LAKE STATION — The first six months of the year have been busy for Lake Station's administration.
City leaders believe the municipality is heading down the right path, but more work is needed to overcome obstacles.
“We've still got a lot to do,” Mayor Christopher Anderson said. He said the city has focused attention on being more transparent with residents.
The City Council began hosting regular study sessions this year to discuss matters before voting on them in regular meetings.
Anderson said Lake Station leaders are promoting more participation in the community, and the study sessions provide another opportunity for residents to share their concerns and opinions with city administration.
He said Lake Station also is close to launching its new website. Information about meetings, departments and other topics will be posted there.
City Councilman Carlos Luna said Lake Station was unorganized under prior leadership, but the current administration is holding people accountable.
“We're getting a lot of that straightened out,” Luna said.
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Anderson said Lake Station also made a commitment to making ethical decisions by joining the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission this year. Representatives from the city are scheduled to attend ethics programs through the organization. They will then provide training to other Lake Station employees, Anderson said.
A goal moving forward is bringing economic growth to community. There are efforts to attract an Aldi location to Lake Station, Luna said.
Addressing the city's financial struggles also is a priority in the community.
City leaders continue to explore selling the municipal water department. It has been valued at slightly more than $20 million. Selling the operation would eliminate the city's debt and create a surplus in Lake Station.
Luna said the city's water rates have been a major concern for residents. He and other officials believe rates would go down if a private utility operates the department.
Luna said he supports selling the department, but there are many steps that would need to take place before that happens.
“It's not an overnight thing,” Luna said.