The State of the City Address had a slightly different angle to it this year. Having always been held in the evening, this year’s version was done Thursday afternoon at Arborwood in front of all five service clubs in the City of Frankfort — Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Zonta and Optimists.
Approximately 150 to 160 individuals attended the affair which was highlighted by the annual address given by Mayor Chris McBarnes, but also the unveiling of a new program called “Frankfort Promise”, which is a collaborative effort through McBarnes, the City of Frankfort, Community Schools of Frankfort, Ivy Tech Community College and Center Township Trustee Kevin Evans to help students with college who had thought that would never happen.
“We’re going to keep Frankfort moving forward by continuing to focus on transportation infrastructure and investing close to a million dollars in road paving this year,” said McBarnes. “We talked a lot about city finances. Our city is very financially strong.”
McBarnes also listed several projects the city will undertake this year.
“We are going to focus on supporting the building of a substance abuse treatment facility for men in the community by partnering with 180 Ministries,” said McBarnes. “We are going to focus on rebuilding the TPA swimming pool and turning it into an aquatic center. We also are going to focus on housing. I would like to see a program put forward to offer property tax abatement for property owners that choose to reinvest back into their properties.”
McBarnes recapped the list of accomplishments in the past year. Some of those things included completing the Safe Routes to School program, broke ground on Prairie Creek Park, championed the opening of the Nickel Plate Flats apartment complex in downtown, putting school resource officers in every elementary school, establishing the Grants for Grads program, putting adaptive playground in the parks, helped get the wastewater expansion project underway, and moved code enforcement from the city to the Frankfort Police Department.
“This is all about making Frankfort a destination,” said McBarnes. “We must be passionate about our city and we must continue to work together. We must be terribly scared of average. Lets be the best we can become and be the best we can be.”
McBarnes also named Marvel Albitz as the winner of the Frankfort Legend Award.
“Marvel is a legend here in Frankfort from her work at the Presbyterian Church, to Zonta International to the Lions Clubs to her work at Abilities Services, Inc.,” said McBarnes. “Marvel has a heart of gold. I couldn’t think of a more deserving individual to have this honor than Marvel Albitz.”