BEDFORD -( March 22, 2022) - Bedford Mayor Sam Craig delivered his first " State of the City" address since becoming the city's 24th Mayor in 2020. The address was given immediately after the Monday night city council meeting at Stonegate Arts and Education building.
Bedford Fire Department Safe Haven Box was the 63rd Safe Haven Box in Indiana
There were many challenges Mayor Craig faced just a few weeks into his administration the Red Brick at Otis Park caught fire. In January 2020, the fire was discovered quickly by tenants who were staying in an upstairs apartment. However, the renovation for the historic building is just now to finally be complete within the next month.
The mayor revisited some of the projects, and accomplishments in all areas of city government from roads, transportation, water, sewer and public safety for both fire and police departments.
The paving project along Lincoln Avenue had to be redone and working with contractors the city recovered $38,000, from the contractor.
Some of the projects and accomplishments include:
2020 Projects and Accomplishments
2.5 Miles of city streets paved in 2020
Passed noise ordinance and animal nuisance ordinances to help enforce complaints on both
Planning and zoning permits, and complaints can be filed on-line
Same day call in service for bus transportation and helped transport city residents to COVID testing appointments
July 4th Fireworks Display held at Wilson Park during the COVID-19 pandemic was a huge hit for city residents
$430,983 in CARES Act funding was used to purchase PPE equipment for city departments
Reimbursement of CDBG Phase II Grant in the amount of $241,873 that helped 30 business grants in the amount of $5,000 - 10,000 grants
Upgrades to Thornton, Wilson, and Brookside Park who are all no ADA compliant
2021 Projects and Accomplishments
$ 7 Million Sewer Project begin with the installation of 90 feet diameter, 12 feet deep and 300,000-gallon water holding tank
Received a $1.6 Million Indiana Department of Transportation Grant for storm water improvements on 5th Street west of Lincoln Avenue. This project is expected to begin sometime in 2022
Improvements to the Edgewood lift station, this should eliminate the flooding in the area
Remaining CARES - Act Funding in the amount of $225,236 were used to purchase 49 new fire hydrants some dating back to 1907. This cost $108, 148. 22 Hydrants were repaired in the amount of $114,874
Safe Haven Box installed at Bedford Fire Department - Duke Energy Grant in amount of $15,000 was given to the city for the project This would make the 72nd Safe Box in the United States and the 63rd Safe Haven box in the State of Indiana
Hampton Inn is the 4th Hotel in the City of Bedford, the 88-room hotel allows workers for Crane, Lehigh construction workers, and visitors a nice place to stay.
General Motors made an investment of over $50 Million in keeping jobs and supporting Lawrence County economy
Stonegate North building was sold in for $100,000, the building in the 400 block of I Street is already being renovated and improvements to the building makes the area look beautiful.
Bedford Police Department was able to receive many equipment improvements from outer carriers, body cameras, and two K-9's are used to help fight crime within the city.
Bedford Police Department will be moving into a new location in the near future with the purchase of the former Aldi's building on West 16th Street. The building is 13,442 sq. feet the current police department is 6,534 sq. feet.
In 2021 over 6.5 Miles of streets were paved with the help of the Community Crossings grant. The paving project encompassed an area from 16th Street at State Road 37 to about Tunnelton Road in describing the amount of roadway paved in 2021
In 2021 a CDBG Phase III Grant of $250,000 with a match of $10,000 from the City of Bedford helped 38 small business weather out the COVID pandemic with grants of $2,500 to $10,000 awarded to Bedford's small businesses
Stonegate building was sold in 2021 for $100,000 - Renovations have already begun on the building
LOOKING AHEAD 2022
Paving and Milling of 5.5 Miles of streets are planned
Improvements at the intersection of 18th and J Street
Removal of Railroad tracks on J Street by CSX Railroad in the next couple of months
Improvements to Otis Park with 3,000 sq feet of putting surface
Installation of a sand Volleyball court
Looking at Improvements and Renovations at Bedford City Hall and what that may look like. The structure faced challenges over the last year that required immediate repairs
Utility projects are still being planned with sewer projects along Mitchell Road, and Denison Avenue
Updates to the Master Sewer Plans with issues facing the K Street Lift Station and proposed developments on the city's eastside
The mayor did not mention about pay increases to both the police officers and firefighters along with many department leaders. This comes after both the police and fire departments are competing with other agencies who pay more. Both the fire and police departments were dealing with high turnover among their ranks.
A study was conducted to help compare the pay scales among other Indiana cities that were comparable to Bedford's size in terms of population, and tax base.
Bedford City employee only received a pay raise twice in 12 years since the pay raises were given in 2021.
The mayor thanked the city employees and department heads for their hard work, and especially while dealing with the COVID 19 pandemic.
The mayor would like to continue the tradition of having a " State of the City" address to keep the public informed of what is happening throughout the city. The city's Facebook page is also available for residents to stay informed.