Hammond is off to a busy start to 2013. As its mayor, I am always happy to announce new projects and economic development in the city, and this year will be no exception.
This time of year also means a busy schedule for me, going between Hammond and Indianapolis to meet with the General Assembly to help represent our city interests along with the fine public servants that serve our area in the state legislature. Many important issues facing Hammond are debated and discussed during these meetings, and this year we are following these issues closely.
It has always been my policy, as your mayor, to stay actively involved in the debate in our state capitol so that I know firsthand how the decisions made in Indianapolis are affecting all of us here in Hammond. Already this year, only one month into the 2013 session, I have been to and from Indianapolis three times to meet with our legislators.
Many important issues, particularly the future of gaming in Indiana, are being discussed and negotiated. As you all know I will always fight for Hammond, so who better to act on our behalf than your mayor?
On the quality of life and economic development front, Hammond and Purdue University Calumet have agreed to move forward with a new partnership to construct shared athletic facilities at Dowling Park in Hessville. This project will result in new, state of the art, college sports facilities located in this beautiful park, located less than a mile from Purdue Calumet's campus.
Besides the total facelift and upgrade to Dowling Park, Hammond residents will get the use of these first class recreational facilities whenever Purdue is not using them.
Construction on this project will begin very soon. The soccer facility has to be ready for use by this fall by the men’s and women’s PUC soccer teams. Obviously, this means the dirt is going to be flying very soon in Dowling Park.
Not long after the soccer deadline, we have deadlines for the men's baseball and women's softball teams. Purdue Calumet has already hired great coaches and an athletic director for these new sports, and we welcome them into the Hammond community.
I think this is an excellent opportunity for Hammond, and I want to thank Chancellor Tom Keon for believing in Hammond and helping to make this investment in our city.
After then-Gov. Mitch Daniels made comments that some took as an attack on our local campus, some wondered how much Purdue's new president valued its Hammond campus. I think this investment into expanding its athletic programs should silence those who fear the sky is falling. Purdue Calumet is a proud part of the city, and these actions prove that they plan to be for many years into the future.
This project is but one of many (along with Potash and Munster Steel) that will either begin in 2013 or be announced in 2013. I am looking forward to another great year for Hammond — and we’re off to a great start.