A few weeks ago a blog entry titled “Not Getting Along With Anybody” I promised to expound on some of my favorite things. Well, time has certainly flown by, so don’t believe it will be done before November 8th!
What I will offer you, is the original list of 45 things which happened during her administration updated with additional events. Information on the Madison Street Project (#38) is at the end of this post.
I have always supported Sharon McShurley. After doing this research and pulling together the information, I gained a new appreciation for the Administration, Department Heads and City Employees. Folks, this is a real team of people, dedicated, hardworking and willing to move our city forward even under the most trying times. This is my THANK YOU! You have all been great!
Let’s keep our city moving forward, as you can see it has been progressing. Don’t allow the naysayers to tell you different.
1. HUD funds restored/off federal monitoring list
2. Prairie Creek self-sustaining-major improvements
3. Canan Commons
4. Tuhey Pool
5. Progressive Rail
6. Indiana Stamping
8. Hamilton County officials & Mayor meet with Senator Bayh to retain 700 jobs
9. Wheel Tax spent wisely
10. Ivy Tech Downtown
11. Brought city through major budget crisis without raising taxes
12. Building Commission-self-sustaining
13. Presented before legislatures as representative of IACT (Indiana Association of Cities and Towns)
15. Implementation of HPG (High Performance Government paid with a grant)
16. Vetoed 67% threshold vote on Consolidation
17. Invited on economic development investment venture, paid for by private funds
18. Energy Grant –replace traffic lights, heating cooling high-efficiency unit
19. 3 year street painting (nothing done prior to 2007)
20. Blight tackled (Contracts for 39 more buildings including deconstruction awarded October 2011)
21. Governor Arts Walk
22. Muncie Police Department software upgrade, partnering with Ball State on crime mapping
23. Cable Commission active again/working to provide private funding for PAC and create an account to deposit the funds
24. Improved snow removal
25. One of three cities nationally to win “Green City Award”
26. U.S. Attorney, Joe Hogsett, toured Muncie giving “high marks” for building deconstruction program
27. White River Blvd. paved more for less
28. Paving of several streets, including Mock, 18th, 12th, Centennial, Tillotson, Bethel, Willard, Main, Jackson (list is not exhaustive)
29. Walk of Fame Heekin Park
30. Paved Tillotson Fire station parking lot
31. Restored Deputy Fire Chief position
32. Completed Muncie Parks Five Year Plan
33. Completed inventory on City of Muncie owned properties (found properties forgotten)
34. Improved City website
35. Engaging citizens in volunteerism (MAP & government)
36. Vetoed City Council’s animal control ordinance giving all city assets to a county facing severe financial problems
37. Working on design to eliminate congestion at Chadam & Clara lane vicinity
38. Madison Street Signal light project to begin in 2012(see below for more detail)
39. Received funds to improve railroad crossings through downtown
40. Monthly meetings with citizens (Chat with the Mayor)
41. Appointing qualified and experienced department heads
42. Madison intersections 26 & 29th upgraded
43. City administration not requesting line of credit to meet budget
44. Whiteley Community Council and administration working together on neighborhood fire station (this station will receive remodeling and Buley Center a grant)
45. Gift of $30,000 from Muncie Endurathon for PCR playground equipment
46. Sidewalk on Madison and Washington replaced
47. Park improvements to McCulloch Park, parking, playground equipment and updated basketball court
48. 2011 will end with a financial reserve
49. Mayor McShurley invited to speak at Progress Rail’s open house
50. Submitted a 2012 budget which includes staffing public safety at current levels
51. Creating a Parks Program Director (possible by combining two park jobs)
52. Downtown master plan initiated (Muncie Action Plan driven)
53. Proposed bonus for employees (city employees and department heads have helped make the city run more efficiently, this will be a minimal amount from the reserve) Contrary to popular belief this was addressed last summer at a Mayor’s Chat.
54. 30 projects funded by state and federal dollars dormant prior to 2008 were organized (paperwork was sparse)
55. Benchmarked the city to measure city’s progress
56. 2009 Street Department – used mixture of beet juice and salt on ice and snow
57. City Hall updated landscape to “Dry” landscape. Less water and less maintenance=less expense.
58. Member of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, which meets monthly (see #13)
59. $150,000 grant to implement bike trails at Prairie Creek.
Madison Street Project
The project entails improving ADA accessibility and installing new traffic signal equipment at the intersections of Madison Street that have signals from Wysor Street south to 29th Street. The upcoming construction will improve Madison’s intersections with Wysor, Washington, Adams, Charles, Kirby, Willard, Ninth, Memorial, 15th and 18th, and remove the signal at 21st street due to lack of need. (Press release 9-13-2011)
If you are a downtown merchant, it matters. If you are wanting to book a convention, it matters. If you live in the City of Muncie, it matters.
The Roberts Hotel has seen better days, yet its time hasn’t passed. Not according to the good news we received in the Muncie Star Press today. We have some interested investors or should we say interesting investors.
Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley has been in negotiations with developers from Chicago and Tulsa. The idea is to make the hotel a boutique with approximately 100 rooms. Mayor Mac working in conjunction with community leaders, has put together a focus group designed to express what the local businesses and community would like to see in Hotel Roberts.
The prospect of the hotel re-opening after being shuttered in 2006 is exciting to downtown merchants.
It’s not as easy as buying and moving in, though. Some renovations by the previous owner left undone, a complicated mess of finances including delinquent taxes and the consequent acquisition by Farmer’s Bank of Frankfort has made it a challenge for any business or investor.
If you would like to see the hotel and all its glory, please click here.
The Muncie Star Press quoted Mayor Sharon McShurley in today’s paper:
“It will be a long and arduous process, but I truly believe we have the right players at the table and can make this a success,” the mayor said. “It’s very exciting to have someone interested who is a proven success in doing just what we need done here.” Star Press 1-15-11
A brief history of the developers:
Rob Hunden is president of Hunden Strategic Partners of Chicago. His past experience includes the Omni convention hotel in Fort Worth, the Erie Bayfront Convention Center and Sheraton, Fourth Street Live in Louisville and the Kansas City Power & Light District. He worked with Indianapolis officials on the Indiana Convention Center expansion and funding for the construction of Conseco Fieldhouse.
Paul Coury is chairman of Coury Group of Tulsa, Okla. His recent hotel redevelopment projects include the 36-bed Ashton Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, the 108-bed Colcord Hotel in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the 55-bed Ambassador Hotel in Tulsa. Star Press 1-15-11
From the Historical Hotels of America website:
The Ashton Hotel
Fort Worth, Texas
Housed in two inter-connected historic buildings, The Ashton is Fort Worth’s only small luxury hotel. Soaring twelve-foot ceilings are luxuriously appointed and offer the finest in classic ambience with modern amenities. The hotel’s elegant Café Ashton has become one of the city’s most popular fine dining spots. The hotel is decorated with original artwork by the Fort Worth Circle, a collection of local artists whose work spanned the years from the 1930s through the 1960s.
The Ashton remains one of Fort Worth’s only examples of Italianate architecture. View the Ashton Hotel here.
Information on the Colcord Hotel.
Take a tour of the Ambassador Hotel.
Ivy Tech’s relocating downtown, restoring of historical apartments and the promise of an awesome park all contribute to a vibrant downtown. The Roberts Hotel will be a boost to our community.
I can’t wait!