Crown Point has been named by readers as the best place to live in the Times of Northwest Indiana’s Best of the Region for the past three years in a row, and the best downtown for four years in a row, and Crown Point Mayor David Uran says it is because they have worked diligently to build a strong community from within. “It has been a team effort. With our residential communities, business community, the opportunity for growth, our terrific schools, this is what has led us to this success,” says Mayor Uran.
Even though the economy has led to stalls in the housing sector, in Crown Point, Mayor Uran says they are at a level that is on par with pre-recession numbers. He says, “Over the last few years, on both the residential and commercial side, Crown Point continues to lead the area in new construction starts. We had just under 200 new homes built in 2012, so we’re getting back to our numbers. Our all-time high was 276 new homes built in 2005, so you see we’re doing very well. Last year we had over $80 million in new residential and commercial growth. We’re not only seeing new areas developed, areas of land that were once vacant, but we’re also seeing approvals for construction in blighted areas. These areas see blighted buildings that are being torn down and rebuilt, which will only continue to improve and protect home values in our community.”
Why do so many people want to make Crown Point their home? Uran says it’s because of the excellent quality of life and affordable living options that the city has to offer. “One of the reasons why people invest in and live here in Crown point is we have the lowest municipal tax rate of any city in Northwest Indiana. We protect and invest in our community's infrastructure with includes roads, utilities, and parks as well as partner with non-for-profit organizations. As a city, we’re very frugal and responsible with the community's tax dollars,” Mayor Uran says.
One of the new developments for the city has been the construction of the Crown Point Sportsplex. The facility was funded with revenues from the $1.1 million sale of the city-owned Breyfogle farm, extension of $1.5 million in expiring bond funds and a $1.1 million donation from the Barbara and Dean White Family Foundation. Improvements to 109th Avenue were funded through a grant obtained by U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky. Uran said the work was done at no additional cost to taxpayers. The multi sports-fields that are home to football, soccer, and lacrosse were Phase I of the project. Uran said plans include an enclosed facility to make the site usable throughout the year. “With our commitment to invest in better facilities, we have increased the participation of both adults and youth programs. These programs are now producing better athletes that has translated into many of our local sports programs representing Crown Point in state and national championships. For example, our 2012 U10’s baseball team made Crown Point history by qualifying for a World Series. For these athletes it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and that investment is priceless,” he says.
“Now we have started Phase II of the project, which is a $4 million investment in a new "state of the art" softball complex. Funding for this Phase II is from a partnership of Redevelopment funds and a grant from the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation. The estimated completion on Phase II is Spring of 2013. The Foundation has also provided a $500,000 grant to improve the Cal Ripken Complex on the west side of town which will include renovation to the baseball field and parking lot,” Mayor Uran says.
Crown Point’s opportunities for sporting events has grown tremendously with the addition and renovation of these facilities, but they have also brought visitors to town, and expanded offerings for residents, through their year-round menu of festivals and events. Mayor Uran says, “We are constantly looking to improve and expand the festivals and events because they are always so well attended here in Crown Point. We have parades, farmers markets, car cruises, and other annual events. We are looking to invest in our downtown with a permanent social outdoor community center located in the downtown that would provide a place to go for events. This community center would have a band shell, dedicated vendors slots, a splash pad / ice rink, restrooms and additional downtown parking. This will enable us to enhance our festival while not having to close roadways. We look at everything collectively, through the things we can control through the public side, the private side reinvests, and the school system protects the educational front, so all together it’s a winning formula. All of Crown Point’s efforts are partnerships—the combination of everyone pushing in the right direction, building a stronger community from within. When we do well, the region does as well.”
Crown Point’s schools are also leading edge, giving students what they need to excel for the rest of their lives. “We have national award winning / four-star caliber schools that prepare our students for the future, with excellent academic and athletic programs. We have the best instructors, the best facilities, and academic partnerships with universities that help provide affordable college credits to our high school students, so they leave our system with college credit already established,” Uran says. “Our students simply excel at a higher level.”
Public safety is also a key component to the city’s mission, and their departments are proof that the mission is successful. “Our fire and police departments are superior. Our police department works with the schools in the DARE program, and our police and fire departments have technology-based communication systems. This helps us to keep with data that allow us to continue to lower our crime rates, even though we are already one of the lowest in the area,” Uran says.
Crown Point is a strong community, making it a great place to live, work, and play. Mayor Uran says, “We have tremendous support here, from our residents, businesses, our schools, our public safety departments—we really believe this is a great place to raise a family for have a successful business. A lot of people want to make this their home because they want to associate with the amenities we have—the Sportplex, the festivals/events, schools, the safe community—when you put it all together it’s an exciting opportunity for people to come to Crown Point. When they see it they want to stay.”
For more information:
Office of the Mayor
101 N East St.
Crown Point, IN