Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore presented his State of the City Address today at a luncheon hosted by the Jeffersonville Rotary Club at The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center.
Mayor Moore expressed his gratitude for both the opportunity to present his third State of the City address as well as for the invitation from The Rotary Club of Jeffersonville.
Mayor Moore reports that the state of The City is very strong and much improved from four years ago when there was no plan to address the recession, high unemployment, Jeffersonville’s growth stagnation and the loss of hope of many of its residents.
Three years ago Mayor Moore’s administration mapped out a plan, the Path to Progress, for Jeffersonville which aimed at achieving economic growth and a better quality of life in Jeffersonville. Since first laying the foundation, Mayor Moore and his administration have relentlessly pressed forward on that path; and now, three years later, this journey has led to “a complete turnaround in Jeffersonville”.
More than 3,000 new jobs have come to Jeffersonville in the last three years which is more than the total number of jobs created in Jeffersonville in the five years preceding Mayor Moore’s administration combined.
Jeffersonville was named the fourth best city in Indiana for job seekers and Jeffersonville’s unemployment rate is now among the lowest in the state.
Jeffersonville is attracting new jobs from new companies like Briova, American Fuji Seal and Amazon and Jeffersonville’s established businesses have invested more than $40 million to expand their operations and grow their futures in Jeffersonville.
Today, in bright contrast to four years ago, “there is a spirit of optimism in Jeffersonville which makes our city better.”
Jeffersonville has been recognized as one of the best cities in Indiana to raise a family which Mayor Moore expressed makes him especially proud and it’s a reputation his administration will continue to work to uphold.
The initiatives of Jeffersonville’s Public Arts Committee, now led by a new, innovative public arts administrator, are brightening the landscape and encouraging creative expression.
There is more public space available for families to enjoy — like the wonderful new Woehrle Soccer Complex, a renovated Vissing Park and Allison Brook Park and community garden — which is the first city park in the annexed area.
The Ohio River Greenway project will be complete in the next couple of years, making Jeffersonville more accessible to walkers and cyclers and Jeffersonville is putting the land next to Duffy’s Landing to good use by transforming the area into a new boat launch.
The Mayor was very proud to report that the city’s riverside and beautiful view of the Ohio River will be soon re-claimed with the construction of a new downtown marina that will soon allow boaters to dock, shop and dine in downtown which is experiencing a renaissance of its own.
The award-winning Big Four Station – offering two blocks of green space, a playground, pavilion and waterfall – at the foot of the Big Four Bridge is the welcome mat to thousands of new people discovering Jeffersonville’s downtown shops and restaurants.
A new streetscape has transformed Chestnut Street to a first-class connector between the Big Four and Spring Street, leading visitors to give a boost to longtime businesses like Schimpff’s Confectionary and The Comeback Inn, while providing an avenue to new businesses as well.
Downtown Jeffersonville is now a great place to go when you are hungry. Three years ago none of these restaurants were open downtown — Red Yeti, Big Four Burgers, Olive Leaf Bistro or Flat 12. And this spring, O’Shea’s will also open on Spring Street.
Mayor Moore’s administration has stayed on the Path to Progress by diligently working through the gridlock that has kept Jeffersonville from achieving its potential for decades. Jeffersonville is now gaining momentum every day including ..
Jeffersonville’s side of Veterans Parkway where Menards, Heine Brothers Coffee and Krispy Kreme will soon open, joining Boombozz Pizza and Culvers.
New home construction continues to recover and strengthen.
And with the East End bridge poised to open next year, Mayor Moore is very confident “you haven’t seen anything yet!”
Jeffersonville’s opportunity is unprecedented in its history and with it comes a tremendous responsibility to do what is right for the future of our city and generations of people to come.
Jeffersonville is now fiscally sound. In three years, Mayor Moore’s administration has cut the Mayor’s budget nearly 58 percent – saving the taxpayers more than a half million dollars, decreasing staff from five employees to one and decreasing the Mayor’s travel expense by 50 percent.
Mayor Moore’s plan has helped Jeffersonville recover from the recession by managing the city within its means, balancing the budget, paying the bills and maintaining strong reserves without raising taxes to further burden taxpayers.
The foundation has been laid. The Pathway to Progress, in three years, has led Jeffersonville this far and now it’s time to continue the journey. Now Mayor Moore’s administration top focus will be on the economy. His administration will promote job growth and development by “not getting in the way of new business.”
Jeffersonville is poised to grow even more with new jobs and businesses, starting with River Ridge. Only 10 percent of the park has been developed. Thousands of acres of real estate await development that will bring Jeffersonville new businesses and good paying jobs for decades to come. Jeffersonville’s economic future as a community rests with the success of River Ridge and Mayor Moore’s administration will continue to work closely with River Ridge as it has since day one of his term.
Mayor Moore also commended Port of Indiana — Jeffersonville which last year recorded its best year ever thanks to the movement of steel related businesses to Jeffersonville.
Mayor Moore’s administration will maximize the potential of both River Ridge and Port of Indiana – Jeffersonville, two catalysts for growth, including working closely with Governor Pence in planning a heavy haul road that will both connect the two sites and will provide the tenants at River Ridge and the Port easier access to the new East End Bridge.
Mayor Moore discussed that while he understands and shares the frustration of the traffic congestion and detours, he also knows that this “is the price we pay for progress and that our frustration today is a down payment on a better city in the years to come.” His administration is planning to meet those challenges including working with the state of Indiana to make much needed improvements at the intersection of Hwy 62 and Utica-Sellersburg Road as well as requesting that the State install a turning signal and deceleration lane to help alleviate the traffic congestion.
Mayor Moore’s Comprehensive Plan will be updated to make Jeffersonville ready for responsible, commercial growth and development once the bridge is open that will have the right make up of commercial, residential and industrial activity.
The Mayor challenged the city stakeholders to consider “what do we want Jeff to look like in five, or ten, or twenty years?” and has asked for public input at public meetings and via completion of a survey on the city’s website. Mayor Moore’s administration is committed to planning for our city’s future by seeking input and ideas from everyone who calls Jeffersonville home.
One of Mayor Moore’s top priorities will be revitalizing 10th Street to connect Jeffersonville’s downtown to the east end by widening the street and create turning lanes and sidewalks which will make traffic flow much easier and make 10th street safer for commuters and pedestrians. Right now, Jeffersonville is in the process of acquiring right-of-ways and construction should start next year. In addition, Mayor Moore has challenged Jeffersonville’s Planning and Zoning Department to create plans that will develop the 10th Street corridor “as more than just a pass-through from one end of Jeffersonville to another”.
In addition, Mayor Moore’s administration is planning to re-develop the corner of 10th and Spring Street and will soon receive proposals for the transformation of what is currently ten, blighted acres into an impressive commercial development at the entrance to downtown.
Mayor Moore reviewed the quality of life in Jeffersonville. “Quality of life means making sure our neighborhoods are safe.” Mayor Moore commended Jeffersonville’s police officers, the “dedicated men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day.” Mayor Moore announced that the Open House for the new police headquarters will be tomorrow, February 11th and he invited everyone to come and tour the facility.
The Mayor reported he is again requesting the City Council to fund the hiring of five new police officers every year over the next five years in order to meet the national minimum for the number of police for a city the size of Jeffersonville.
Mayor Moore wants downtown Jeffersonville to be a place where people will want to stay and live; and to that end, he wants to continue the transformation of downtown by turning the vacant land surrounding the Big Four into residential and retail development opportunities which will include condos and brownstones with views of the Big Four and the Louisville skyline combined with retail space that will expand Jeffersonville’s downtown shopping, dining and entertainment district.
One aspect of Mayor Moore’s vision for downtown, which is now in discussion with potential developers, includes uses for the old American Legion property on Court Avenue. Mayor Moore announced he will again request the City Council to allow for the development of prime real estate that is now vacant, into Colston Park across the street from the Big Four. Development of this real estate will increase tax revenue.
Mayor Moore closed his address by emphasizing that now is the time for his administration and all city stakeholders to “stay focused” so that together everyone will fulfill Jeffersonville’s promise to our children and grandchildren that Jeffersonville will always be the place where businesses come to invest and families thrive; the promise that there will never be a better place to call home. “Jeffersonville hasn’t reached its potential yet. With your help, I know the best for Jeffersonville is yet to come.”