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20170629 Vicki Gardner Century 21

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January 21, 2018

12/18/2017 5:10:00 AM
Community leaders look forward to year ahead

By Paul Minnis
For HSJ Online


There is a new pharmacy, a newly painted water tower and widespread paving projects that are reinvigorating residential roadways.

Now Hope is looking toward an equally bright future.

A capacity crowd came to the Hauser Jr./Sr. High School auditorium Thursday to celebrate the town's accomplishments and peek into the future during the second annual State of the Town Address.

Themed "Investing in Our Future While Honoring Our Past," the event included an opening song by the homegrown Night Owl Country Band, a slide presentation, a choral singing of Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" and a video segment in which people talked about what makes the town special.

Town Manager J.T. Doane was the main speaker.

"We need to set a high standard -- a Hope standard," he told the crowd toward the end of his speech.

The past year certainly has set a strong precedent.

Hope Wellness Pharmacy opened in April, marking the first time Hope has had its own pharmacy in 28 years. Doane said the fact that the pharmacy happened at all was a fantastic accomplishment the town should celebrate. He cautioned, however, that its longevity in the community will depend on how well the public comes to support it as customers. It certainly has a lot of competition, considering the large pharmaceutical chains in Columbus.

"The (Hope) pharmacy fits the mold of Hope," Doane said.

Doane talked also about the town "tagging" about 60 homes that were out of compliance with a town ordinance to keep their properties up to code. He said all but one person cooperated, and even that person cooperated in the end after going to court and paying a fine.

Then there was the fiscal good news that saw about three times as many people visit the Yellow Trail Museum in 2017 as in the previous year. The increased tourism is even more significant than it seems, he said, because tourists tend to have lunch and shop retail, giving the whole community a boost.

And of course there was the painting of the Hope water tower, which today shines over Hope and includes the Hauser Jets logo.

Doane expects more good news next year.

The town will begin a new round of road pavings in the spring or summer, he said, which will continue work that began in 2017. By the end of the project this year, the town will have paved 5.2 miles of the town's 12.7 miles of total roadways.

For the second year in a row, grants from the Indiana Department of Transportation are making it happen. INDOT gave two grants worth a total of $211,504.50, of which the town has committed to matching 25 percent of that total.

Furthermore, the town is looking into an ordinance that would address boats and campers that clutter properties, and it will begin in the next three to five years to look into the possibility of building a new town hall.

"These are challenges, not barriers," Doane told the crowd.



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