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YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL Comes to Michigan City, Indiana

The City of Michigan City announced today it will unveil a 6 foot tall by 48 foot long YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL public art installation by world renowned artist Matthew Hoffman on Saturday, July 1 at 1:30 PM in the greenspace located at 121 W. Michigan Blvd – the former site of the New Dispatch and Michigan City Police Department buildings. This movable art installation was commissioned by City of Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer with support from the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission, the Michigan City Gateway Public Art Committee (MAC) and Lubeznik Center for the Arts, and was fabricated by Jet Fabricators - Custom Metal Fabrication Services of Michigan City, Indiana.

The YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL art movement, started in 2002 by Chicago-based artist and designer Matthew Hoffman, began simply with 100 stickers placed throughout Chicago and has evolved into an internationally renowned project with block-long murals, public installations and exhibitions at cultural institutions across the globe, engaging thousands of artists and millions of viewers. The Michigan City installation will be the biggest and most permanent Hoffman project to date, placing Michigan City at the epicenter of the YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL project worldwide.

“This is another historic moment for Michigan City and we are proud to showcase such a large and prominent piece of Hoffman’s work in our great city, “said City of Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer. “This outstanding installation will highlight the city’s continued redevelopment and, as the sculpture moves to new locations around the city, will help us to publically celebrate the forward progress and growth happening in our community.”

The inspiration for this project came out of the City’s numerous action plans for rebranding and redevelopment. Over the next 10 years, as the City progresses with such projects as the Michigan City North End Gateway Implementation Strategy and the MOMENTUM Michigan City 2040 Comprehensive Plan, open spaces will become available throughout the city where the installation can be relocated to highlight up-and-coming public spaces in a unique, uplifting and creative way.

Local artist and YAB project manager Lora Fosberg expressed her excitement for the project stating, “YAB is such an inspiring movement. These three simple words can do so much to brighten someone’s day, uplift our community and remind us to appreciate each other and ourselves. This is a great addition to Michigan City’s public art collection.”

The July 1 public unveiling of the YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL installation at 1:30 PM at 121 W. Michigan Blvd is expected to last approximately 45 minutes and will include remarks from Mayor Meer, Hoffman and other local leaders, as well as a celebratory toast and light refreshments. This event is free and open to the public.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL MOVEABLE SCULPTURE UNVEILING

WHAT: A public unveiling of the YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL moveable art installation with remarks from the artist and local leaders, with a celebratory toast and light refreshments onsite at the sculpture’s first home in the new greenspace located at 121 W. Michigan Blvd.

WHO: Mayor Ron Meer, the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission, the Michigan City Gateway Public Art Committee (MAC), Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Jet Fabricators and artist Matthew Hoffman, with other local leaders and community partners. The media and the public are invited to attend this exciting photo opportunity.

WHEN:           Saturday, July 1, 2017
                        1:30 PM CST
                        Estimated duration: 45 minutes

WHERE:         121 W. Michigan Blvd, Michigan City, IN 46360
                        Site of the former News Dispatch and Michigan City Police Department buildings

 


Larkspur Lane Stormwater Project

The Michigan City Sanitary District (District) is planning to complete the Larkspur Lane Stormwater Project.  Woodruff and Sons, the District’s contractor, will resume construction of the Larkspur Lane Drainage Improvements Project on July 5th, 2017, to complete the East-West portion of Larkspur Lane project.  The Contractor will continue to work eastward on Larkspur Lane until the Project is completed.  We anticipate a completion date of September 1st, 2017, barring any unforeseen conditions, such as wet weather.

During the last week of August, the Contractor will restore the tree lawns.  We ask that the residents along Larkspur Lane help water and maintain the newly placed sod after it is installed.

Any resident that has special needs should contact Woodrfuff and Sons at 219-872-8605, to discuss arrangements to meet any special needs.

All other questions regarding the Project should be directed to John Gorczyca, District Engineer, Michigan City Sanitary District, at 219-874-7799 or via email at jgorczyca@mcsan.org.


Barker Mansion Summer Events

Barker Mansion Summer Events

Midsummer at the Mansion
Saturday, June 24, 2017 - 6:00 pm

A celebration of the 1920's featuring the popular food, drinks & lawn games of the era with a Far East Twist. $50/person. Tickets for sale on Eventbrite.

For more information on the Barker Mansion visit them online at www.barkermansion.com or call them at 219-873-1520.


What a Deal for Indiana! The New Deal Legacy in the Hoosier State

Glory-June Greiff will present an illustrated talk, “What a Deal for Indiana!: The New Deal Legacy in the Hoosier State.” This public presentation will take place in Michigan City, in the City Hall Council Chambers, on Thursday, June 29 2017 at 6:00pm CDT. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Michigan City's Washington Park is on the National Register of Historic Places because of its wealth of beautiful and unique historic buildings and structures. In 1991, it was Indiana historian, Glory-June Greiff, who wrote the National Register nomination, under the sponsorship of the Michigan City Zoological Society and Michigan City Historical Society. Come and enjoy Glory-June Greiff's illustrated program as she explores the significance and history of the WPA and other New Deal projects in Washington Park and around the state.

Glory-June Greiff has been researching the work of the New Deal in Indiana and elsewhere for over thirty years. Even though we have lost many of these resources since the New Deal era, hundreds still dot the Hoosier landscape and are still used. The Washington Park Tower, Castle, and many other structures are fine examples of New Deal architecture. Bids for Washington Park's Greenhouse restoration have been solicited and work to bring that building back to its original appearance will begin this summer.


Red Cross Blood Drive - June 23

We challenge all city workers between 11:30-4:30pm on June 23rd to make a lifesaving gift of a blood donation. The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2-3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.

Site: City Hall
Address: 100 E. Michigan Blvd, Michigan City, IN, 46360
Room Name: Emergency Operations Center ( lower level of City Hall)
Date: Friday, June 23rd, 2017
Time: 11:30am-4:30pm

Click here and use sponsor code “challmc” to make an appointment.

Thank you for supporting the American Red Cross Blood Program! “ Be a hero, save a life!”

For any questions, call Liz Sonderby at the Mayor’s Office (219) 873-1400 or Kristine Kaplan ( 260) 385-3889.


Friendship Botanic Gardens to Host "Nature Inspired Art Classes" for Children Ages 8-12

Join Art Instructor, Jessica DeCaro, for a series of nature-inspired arts & crafts classes that are geared towards children. Each class nurtures children’s curiosity and encourages exploration, adventure and discovery. Children will then creatively express their experience at Friendship Botanic Gardens in Michigan City, IN.

A Student may register for just one class; or can register for as many as he or she desires.

Students will learn to combine nature with arts and crafts with this series of classes as a guide. They will be taught about the history of Friendship Botanic Gardens and everything it has to offer through a walk on the trails before each class. Students will forage items to use for the classes all while learning about the trees, flowers, bugs, and birds and more that help to make these Gardens so unique, beautiful and its role in our environment. At the Education Pavilion, their amazing finds will contribute to their imaginative art projects.

Click here for more information and to register!


Compost Schedule

Yard waste/compost pickups will begin Monday, May 8, 2017, and will continue through Friday, November 17, 2017. You may use 32 gallon size garbage cans, cardboard boxes, and/or paper bags. NO PLASTIC BAGS OR TOTERS may be used for compost pick-ups.  All compost pick-ups must be placed out on the curbside for removal and will not be picked up or removed from alleys. The resident will be responsible for getting their compost to the street. Listed below are the schedules for the regular trash pick-up and the corresponding pick-up day for the composting materials only.

IF YOUR TRASH PICK-UP IS:                  YOUR COMPOST DAY IS:
Monday                                                         Thursday
Tuesday                                                        Friday
Wednesday                                                  Monday
Thursday                                                       Tuesday
Friday                                                             Wednesday


Mayor Ron Meer Appoints Former Mayor Chuck Oberlie to the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission

Mayor Ron Meer announced Monday that he will appoint former Mayor Chuck Oberlie to the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission effective next month.

Meer expressed his confidence in Oberlie in making this key appointment. Mayor Meer said, "I am honored to have former Mayor Oberlie step up to serve in this very important position. Chuck is a very smart man and has extensive experience in this field. In my conversations with Chuck, he is happy the city is doing so well and wants to help. He is a great addition to my team and he will be an excellent resource to us on the Redevelopment front."

Former Mayor Oberlie served in various capacities in his career with Michigan City. First he served as the assistant city planner, then as city planner, and then as city controller. Finally he was elected to two full terms as Mayor. His administration worked on many initiatives that set the momentum and foundation for the redevelopment efforts in the North End of Michigan City including the Michigan Boulevard rehabilitation and the Elston Grove Streetscape projects. Mayor Oberlie said on Friday, “I like where Michigan City is headed and I want to be part of the team.  Mayor Meer is doing a great job and the best is still ahead for Michigan City.”  

Oberlie will replace educator and coach Donovan Garletts on the commission.  Mayor Meer thanked Garlett’s for his work. "Donovan is a passionate and solid contributor for Michigan City.  I can’t say enough about this young man and I thank him for his service and wish him the best in his new endeavors,” the Mayor said.


Michigan City Promise Scholarship Announces Members to Scholarship

Michigan City Promise Scholarship (MC Promise) is pleased to introduce the newly formed Michigan City Promise Scholarship Exceptions Committee.  The Exceptions Committee is a process for a student applying for the Promise Scholarship to appeal if he/she feels there is a compelling reason that they should not be denied. To appeal a denial, the applicant will have an opportunity to submit a written appeal to the Exceptions Committee.

The Promise Exceptions Committee will review all appeals and determine if there are extenuating circumstances that would allow granting a Promise Scholarship to the applicant.  The Scholarship Exceptions Committee’s decisions will be final. 

The Exceptions Committee consists of five community members appointed by Mayor Meer, the Michigan City Common Council, MC Economic Development, and Michigan City Area Schools. MC Promise would like to welcome Shelly Barnes, Clarence Hulse, Bonnie Manuel, Yolanda Thomas-Davis and Mike Dempsey as the inaugural Promise Exceptions Committee.

Nancy Smith, Director of MC Promise, would like to remind all MC students who meet the criteria to submit their application before the deadline June 9th.  “We are excited to grant as many Promise Scholarships as possible to this first class of MCHS seniors.  Many applications have already been submitted and with a June 9th deadline, we are expecting many more to continue to roll in all month.”   The Promise Scholarship will be awarded to all participants who meet the qualifying criteria.

MC Promise is a Mayor Ron Meer initiative that will grant scholarships of up to $5000 per year, renewable for 4 years, to eligible Michigan City High School seniors who will attend post-secondary schooling in the state of Indiana.  The MCHS Class of 2017 will be the first class to receive Promise Scholarships and they will be awarded to all participants who meet the qualifying criteria. 

For more information and full eligibility rules, you can visit MichiganCityPromise.com.


Swimming Safety

As swim season approaches, the City of Michigan City, Michigan City Fire Department and Michigan City Parks and Recreation Department encourage children and parents in the area to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety top of mind.

“Swimming is a fun and enjoyable activity for children and adults alike, and it’s an easy way to stay physically active and improve strength, flexibility and stamina,” said Park Superintendent Jeremy Kienitz.  “The City of Michigan City is committed to providing as many opportunities as possible for everyone to swim and learn water safety practices.”

As part of National Water Safety Month in May, the City of Michigan City and Michigan City Area Schools have collated together in an effort to prevent “water emergencies.”  Beginning May 15, 2017, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) will be educating our youth on the necessity of Lakefront Safety.  During this time students will learn the following safety tips to practice when in and around the water:

  • Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.
  • Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.
  • Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.
  • Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.

The Michigan City Fire Department is always concerned about the safety of our personnel and the safety of the public,” stated Fire Chief Randy Novak.  “Drownings are 100% preventable, and we are committed to preventing all drowning’s in the City of Michigan City and adjacent communities.  GLSRP is one of those water safety programs that we feel will assist us with reaching our goal of zero drownings.”


Friendship Botanic Gardens Is Asking For The Community's Help To Locate Historical Pictures of the Gardens

Friendship Botanic Gardens (FBG) has a storied history spanning many decades, and now we’re commemorating our rich legacy by publishing a book of photographs and stories that will provide readers a window into the remarkable past of FBG. The FBG Board of Directors is asking for your help in locating old photographs taken in the Gardens in the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s.  

The Gardens held a very prominent place in the lives of Laporte County residents in the mid-twentieth century, and many members of the local community may have historical pictures from the heyday of Friendship Botanic Gardens stored in their attics and basements. If you have images from these bygone eras, please contact us at 219-878-9885 or info@friendshipgardens.org and help us bring the history of the Gardens to life for a whole new generation of visitors from Laporte County and beyond!"


Mayor Meer Appoints Committee on Lead

Mayor Ron Meer recently established a committee to help educate community members about the dangers of lead and preventative measures to protect families from exposure to lead.  The Committee was established as a result of newly compiled data showing high levels of blood lead levels among children under the age of seven in some Michigan City neighborhoods. 

The goals of the committee are to find the best means to educate our community about the dangers of lead, and to promote awareness of and access to current resources at the local, state, and federal levels on the topic of lead.  The committee will continue to meet and report regularly to the Mayor, the Michigan City Common Council, and to the public.

In the group’s four meetings they have gathered and evaluated pertinent information for dissemination from institutions such as the La Porte County Health Department, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, United Stated Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan City Housing Authority, Michigan City Water Department, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Michigan City Code Enforcement, and the Michigan City Department of Community Development. Additionally, multiple local resources have been engaged for their input and expertise on the subject.

The committee has concluded the prevalence of lead-based paint in homes constructed prior to 1978 as an important emerging issue and as the most likely source of above average lead levels in children’s blood.  Michigan City’s drinking water has met the Safe Drinking Water criteria for lead and there are no indications that the high lead levels are being caused by the City’s drinking water.  The Michigan City Water Department will be testing the City’s drinking water for lead again this summer.

As more information is gathered and communicated, the committee would like the public to know there is an immediate need for parents of young children, especially those with children below the age of seven, to utilize the available resources in our community to complete lead screening in children.  Children can be screened for free at the La Porte County Health Department, 801 N. Michigan St., LaPorte, Indiana, during their normal working hours.  Parents may also have their children tested by their local family physician, but such testing may not be free.

The Committee on Lead will continue to meet regularly during 2017, and they plan to work with local community leaders and the newly formed La Porte County Task Force on Lead, to help reduce the risks from lead to our families.


Children's Art Scholarships Available

Children's Art Scholarships AvailableMAC (Michigan City Public Art Committee) is offering children’s art scholarship to qualified Michigan City children.

The Michigan City Public Art Committee, created in 2011 by the Michigan City City Council, has established a scholarship fund to assist Michigan City children in taking art instruction.

Visual art classes or individual art instruction for qualified children between 5 and 18 years of age will be funded. The maximum grant request per individual is $200. Funds will be available for instruction in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, collage, crafts such as beading, mosaic work and weaving, art camps or any combination of these taught by a legitimate instructor. Continuing this year is the youth glassblowing workshop with artist and instructor Ian Osborne that will be given at Quality Beat in Michigan City. The committee will not fund music, writing, dance, or drama instruction. 

Applicants must show financial need and take instruction from an art provider located in the Michigan City city limits. The deadline for applying is at least 30 days before the instruction is scheduled to start. Applications are available at the Visit Michigan City LaPorte, Marquette Mall, 4073 S. Franklin St., Michigan City, IN. Submission can be made to Jane Daley at the location or you can contact her via email and the applications will be sent to you.

You can find art classes for children at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts  or Ian Osborn, Glass Flameworking Artist & Instructor.

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Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association (MCUEA) 2017 Business Grant Program

The Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association (MCUEA) is pleased to announce their 2017 Business Grant Program. It is specifically designed to help promote businesses located within the Urban Enterprise Zone boundaries and to assist in the overall plan for the City by promoting visual improvements, historic preservation, structural integrity, boosting the quality of product and enhancing the customer experience. The grant is available for signage, machinery and equipment used in their business and for building improvements to the exterior and interior of the property. The MCUEA will reimburse 50% of the eligible costs not to exceed $7,500.

The applicant must fill out the 2017 Business Grant Program application by December 31, 2017 and meet the requirements set forth in the application to be eligible. There is $75,000 appropriated for this program.

The application must be mailed or emailed to:
Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association
P.O. Box 43
Michigan City, IN 46350
Email: MCUEA1984@gmail.com

Please contact Diane Wilczewski, Director at 219-561-6991 if you have questions concerning this grant.

To obtain the 2017 Business Grant Program application, please click here.

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City Hires Special Events and Marketing Director

The City of Michigan City and the Office of the Mayor announced today it has hired a new Special Events and Marketing Director. Kesha M Pate, owner and creative director of Ahsek Media and an expert in communications, marketing and innovative technologies will serve in this new role beginning on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

“We are excited to be moving forward with the next steps in the Branding, Development and Marketing Action Plan that was developed for the City by Roger Brooks International in collaboration with several stakeholders in the community,” said Mayor Ron Meer. “This new role will help us take Michigan City to the next level, showcasing our community throughout the region as an excellent place to visit, work and live. We are excited that Kesha will be returning home to join our team.”

Shortly after graduating from Purdue University, Pate moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and opened the new dinosaur exhibit for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. She also served as the Public Relations Manager for Pittsburgh Opera before starting her communications consulting company Ahsek Media Limited. In 2012, Pate and Ahsek Media moved back to her hometown of LaPorte, working with several local non-profits and traveling extensively for projects in diverse industries and communities around the Midwest and Eastern United States.

“It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been able to spend more time at home than working out of state and it will be really nice to be in one place for a change,” said Pate. “I’m looking forward to bringing the resources of my global professional network back to Michigan City to support the great work that is being done here.”

Pate and Ahsek Media’s professional credits include building and managing the Pennsylvania Link – Aging and Disabilities Resource Centers in Armstrong and Mercer Counties; digital promotion for several opera singers, jazz musicians, actors and dancers; digital promotion for the JazzLive International Jazz Festival; founding Steeltown Jazz for the presentation of a historic jazz series in partnership with the Senator John Heinz History Center and the historic James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy; and most recently serving as the Director of Communications for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh’s Association of 19 YMCAs and 3 YMCA camps; as well as serving as the Board Development Chair of the Board of Directors for Attack Theatre and Communications Sponsor for United Way of LaPorte County.

“We are proud to have been a part of bringing Kesha’s expertise and experience back to LaPorte County,” said Jack Arnett, Executive Director of the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The LCCVP partnered with the City in the selection and funding of the Special Events and Marketing Director position. “In the past, we’ve seen many of our kids move away to build their careers; but now, as we are creating so many new and exciting opportunities, we can bring them and their resources back home to benefit our community.”

The Special Events and Marketing Director will serve as a resource and a liaison to the City for the businesses, volunteers and stakeholders who currently host special events in Michigan City. The primary role of the Director will be to amplify, assist and empower leaders of existing projects and also to pursue opportunities for new projects – specifically for programming in the future City Plaza located at 701-703 and 705 Franklin Street. The Director will also oversee the implementation of the City’s Branding Master Plan; lead the Brand Leadership Team; and manage the City’s social media and website presence.

“We want people to understand that we’re taking a step forward here, not reinventing the wheel,” said City Controller Richard Murphy. “Kesha isn’t taking over our community’s events. She’s here to bring new skills and expertise to our team so that we can make our plans for Michigan City a reality. Kesha is a great facilitator and will help us ensure that everyone has a seat at the table as we move forward.”

Kesha PateKesha M Pate, biography
As the principle owner of Ahsek Media – an innovative, cloud-based communications company servicing clients around the globe – Kesha M Pate is responsible for all strategic operations, creative development and philanthropic initiatives of Ahsek Media and its partners. Ms. Pate has extensive experience as a communications leader in a myriad of industries and in organizations of every size. Her areas of expertise include social media and digital communication; media and public relations; strategic engagement of targeted demographics; signature events and fundraising; website development and management; and emerging technologies.

As a highly motivated and creative professional with skills in several technical areas, Ms. Pate is uniquely qualified to provide a wide range of services to an organization.

She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing with specialties including Communication and Public Relations from Purdue University. Her skills range from public speaking and team/relationship building to graphic design, webmastery and video production to financial planning, strategic management and budget planning to donor relations, fundraising and board development.

As a strong believer in the power of community, Ms. Pate has a passion for creating positive change in the world and understands the dedication that service work requires. Her expertise in public speaking, relationship building and interpersonal communication allow Ms. Pate to excel working in both structured, corporate environments and relaxed, creative environments by making interpersonal connections and developing long-term relationships. She also has extensive experience working within the financial constraints facing small businesses, local governments and non-profit organizations.

Ms. Pate is dedicated to supporting creativity in all forms - focusing on artists, musicians, small businesses and non-profit organizations - and is passionate about volunteering, mentoring and professional development.

Ms. Pate and Ahsek Media are proud to serve as the Communications Sponsor for United Way of LaPorte County. Ms. Pate also proudly serves as the Board Development Chair of the Board of Directors for Attack Theatre, Pittsburgh's premier modern dance company. Ms. Pate has also served as a Volunteer Ambassador for the Heinz History Center Saturday Speaker Series "Steel City Groove: Celebrating Jazz in Western PA"; an advisory board member for the JazzLive International Jazz Festival; and is the founder of Steeltown Jazz, celebrating the past, present and future of jazz in Pittsburgh.

Ms. Pate is a native of LaPorte County, a lover of animals, especially dogs, and has two standard poodles as her constant companions.

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Free Smoke Alarms

The American Red Cross, along with the Michigan City Fire Department, are sponsoring HOME FIRE PREPAREDNESS AND SAFETY. Free Smoke Alarms will be installed in homes to keep families safe. If you are interested and would like to have up to three free smoke alarms installed in your home and receive fire preparedness information to keep your family safe, please contact the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana at 219-756-5360.

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Transit Tringle PNW Campus Bus Stop

Effective January 1, 2017 Transit Triangle Commuter Route Buses will no longer be stopping at the PNW Schwarz Hall. The New Bus Stop location will be in front of the Dworkin Complex.

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Looking for the 421 South Franklin Street South Gateway Plan?

Are you seeking more information on the 421 South Franklin Street South Gateway Plan? Click here to find the plan document (PDF, 307MB).

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Seeking Public Input on Parks Master Plan

The Michigan City Parks and Recreation Department is seeking PUBLIC INPUT for our 5-year Master Plan.

Take the survey online. Click here for the 2017-2021 Michigan City Parks Department Master Plan Online Survey.

Or, download th survey and fax, mail or e-mail it in. Click here for a PDF of the 2017-2021 Michigan City Parks Department Master Plan Survey.

Surveys are also located at the Park Office, The Michigan City Senior Center, The Washington Park Zoo, The Michigan City Golf Course, The Michigan City Public Library, LaPorte County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, and Mayor Meer’s office in City Hall.

The Michigan City Parks and Recreation Department greatly appreciates your time and input.

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Michigan City Launches Official Social Media Presence

Four new social media pages launching today will provide new ways to interact with and promote the community. Each one will offer a different experience and a different way to show off “#myMichiganCity.”

Initiated by the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission, these pages will support local businesses, bolster economic development, create awareness and excitement for local events, and foster a strong online community. The effort will build on interest already generated by existing Michigan City social media presences, such as the Facebook pages of the Uptown Arts District, the Parks and Recreation Department, and many others.

Don Babcock, Vice President of the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission said, “The Redevelopment Commission is investing tens of millions of dollars to help revitalize our great city. A critical part of that effort is to help existing and new businesses thrive. This initiative will help build pride in our community and help sustain our momentum for the next generation.”

The four pages will consist of two separate Facebook pages, an Instagram account, and an official city LinkedIn page. The Discover Michigan City Facebook page will promote local businesses, events, and accomplishments. The Michigan City Resident Updates page will be home to announcements relevant to Michigan City residents. The Discover Michigan City Instagram account will share photos focused on food and drink, arts and culture, as well as great shopping and events. The LinkedIn page will build the City’s image as an excellent place to do business, reaching the professional community in and outside the City. Readers may “like” and “follow” the pages by visiting these links online.

A 16-member Social Media Advisory Council has overseen development of the social media launch and will oversee the content posted to each page. City Councilman and Social Media Advisory Council member Richard Murphy said, “We can bring the stunning visual imagery of our natural resources, the energy of the renaissance occurring in arts and culture in our downtown, and the many positive community efforts we have going on across our city right now to create a powerful online presence that will help Michigan City economically, and improve its image to residents and visitors alike.”

In the coming weeks, workshops will be announced to help businesses and organizations optimize their use of social media, support each other’s efforts online, and promote the City in general.

#myMichiganCity Program Offers Discounts & Prizes

The #myMichiganCity program will promote local businesses and encourage participation from residents and visitors alike. Social media users who post using the #myMichiganCity hashtag, and “check in” or “mention” specific businesses on any social network may earn discounts at participating businesses, plus enter for a chance to win prizes. Julia Nielsen, a Social Media Advisory Council member, says, "We look forward to supporting the City's new social media campaign and are excited to be a part of such an excellent community."

Nielsen's eclectic boutique, The Closet by Franklin Vintage, will offer a 10% discount as part of the program. Other participating businesses include Arturo’s Baked Goods & More, Burn ‘Em Brewing, Hoity-Toity, The Great Escape Spa & Art Shop, At The Beach Swimwear Boutique, Finders Keepers Consignment LLC, Threadbenders Quilt Shop, Maple City Roasters, Urban Soles Inc, and Beach Bum Jewels.

Residents and visitors using the #myMichiganCity hashtag anywhere in the City may also enter for a chance to win prizes, including a $50 gift card for Lighthouse Premium Outlets, a one-year family membership to the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, a one-night stay at Blue Chip Casino Hotel & Spa, a complimentary wine tasting for six with Perfect Pairing appetizers at Shady Creek Winery, and two VIP Passes for the Great Lakes Grand Prix provided by the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The drawing entry form is online at http://bitly.com/myMichiganCity.

Any business can join the program at any time by visiting http://bitly.com/myMichiganCity. To help businesses advertise their incentives, customizable, printable table tents are also available for download at the website.

Help spread the word about our great city! Use #myMichiganCity to show your civic pride. Follow, like, and interact on the Michigan City Resident Updates Facebook page, Discover Michigan City Facebook page, Discover Michigan City Instagram page, and The City of Michigan City LinkedIn page.

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Envision Washington Park

Envision Washington ParkMichigan City Parks & Recreation recently launched ENVISION WASHINGTON PARK. This is a community-based planning process to create a new master plan for Washington Park. Get involved and help envision a better Washington Park!

As part of the Park Department Master Plan, the Board and Staff are developing a Washington Park Master Plan, which will provide recommendations for improvements over a five-year period. Washington Park is the biggest and best-positioned lakefront in the region, serving the Chicago and Indianapolis metropolitan areas and everyone in between. As the centerpiece of the Lake Michigan Gateway, opportunities exist to create a world class, eco-recreation destination and catalyze development within the downtown Michigan City area. By planning for the future of Washington Park, the Board and Staff aim to create a regional destination that fosters year-round recreation opportunities, enriching programs and events, and improves the quality of life for residents, visitors and future generations.

ONLINE: www.placespeak.com/washingtonpark

We are looking forward to a great community conversation on the revitalization of Washington Park through the 2016 Master Plan process!

Click here for a printable flyer (PDF).

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Changes to Hand Gun Permit Process

The Michigan City Police Department is announcing that changes have been made to the hand gun permit process due to recent implementation by the Indiana State Police. Those interested in obtaining an application must do so on-line via the Indiana State Police website, which is located at www.in.gov/isp or at the Michigan City Police Department website at www.michigancitypolice.com.

For additional information, please click here.  

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Michigan City Crime Map

A crime mapping tool used by law enforcement agencies across Northwest Indiana to track and solve everything from car break-ins to homicides can now be accessed online by the public. Michigan City's crime data is now part of the Regional Crime Report available online at nwi.com. Click here to access the Crime Report online for Michigan City.

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Looking for Information on the Michigan City Lake Michigan Gateway Implementation Strategy?

Are you seeking more information on the Michigan City Lake Michigan Gateway Implementation Strategy? Click here to learn more from the Hitchcock Design Group, the team commissioned by the City to design the implementation strategy.

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Cheney Run Floodplain

Mayor Meer has made available the following documents related to the Cheney Run Floodplain:

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Texting and Driving - $150.00 FINE - A Simple Explanation

Cell phone use - especially texting - has become so ingrained in society that far too many people ignore the NO TEXTING AND DRIVING LAW.

The Michigan City Police are noticing more and more of this on a regular basis and now with the busy shopping season and fast approaching dangerous driving weather upon us and we are warning citizens of not only the dangers yet the fact that citations will be issued.

57 percent of Americans view their cellphones as key to their social life, and most view texting as a vital feature. Yet to mix this activity with driving is statistically extremely dangerous.

  • Five seconds is the average time a driver’s eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling 55 mph that is enough time to cover the length of a football field.
  • In 2011, at least 23 percent of auto collisions involved cell phones, equaling 1.3 million crashes.
  • At any given daylight moment across America, about 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. IC 9-21-8-0.5 

Specifically, the Indiana distracted driving law  (IC 9-21-8-59) prohibits drivers from typing a text message, transmitting the message or reading an electronic mail message. This also means all drivers regardless of age are prohibited from texting or surfing on the internet even when stopped for a traffic light.

Cell Phones
Drivers under 18 – are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving. PERIOD

Texting
All Indiana drivers NO MATTER WHAT AGE are prohibited from texting while driving

How is it Enforced?
Indiana’s cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. That is, the officer sees you texting and can pull you over immediately and issue a citation. The citation will cost you $150.00 and is tripled in a construction zone!

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Uptown Arts District Façade Improvement Applications Now Available

The Michigan City Uptown Arts District Façade Improvement Program through the Redevelopment Commission is designed to promote the continued use and maintenance of commercial and residential buildings in the downtown/Uptown Arts District area. It is intended to help property owners and commercial tenants to rehabilitate and restore the visible exterior of existing structures. Improvements must meet criteria for appropriateness of design.

For complete program information and application, please click here (PDF).

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Michigan City Animal Control Seeks Volunteers

The Michigan City Animal Control Division would like to announce a new volunteer program that will encompass Kennel duties located at Michigan City’s Central Maintenance on the west side.  Some of the duties will include, but not limited to feeding of cats and dogs and cleaning the kennel if required.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have their own transportation.  You can find the Application and Waiver forms at emichigancity.com under the Animal Control tab and the Michigan City Police Department’s Facebook page.  Applications and Waivers will also be available at the front desk of the police department.  Once the forms are completed, please turn them in at the Michigan City Police Department for review, you will be contacted shortly thereafter.

Click here for Dog/Cat Kennel - Michigan City, Indiana Volunteer Application (PDF)

Click here for Dog/Cat Kennel - Volunteer Waiver And Release (PDF)

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Streetlight Outage Reporting

Mayor Ron Meer, in conjunction with NIPSCO, would like to inform the public of an online option available to them in reporting a streetlight outage.

www.nipsco.com/streetlightout is an interactive website designed to allow the public an easier, faster, and much more efficient means of reporting a streetlight outage.  When a person accesses the website, they can report a streetlight outage with just three simple steps. 

Mayor Meer asks the public to please utilize this method of reporting when possible.  This website will eliminate steps in the reporting process and generate an immediate online report directly to NIPSCO.  However, for those who do not have internet access, you are encouraged to please call Central Services at 873-1500.  Central Services will then enter and submit the information on your behalf.

Mayor Meer would like to thank you for your help.  A well lit Michigan City is a safer and more appealing place for both our citizens and visitors.

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Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge

The Indiana Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) Community Challenge is a voluntary recognition program for local Indiana government. CLEAN helps communities take steps to plan, develop, and implement a quality of life plan. This plan includes gathering input and support from the community and local businesses.

Michigan City was awarded the status of a “CLEAN” community effective December 19, 2007.

To review Michigan City’s Quality of Life Plan and status of our existing projects go to http://www.in.gov/idem/prevention/2361.htm.

For questions on our local please contact:

Charlie Cate, Stakeholder Committee Leader
(219) 833-7591
ccate@emichigancity.com

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Indiana CLEAN

Free Prescription Drug Card Program

As a resident of Indiana, you and your family have access to a FREE Prescription Drug Card program. Simply download your Prescription Drug Card here to receive savings of up to 75% at more than 50,000 national and regional pharmacies. You may create as many cards as you need. Participating pharmacies include the following: Target, Kmart, CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Meijer, Kroger as well as thousands of independent pharmacies.

Discounts range in price from 10-70% but average about 30%. It is NOT insurance...it's a membership program, but like insurance you get a card that you show at the pharmacy and they can calculate your discount.

For people with insurance or Medicare, this can work with them as well. Because it is NOT insurance, members would be able to see if they get a better price with their existing insurance or with the card. Usually, the co-pay through insurance will be better, but not always. So having the card could be helpful even to people that already have insurance. (Not to mention many individuals and businesses are going to high deductible plans that don't cover prescriptions.)

This benefit is sponsored by United Networks of America a national healthcare company in conjunction with a consortium of the pharmaceutical companies. This exact program has launched successfully in 30 states over the last 2 years. UNA expects the program to discount over 20,000,000 prescriptions in 2009 for tens of millions of American families when they need help the most.

The membership program may not meet everyone’s need but offers an inexpensive alternative for many. Click here for frequently asked questions about the program.

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Do You Have Special Medical Needs? Let The Fire Dept. Know!

The Michigan City Fire Department is in the process of gathering information on adults and children in the community who have special medical needs. Fire Chief Dave Lamb urge families who use medical care aids such as cardiac monitors, ventilation devices, feeding tubes, wheel chairs, or any other such devices for sustaining the life and health of a family member, to complete this form. Please click here to view and print the form. It then needs to be forwarded to the Fire Department. This form should also be used for community members who are non-ambulatory and would require assistance in leaving their homes in an evacuation situation.

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Are You In Compliance With City Trash Regulations?

Setting out your weekly trash pickup may seem like a fairly simple mundane task. However, have you considered if you are actually doing so in accordance with city trash regulations? Are you using city trash containers --- or just placing bags along the curb? If you are using trash containers, great! But are they in compliance with city trash regulations? Are you remodeling a home or building a new one? If you are, what are you doing with the construction rubbish?

  • According to the City Code, it shall be the duty of every person owning or leasing a residence or place of business in the City wherein garbage accumulates to maintain in a clean and odor free condition a cart provided by the City.
  • The only container that may be used must be a cart that the City will supply.
  • All garbage, trash or rubbish which accumulates shall be deposited in either a cart or dumpster.  The lid to every cart and dumpster shall be kept on and closed at all times, other than when placing items in them.
  • Plastic garbage bags with tight-fitting tie closures may be used, but shall be placed inside either a cart or dumpster.
  • All carts must be put out for collection by 7:00 a.m. on the day scheduled for their collection with the arrows located on the carts pointing out toward the street or alley from which collection is made.  All carts must have open access for the trash collectors to retrieve them.
  • For street-side pickup, carts shall be set out no more than 24 hours prior to the usual time of collection and shall be removed within 24 hours after collection.
  • At no time shall the cart be moved from its assigned address.
  • The Refuse Department must be contacted at 873-1530 for special pick-up at the normal collection location of all large items that cannot fit within the cart.
  • The two-wheeled cart Toters are to be used for trash only and they are not to be used for construction materials or compost.

If you're unfamiliar with city regulations on trash containers and construction waste, are curious about what it looks like to be in compliance and not in compliance with the recently revised city trash regulations, or have any questions about city trash regulations, compliancy, or trash pick-ups, click here to learn more.

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Rental Property Smoke Detector Enforcement

The City of Michigan City and the Michigan City Fire Department have begun the implementation of recently enacted Michigan City Ordinance #4020, which regulates smoke detectors for rental properties.

The Fire Department Administration would like to remind all owners of rental property in Michigan City that a two-step process has been enacted to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Michigan City.  First of all, all residential rental units shall be equipped with smoke detectors.  And secondly, a registration requirement has been enacted stating that owners of property which is used as residential rental dwelling units or contains a rental dwelling unit are required to register all such properties with the Michigan City Fire Department.

The passage of Ordinance #4020 included an initial 45-day registration period and owners who have not yet registered their properties should do so immediately.  After this initial registration period following the passage of the Smoke Detectors for Rental Properties Ordinance earlier this year, owners shall be required  to register all such properties on an annual basis, by January 31st of each year.  Additionally, for new owners of rental property at any point throughout the year, registration is required within 30 days of becoming an owner of the real property to be used as residential rental property or rental dwelling units.

Rental property smoke detector registration forms can be obtained electronically over the internet at http://www.emichigancity.com/cityhall/departments/fire/, or they can be obtained in person from the Fire Department Administrative Office at 2510 East Michigan Boulevard.

Anyone with questions regarding smoke detectors for rental properties can contact Kyle A. Kazmierczak, Division Chief of Inspections, at (219) 873-1453 or Jeff Santana, Assistant Inspector, at (219) 873-1440.         

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Michigan City Noted as Top City for Affordability

Michigan City has been identified by CityTownInfo.com as one of the state's top cities for affordable property taxes.

Compared to other communities which are similar in size and diversity to Michigan City, our community is in the top 12% of communities regarding affordable property taxes, top 17% of affordable rent. Compared to all communities in the state, Michigan City rates in the top 14% of short commute times.

The website page dedicated to Michigan City, http://www.citytowninfo.com/places/indiana/michigan-city, lists many other demographic statistics, including politics, wealth, ancestry, commute and sprawl, housing, crime and climate.

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