Nearly one hundred representatives of La Porte businesses, organizations, and community groups gathered on May 30, 2012 in the La Porte Best Western Plus Conference Center for the 10th Annual State of the City Luncheon for the La Porte Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Blair Milo, making her inaugural State of the City address, stated that she knows great things are in store for the City of La Porte, because, “We have the resources, talent, and a plan to progress.”
Mayor Milo began her address by listing many facts associated in the past year for the city, highlighting everything in the city from parks to sanitation to the fire and police departments. She gave credit where credit was due, to the hard work that the city employees have put in to the city. After sharing some of the accomplishments in the first few months of her administration, Milo turned to address the future of the city with her as mayor.
“I want every citizen to know that great things are coming for our city, but they are happening right now,” she said.
The mayor addressed three key issues facing La Porte, including building a climate conducive to economic growth, providing for sustainable infrastructure needs and fostering a community dedication to positive lifestyle choices.
She highlighted the city’s recent hire of Bert Cook to the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation, a job he took after leaving a similar position in Portage. “La Porte is extremely fortunate to have a professional with Bert Cook’s talent, relentless dedication, and enthusiasm at the helm of the GLPEDC.”
She cited the beginning re-development of Newport Landing in La Porte as one of the great new initiatives of the new administration, and sees great potential in bringing economic life into the area. “Bert is fielding two or three phone calls per week from developers wishing to discuss possibilities with Newport Landing.”
Milo also touched on the job newly-hired Downtown Coordinator Tiffany Bley is doing in re-invigorating La Porte’s downtown area. “You can expect to see not only the continuation of great downtown events... but a dedication to generating an exciting appearance of the area.”
In order to continue to build toward creating a fully welcoming economic environment, Milo focused on addressing the city’s infrastructure. “Our streets must be passable, our sidewalks safe, our fire and police protection sounds, and our utilities services satisfactory. All of these elements require not only an operational budget, but an investment in capital projects.”
“We are currently reviewing all funding options to address capital projects and infrastructure needs that are long overdue.”
Milo then discussed cultivating positive lifestyle decisions in the La Porte community. “I am thrilled to partner with the YMCA and IU Health La Porte Hospital in establishing Fitness Fridays, to promote a positive, healthy activity where everyone in the community can enjoy fellowship and fun.”
She also brought up the great work being done by Parks Superintendent Brian Niksch, including a Parks Master Plan being worked on, which will include a mountain bike trail opening later this year.
Milo lastly brought up the community’s recent standing-room-only drug round table with students in the La Porte school system.
“La Porte is not unique in our challenge of drug abuse. But by raising awareness and collectively working to enhance efforts in prevention, law enforcement, as well as rehabilitation, I know we will begin to see a difference.”
She closed by saying, “I ask you to follow the example of our leaders, and be the change you wish to see in this community.”