Continued calculated risks are necessary to to entice new employers to the area, Franklin said before announcing that the city and the City of Logansport Economic Development Organization will develop and construct the first spec building in Cass County this year.
Franklin went on to praise the city’s schools, several of which showed signs of improvement on the Indiana Department of Education report card in 2013. Logansport High School went from a C to an A, Columbia Elementary School from an F to a B and four of the city’s seven schools received A grades.
The city assisted the school corporation with its sister school agreement with eight schools in Jinhua, China. In 2013, the relationship allowed four visits to Logansport from about 75 Chinese teachers and students, three Logansport High School teachers visiting China to teach and a visit to China from the high school girls basketball team.
The city’s relationship with China is not only educational. In May 2013, Franklin took the consul general of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago and his staff on a tour of development opportunities in the city. Franklin said this Sunday and Monday, he will host another “delegation of Chinese businessmen who have an interest in developing a business relationship here in Logansport.”
Two structures in Logansport partially collapsed while Franklin was delivering the State of the City address last year. Franklin said since then, the city has spent more than “$300,000 demolishing 20 commercial and residential buildings that had no hope of ever being saved.”
Franklin added that 1,500 property maintenance violations were enforced in 2013. The city plans to rectify more with the recent adoption of stricter rules for boarded-up windows and doors and the purchase of 30 blighted properties in a Cass County Commissioners sale.
Cass County Commissioner Jim Sailors pointed to the county’s economic development efforts, like its membership in a six-county regional economic development group that allows it to benefit from wider-reaching economic development efforts and have access to more grants.