Garrett Mayor Fiandt Reports Progress

garrett mayor fiandt pic.jpg
Article by Sue Carpenter | KPC News | March 7, 2018    
GARRETT — “The state of the City of Garrett is great and looking better all the time,” Mayor Todd Fiandt told the Garrett Common Council Tuesday during his annual state of the city presentation.
He reported improvements with $11.5 million value in Garrett in 2017, an increase of nearly 21 percent over 2016. Residential permits totaled $3.8 million, a 12.25 percent increase over the previous year. Plans for three subdivisions were submitted to the city in 2017.
Grants received last year include a matching grant for $499,465 for the Indiana Department of Transportation for roads totaling $998,927 with the match. The city’s 50/50 sidewalk replacement program spent $12,437 for walkways.
The mayor listed successes and projects for city departments:
• The water works department repaired 14 main breaks, replaced 24 lead service lines and four fire hydrants. The department also flushed and tested 95 percent of all hydrants. The city’s water utility pumps 538,000 gallons per day, Fiandt said.
• The electric department recently completed new three-phase lines to Assman Corp. of America on North Taylor Road; new service to Miss Vicki’s South House on South Randolph Street; and installed new equipment in the Woodview Addition to avoid outages. The utility also completed phase 2 and phase 4 of the city’s fiber optic project. Last year, 25 residential and six commercial customers were added, along with one new, large power customer. The electric department crew also answered 2,237 service calls.
• The wastewater treatment kept things running smoothly with no major problems to report, Fiandt said.
• The 29 member, all-volunteer fire department responded to 238 medical assist calls, seven structure fires, 19 mutual aid responses at the scene, 15 hazmat calls and two vehicle fires last year. He reported an average response time per call at 4 minutes, 7 seconds in the city. “This should make us all feel a little safer,” said Fiandt. “That is just amazing to me.”
• The Garrett Police Department reported a slight decrease in the number of total calls. Traffic warnings were up by 277, arrests were up 94 cases. Fiandt also reported 151 total accidents, including personal injury and property damage.
“I am pleased to report thefts are down by 22, battery down by nine and there were zero burglaries. The city added a code enforcement officer who has begun to make a difference in the residential areas, and three officers completed the police academy. Officers have been doing business checks and continue involvement in community events.
Looking forward
Fiandt reported the city’s century-old water lines in the downtown area will be under construction this summer and asked the community for patience during the project. He also noted there will be more focus on the downtown area. Citizens, business people and city employees are all working on a game plan for downtown, Fiandt said.
In the coming months, the state will be resurfacing S.R. 327 (Randolph Street) through town, following the completion of the water line project. Once that is done, Fiandt hopes to start a streetscape project in the three downtown blocks. He said data show 76 percent of people going through a city judge the entire community by its downtown. “
We have a nice downtown and can take pride in making it better,” he said. He hopes to have local landscapers design and prepare bids for the project.
“This would really boost the pride and ownership of the project,” the mayor said.
He also asked citizens to consider donating to the downtown project.
“Once we see how much money we have, then we — the city and its residents — can see how much the city can do. You will see where your money went and know your donation wasn’t wasted.
“There is something about doing a project like this ourselves without any state funds that will make us unique from others. Let us show this part of Indiana what it means to be a blue-collar, hardworking, proud city that is willing to roll up their sleeves and make a difference in their own city,” he said.
Fiandt said a local family heard of the endeavor and offered a nice donation as seed money.
“So let’s throw a little water on this to see how will it can grow and make the difference in the appearance of our city,” he said.
Fiandt said he has faith in the community and cautioned people to not lose momentum in improving the town.
He noted positive feedback about the number of people who attended the dedication of the Creek Chub Bait Co. historical marker last summer.
“People from other places do notice Garrett. I hope they keep watching and noticing the good things happening here,” he said.
“With all of this going on, we should be proud of our progress the city has achieved. This is not done by just one person, or even two, but a true team effort,” Fiandt said, offering his thanks to every employee and elected official working for the city. 

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