Northwestern Indiana is not only poised to rise from the trials that the pandemic has presented but it is currently thriving.
We have suffered through the same struggles the rest of the state and the rest of the country have. To add to our list of issues is our proximity to a major city, placing us in the red zone for the majority of the pandemic and drastically affecting our cases and numbers.
Despite all of this, Lake Station has managed to do amazing things. We took the threat of the pandemic seriously from the start, and I was the first mayor in Indiana to close and put restrictions on City Hall after recognizing the threat to our employees and citizens.
Due to the pandemic, there was a lot of fear of a halt in development, but we took this as an opportunity to take advantage of some of the low prices and grants available to us to put $3 million into our city streets and make it the largest roadwork project that Lake Station has seen in decades.
I have led the city to adopt the largest stormwater project that will have ever taken place and will be moving forward with this advancement in infrastructure this year onward.
I have made sure that I have kept in contact and stayed involved with the community.
Just this past month I partnered with a local church out of Miller to begin providing the Lake Station/New Chicago area with over 300 boxes of food for families each week for the next six months.
Our seniors have had meal deliveries and food boxes given to them in an effort to combat the worst of the pandemic. The pandemic, while tragic and devastating to so many, has given us the ability to show just how strong we are and just how much potential we have as a community. That is why I know Northwestern Indiana has the potential to succeed after this is all over. They have already been succeeding.
When preparing this I was asked to consider the heroes that have allowed us to weather the storm of the pandemic and prepare to move forward. While there are plenty of individuals who come to mind that have personally helped me, I think what matters most is who has helped NWI as a whole, and that is why I must give a special thank you to three groups of people.
Thank you to our first responders who, without a question, are the literal heroes that have been working tirelessly to maintain a standard of safety and care for our people by putting themselves at risk.
Thank you to our essential workers who continued to go out and allow our cities and businesses to run and maintain themselves during some of those months when everyone was scared of what might happen.
Lastly, thank you to the community as a whole for being patient, for being kind, and being positive throughout all of this. There is no single hero. There is only all of us working as a team and that is why I think everyone is a hero.
Without this collective effort I would be telling a much different story, but I am lucky enough to be the proud Mayor of Lake Station, and it is because of the community that elected me and the community that I see bettering themselves every day that I know we will come out of this pandemic stronger than ever.
So once more, I would like to say, thank you, heroes, thank you, NWI, and thank you, Lake Station.
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Bill Carroll is the mayor of Lake Station. The opinions are the writer's.