Pharos-Tribune

Columns

November 13, 2013

KITCHELL: City must protect endangered species

(Continued)

So why not extend economic development incentives to another dry cleaner from another community? It’s somewhat ironic that the city has already invested in a clean-up of the former Richardson’s Dry Cleaners right across from the City Building, but the building has remained vacant for years now.

Meanwhile, other cities are taking our community’s economy to the cleaners figuratively and literally because so much more is available in larger cities nearby.

The absence of a dry cleaner sends a message to those of us who have made Logansport our home for decades, but the message sent to the world outside Logansport when the city and county have dueling economic development organizations is this: This community doesn’t have its act together.

This situation is somewhat unfair to Logansport taxpayers who are paying twice for the same service because they are both city and county residents. But soon, they’ll be paying for separate city and county ambulance services.

What next, an Eel Township economic development director or a Clay Township Ambulance Service?

While those scenarios may not be realistic, another one is. The next time a prospective business or industry representatives begin looking at Logansport as a site for a plant or store, who will they contact first, the city or the county? Will they offend the party they don’t contact? Will they play the city against the county to get the most out of both local units of government? Will they want mutual support for a project, and will that make the task of opening here more difficult than other places?

And what if a county economic development project couldn’t be pulled off without city support? What will happen then?

The bigger question for us all is if we know of any other Indiana community with such a divergent relationship between the officials in the county seat and the county? I can’t think of one, and this situation is so unusual because the Cass/Logansport Economic Development Foundation was streamlined two years ago, presumably to give local officials more representation on the board at the expense of various local industrial sectors represented on the board of CLEDO, formerly the Logansport-Cass County Economic Development Foundation.

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