Monticello | 2016 Community Achievement Award & Local Government Cooperation Award

The original City of Monticello Fire Station was built in 1904 and has served the firefighters well for over 110 years. Even with periodic remodeling and modernization throughout the years, the Fire Department was in desperate need of a new home. With the inevitable changes that time necessitates, they had outgrown their facilities. The building was also showing its age with inadequate plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. Mayor Ken Houston understood the need and opened construction bids for a new building in 2015. After the bids came in one million dollars over the budget estimates, the City re-grouped and explored its options. The Mayor began a dialogue with the county commissioners in hopes of a successful collaboration to benefit everyone. The White County Commissioners did not hesitate to lend financial assistance. With the deadline for bid approval fast approaching, the Monticello Redevelopment Commission, Monticello Redevelopment Authority, White County Redevelopment Commission, White County Council, and Monticello City Council signed an inter-local agreement authorizing a loan to the City of up to $1.25 million from the County. The loan supplemented the $4 million bond and allowed Monticello to award the construction contracts. On December 17, 2015, the City of Monticello Fire Station broke ground. The construction is progressing and the Fire Department looks forward to moving into the new station in 2017.

Mishawaka | 2016 Community Achievement Award

As one of Mishawaka’s oldest parks, Central Park was initially completed in 1941. The park was remained largely unchanged until 1976 and then in 2005 a new playground was added. During this time, the park was a place parents and grandparents would forbid their children from going due to safety reasons. In 2014, the City commissioned Lehman & Lehman to locate a new playground structure in the park. The company suggested they take it a few steps further and complete a total overall of the site. Mishawaka agreed and the planning and execution of the project began. Design considerations included spaces for connections, both physically and socially. The RiverWalk connects the community to other parks and the Central Park amenities bring people together through five pavilions, a four-sided fireplace, large open lawn, and an interactive, illuminated fountain with water cannons. Central Park’s playground features equipment like the Giant Octanet and the Crystal Sphere. On July 4, 2015, the City of Mishawaka, along with Mayor Dave Wood, welcomed excited citizens for a community ribbon-cutting. Future plans for Central Park include considerations for concession stand, food trucks, zip line, and skate park. The City is excited with the current use of Central Park – it is no longer a place to avoid, but a place where great memories are made.

Avon | 2016 Community Achievement Award

The Town of Avon saw the growing popularity of radio control race car racing at the Town’s Spring Fling Radio Control Festival in 2015. A temporary track was installed for the event and the success inspired the idea of a permanent track in Town Hall Park. The new, free, public track would be a great addition to Town Hall Park’s unique attractions such as an 18-hole disc golf course, bocce court, and outdoor table tennis tables. The RC race car track was designed and constructed by the Avon Parks Department staff along with volunteers. The 55 truckloads of dirt needed for the track was donated by Weber Concrete and the drivers’ stand was designed and installed by Rick Riddle Landscaping. Construction of the track commenced in October 2015 and the permanent track was ready for its first racers in May 2016. The track opened in time for the annual radio control festival of cars, boats, and planes. The RC car race track has become another community gathering place for families and friends and has added to the quality of life in the Town. Although the main focus of the track is to have a free and open track for everyone, Avon is looking at hosting racing days, events for people with disabilities, and additional business opportunities.

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