove is the only city in Marion County that received that distinction.

Q: What is the biggest challenge the city overcame in 2018?

Buckley: The demolition of the hospital. It was very dusty, loud and the heavy equipment damaged a couple of local roads, which they have repaved. The utilities were capped properly and drainage problems in the neighborhood were corrected. It was a very major undertaking but it’s finished and the ground is ready for redevelopment.

Q: What do you feel is the greatest strength of your city, going into the new year?

Buckley: We provide good services, we have good police and fire, excellent trash pickup, our parks are good and clean and functional. We offer a lot of free amenities including shredding and recycling at no charge (including medical disposables). Our budgets are balanced; we don’t spend more than we take in. For the past seven years we’ve given full-time employees cost of living adjustments. We live in a clean, safe community; in the next three to four years, we’ll see improvements to our streets.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add, summarizing 2018 or looking forward to 2019?

Buckley: In 2019, I look forward to receiving more federal funding for Phase 2 of the greenway; I look forward to making the roads at 25th and Churchman avenues safer for vehicle traffic with the addition of a roundabout. I look forward to the development of the old St. Francis Parkway. We are working with CFX, right next to Amtrak, and will have news of development by spring 2019.

Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers

Q: What were the city’s greatest accomplishments of 2018?

Myers: 2018 was a great year for the city.  With the new look of Madison Avenue, the start of the Emerson Avenue repaving and median placement, to the announcement of Amazon’s fulfillment center, we had many successes in Greenwood.

Q: What is the biggest challenge the city overcame in 2018?

Myers: I would say that the building of the roundabout at Smith Valley Road and Madison Avenue.  We had many delays due to the weather and other issues, however, with city staff overlooking the project we were able to get the project completed and it has been successful in relieving the traffic backups that we were experiencing.

Greenwood had many infrastructure updates in 2018, including a walking trail along Madison Avenue. (Submitted photo)

Q: What project(s) are you most looking forward to for 2019? 

Myers: The demolition of Greenwood Middle School and the start of building a new downtown that will be walkable and livable for new residents to move into our downtown community.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add, summarizing 2018 or looking forward to 2019? 

Myers: We have started with the road projects in downtown Greenwood and I am so looking forward to the next phase of Madison Avenue and Main Street getting a facelift that will promote a walkable downtown that will also help boost the downtown economy.

Southport Mayor Russell McClure

Q: What were the city’s greatest accomplishments of 2018?

McClure: Our greatest accomplishments center around improving Southport’s infrastructure. The new municipal complex was finished and dedicated on July 27. This new building will allow the city to better serve its residents. The building includes large training areas for the Southport Police Department and the Police Academy. It allows us to offer more and better police training for our officers as well as officers from outside agencies. The new complex also includes a memorial for Lt. Aaron Allan. The renovations in the park were completed and include a new basketball court, baseball field and accessible playground. We have also been able to work on our streets and sidewalks thanks to a $271,000 grant from the state of Indiana.

Q: What is the biggest challenge the city overcame in 2018?

McClure: Our largest challenge is related to our greatest accomplishments. The city overcame a big challenge in administering two grants while completing our new municipal complex. Many thanks go to our police chief, clerk treasurer’s office, parks board and board of public works and safety for their hard work in making sure the work was completed.

The new Southport Municipal Complex includes a memorial for Lt. Aaron Allan, who was killed on duty on July 27, 2017. (Photo by Nicole Davis)

Q: What project(s) are you most looking forward to for 2019?

McClure: The biggest new project is the redevelopment of the vacant lumber yard property on Southport Road. We have a new developer for the project which is slated to close this spring with construction to follow. This new development is a result of the hard work that the redevelopment commission began several years ago and is an impressive accomplishment. This development will also include the first section of a walking path that will link the new Red Line transit station with Southport and our parks.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add, summarizing 2018 or looking forward to in 2019?

McClure: Any successes we have had in 2018 and will have in 2019 are a direct result of the hard work of all of our volunteers that serve on boards and commissions, our police chief and police department, as well as the clerk treasurer’s office, my administrative assistant and elected officials. Anytime anyone asks, I say that Southport’s greatest strength is the citizens. I think that the greatest strengths of any city are not buildings, roads or infrastructure. A city’s greatest strength is the people that live, work and play there.


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