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February 4, 2014

STATE OF THE CITY: Mayor Moore looks ahead at Jeffersonville projects

Speech emphasizes growth

CLARKSVILLE — Growth is the word of the year for the city of Jeffersonville, according to Mayor Mike Moore.

That’s what Moore emphasized at his state of the city address Tuesday afternoon at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, reviewing the past year and looking ahead at projects that would improve both the economy and quality of life of the city, he said in front of Jeffersonville Rotary members and guests.

“Today, we look around Jeffersonville and can’t help but see the progress we’re making,” Moore said in his address. “Our city is on the move.”

EXPANDING POCKETS

Moore said the city’s commercial side has grown significantly over the past few years, gaining almost 2,500 new jobs in the last 24 months. New businesses such as Amazon and Catamaran have moved into the area and established businesses — including Voss Clark, which is investing $12 million to grow its operation — are expanding.

“It’s just one example of how we’re keeping jobs right here in Jeffersonville,” Moore said.

River Ridge Commerce Center has continued to grow, acquiring more land and gaining more businesses, and will be better accessed through the east-end interstate bridge coming in the next three years.

The development of businesses and infrastructure on the riverfront is beginning to come together as well, he said.

“We must never forget that Jeffersonville is a river city,” he said. “We are now putting a plan into action to maximize one of Jeffersonville greatest assets: The Ohio River.”

Among these projects are the downtown marina and the Big Four Bridge, which is set to open later this year after delays in 2013. It will be surrounded by a public park.

“There’s no doubt that watching the progress of the Big Four bridge on the Indiana side has been frustrating for everybody, including me,” Moore said. “But it will be worth the wait.”

Looking ahead, the mayor said more growth and development is on the way with the continuation of his Pathway 2 Progress projects.

“Each project fills a void, solves a problem or bridges a gap for the city and its residents,” he said. “... These are projects I’ve been fighting for, for two years. They’re go-aheads. It’s time to start hammering some boards and getting some things going.”

Moore said the city ended 2013 with a surplus of $9 million. Also, he said since he has taken office, the city’s Tax Increment Financing fund has grown from $1.8 million to $13 million.

‘A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE’

Moore also said moves are being made to improve what he calls a “quality of life” for residents of Jeffersonville.

“We want Jeffersonville to be a city where my kids once they go away to college, they want to come back and raise their families here,” he said. “These types of ideas are what do it.”

Jeffersonville was named the fourth best place in the state to get a job and one of the best in the state to raise a family, according to separate surveys published in 2013.

Moore said he plans to enhance the cultural experience of residents through new parks, museums, better roads and effective public safety. The Vintage Fire Museum and the Clark County Museum help with the aim of adding an arts district to the city.

Moore stressed that the key to improving quality of life is to invest in the growth of the city.

“It’s a unique time in our city,” he said. “We’re starting to feel the impact of the Ohio River Bridges. And now is the time to show potential investors and residents that Jeffersonville is a city full of opportunity.”

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Students of Ms. Kitzmiller's first grade class sing and dance in the gymnasium at Grant Line Elementary before heading to their classroom to begin the school year Thursday morning in New Albany.

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