Government group honors two HamCo communities

October 7, 2013
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Two Hamilton County communities are being honored Monday at the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns’ annual awards luncheon.

A member of the National League of Cities, IACT is a coalition of municipal officials who seek to improve the quality of life in Indiana through effective government.

Fishers is set to receive the Community Achievement Award in its population category (30,001-100,000 residents) for its efforts to nurture entrepreneurs at Launch Fishers.

The town invested $350,000 to get the membership-based coworking space off the ground last year.

Located on the ground floor of the Hamilton East Public Library (close enough to Town Hall that its wifi works there), Launch Fishers is billed as an idea incubator. Its goal is to create a startup-friendly environment, attracting high-potential businesses.

It has more than 200 members, including mobile-app developer BlueBridge Digital, which already is outgrowing its space there. As IBJ reported last month, economic development officials are working on a deal to keep BlueBridge in Fishers.

Munster and Evansville won the community service awards in their population categories.

Westfield, meanwhile, is being named a 2013 IACT Green Community of the Year. The association’s Green Communities initiative aims to help municipalities find potential cost savings, promote quality-of-life efforts and protect the environment.

Nominees filled out a 49-question survey that covered areas like purchasing and operations. Westfield’s score earned it the top spot among communities with 10,000-49,999 residents. Evansville and Whiting won in the other size categories.

Other central Indiana communities that won Green Communities designation include Carmel and Cicero.

IACT also is handing out its Local Government Cooperation Award today, honoring the efforts of the towns of Avon and Plainfield and Hendricks County Commissioners to build Ronald Reagan Parkway between Interstates 70 and 74.

Also Monday, Cicero resident Dan Strong is set to get the association’s Civic Service Award. Strong, who owns the McDonald’s franchise there, has helped the community in various ways—including helping the local baseball league win a grant to upgrade its fields and equipment. He serves on the Fire Department Merit Board, the Plan Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Redevelopment Commission, in addition to his board membership at the not-for-profit Hope Clinic.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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