The past year has brought a number of successes for the city of Valparaiso as well as starts to a number of projects that will continue to hold the city in solid well-being for decades to come. This prosperity comes at the hands of hours and hours of planning, from city administrators, business leaders, citizens, and organizations who work together to bring out the best in Valparaiso.
Mayor Jon Costas says that he is proud of the recent developments in the city that showcase what the city has to offer. “We completed the five-points roundabout which was a great success in that it has reduced the average wait time of 45 seconds to virtually nothing and in addition to improving functionality, it has improved the looks of the area. The overpass was also a major improvement and we also approved the Valparaiso Lakes development. This is an upscale apartment complex and a business development that took a lot of work and we made it shovel ready. It is located on 49 on 400 and Evans and it will begin later this year. We were also pleased with the expansion of Pratt Industries, a $300 million investment, which is a real plus for us. We also announced a commitment to expand Central Park Plaza with a $3 million gift from Urschel Laboratories. This will be an $8 million expansion which will get underway this year,” Costas says.
He continues, “We have a number of storm water improvement on the west side of Valparaiso in the Chautauqua Park neighborhood which includes the separation of sewers to improve storm water quality and we continue to reduce combined sewer overflow. We are also making improvements along route 30 which is a $22 million project. Because our ChicaGO Dash ridership is up, we will be planning for a transit center soon located in the downtown, so we will be looking to do a master plan for that project and we are seeking funding for that. We also hope to one day have a high-speed rail in Valparaiso.”
“ValpoNEXT is a tremendous long-term visioning effort that will serve us for decades,” says Costas. ValpoNEXT is a community-driven process to prepare a long-term vision plan for Valparaiso that encompasses many aspects of community life. This is a once-in-generation opportunity to think creatively, act boldly, and ensure that this remains a leading place to live, work and play and is an open, inclusive and transparent process. “We want to make sure the city is in step with the citizens and this plan will service us for years to come,” he says.