State of the City Well Attended

This year's State of the City Address held on Monday, March 9 was well attended with over 160 people in attendance. Mayor Steve McMichael is the seventh mayor in the history of the City of New Haven. He started his address by stating. "I am honored to be your Mayor, New Haven's 7th Mayor. Our future is bright and our outlook is strong. Your city team has a bold vision for our future!" At that time Mayor McMichael proceeded to introduce new and present staff members and stated emphatically that the city is in good hands and is headed in the right direction.

Before getting into the Address itself Mayor McMichael addressed the current COVID-19 virus situation. He said, "Natalie Strock and I have established a team of city department heads who are closely monitoring the situation. His team is working in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and the Allen County Department of Health to devise a plan should the virus pose an immediate threat to the citizens of New Haven". In light of the virus situation people were cautioned not to shake hands or hug but to bump elbows as a way to greet one another.

Mayor McMichael explained that during his election campaign he knocked on thousands of doors and he heard what the citizens of New Haven had to say about the city loud and clear. In light of that McMichael said, "We've created two Economic Development Target Areas (EDTA). One I refer to as the Dogbone is along S.R. 930 from Meyer Road to Hartzell Road. The second one is in our Central Downtown Business area. These EDTAs enable the City Council to provide potential tax incentives to businesses that typically would not qualify; including hotels, restaurants, and retail shops."

Along with these tax incentives will come a resurfacing and configuration of Lincoln Highway from Norm's Point to Broadway. There will be a new alignment allowing for a center turn lane as well as surface bicycle lanes.

Another issue the citizens expressed was concern with the speeding in our housing additions. Mayor McMichael said, "In April you will start to see portable speed bumps that will be installed in neighborhoods around the city. This will be done in an effort to make New Haven a safer and more pedestrian and family friendly place."

Other issues brought up in McMichael's Address were the desire for road repairs and safe, clean drinking water and wastewater disposal at the lowest cost possible. The city is discussing the possibility of enacting a wheel tax. That wheel tax could generate up to $175,000 that can be 100% committed to road improvements. Mayor McMichael also assured those present that, "We will not let up on looking for the best way, at the lowest cost to provide for our clean water and wastewater disposal."

The Mayor finished with these closing remarks, "The state of New Haven is strong, but that does not mean that we do not face challenges. We will not waver in our quest to continue to make New Haven an inclusive welcoming place for all. We at the city share one common purpose: to make New Haven the best place to live, work, play, run a business or visit in Northeast Indiana. Our core values are Integrity, Accountability, Transparency, and Innovation."

Following Mayor McMichael's State of the City Address several presentations were given. First the Mayor introduced a new initiative. This initiative will be to designate annually one New Haven Non-Profit as the "Mayor's Choice". This year the Mayor chose the New Haven Food Bank. A check from the city and the New Haven Chamber was given to the Food Bank. Also donations and foods were donated throughout the evening.

As usual the annual presentation of the Fritcha Memorial Award was given. This year for the first time a couple received the award. This year's recipients were Bob and Sue Byrd, long time residents and supporters of the City of New Haven.

The New Haven Baseball Association had representatives present to celebrate the Parks creation of the Havenhurst Sports Complex. 

All in all it was a great evening of celebration for the City of New Haven.