Honor and Remember flag

An Honor and Remember flag was presented to Mayor Dave Kitchell at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Photo provided

Cass County officials still have a few more hoops to jump through before they can move forward with their anticipated jail expansion — starting first with a new parking lot on the north side of High Street where Stonewall Park is located.{/span}

The county is looking to repurpose Stonewall Park in anticipation of the Cass County Jail’s expansion into its current parking lot.

Cass County formerly owned the land that Stonewall Park spans at Fourth and High streets before giving it to the city. However, Logansport Parks and Recreation officials agreed to give the downtown park back to the county, and in May of 2017 passed a resolution to that effect.

Much of the park’s west end — which is currently green space — would be converted to parking. The “Orange Grasses” sculpture on the park’s east end would be maintained and the Stonewall Park sign would be moved back toward the sculpture, according to Cass County Commissioner Jim Sailors.

Although a variance was granted by the Logansport Board of Zoning Appeals last month, a few questions still remain regarding two small portions of the property.

Near the center of the property is a former alley that city council members voted unanimously to vacate Monday evening. On the east end of the property is a section of street which was formerly a city parking lot that was given up for the trailhead and the statue.

The ordinance to vacate that section of street in question failed to be approved on first reading by a vote of 4-3. Council members voting no were Amy Densborn, Larry Hood, Teresa Popejoy and Scott Peattie. Members voting yes were Matt Meagher, David Morris and Terry Doran.

The project has drawn opposition from park enthusiasts within the city. County officials, along with other interested parties, continue to work on a solution that would meet everyone’s needs.

‘Honor and Remember’ flag presented

Don Finnegan, director of the Honor and Remember Indiana Chapter, presented the Honor and Remember flag to Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“This launched 11 years ago as a national symbol of remembrance for those that either died in action or those that died as a result of their service,” Finnegan said.

The Honor and Remember organization is dedicated to the perpetual recognition of military fallen heroes and their families. The flag, which is intended to fly continuously as a tangible and visible reminder to all Americans of the lives lost in defense of national freedoms, has been presented over 3,400 times across the country. As of Monday night, the flag has been presented 205 times in the state of Indiana.

The organization’s goal is to establish the flag as a national symbol of remembrance — encouraging adoption by Congress, individual states and throughout all communities in America. They currently have two bills on Capitol Hill — one in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives.

“We appreciate you doing this for our city and we’ll fly it proudly,” Kitchell said.

Hotel study funding passes

For the first time, city officials have turned to a tool that may enable the community to land more lodging.

Monday night, the City Council voted 6-1 to approve funding for a hotel study — Densborn was the only member to vote against it. The study will be performed in the coming months and will identify the potential for additional hotel rooms in various areas of the city, particularly the east end.

Kitchell says the redevelopment of the Logansport Mall property has been identified as an area for a new hotel. He confirmed there is interest from investors in building one or more hotels in the community based on current occupancy rates.

“We’re confident that Logansport’s location in the heart of north central Indiana offers a strategic point for the hospitality industry to place nationally known hotel names in our locale,” Kitchell said. “This study is a helpful step in bolstering efforts by hoteliers to build in our community. It’s a proactive thing to do.”

The city’s existing lodging includes Holiday Inn Express, Super 8, Quality Inn, the Manor Motel and Inntiquity: A Country Inn.

Reach Quentin Blount at quentin.blount@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5130. Twitter: @quentinblount

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