Author Archives: Hannah Scott-Carter

Mayor Leichty honored to host Governor Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation

The City of Goshen and the Goshen Chamber of Commerce yesterday hosted Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The board had a series of meetings as part of their quarterly business event followed by a public session at the Goshen Theater with more than 100 people in attendance.

“We’re so glad Governor Holcomb and the IEDC team chose Goshen as their host for the third quarter meeting,” said Mayor Leichty. “It was great to spend some time with the Governor and his team today, hear his plans for economic development in the state, and also to be able to share our vision for Goshen’s future.”

During the public session, Governor Holcomb and board members reported on IEDC’s key initiatives, an update on the Governor’s recent trip to Japan, and details about the launch of READI 2.0. The Governor also spoke about Indiana’s procurement of the Department of Defense’s $32.9 million grant as part of the CHIPS and Science Act for microelectronics development.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is charged with growing the state economy, driving economic development, and helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Led by the Indiana Secretary of Commerce, David Rosenberg, and governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb.

Goshen recognized for outstanding environmental planning

The Indiana Association of Floodplain and Stormwater Managers (INAFSM) awarded the City of Goshen the Outstanding Floodplain Project Award for creating and implementing the Goshen Flood Resilience Plan during its annual conference last week.  

The annual statewide award recognizes an outstanding municipality or manager who has instituted a proactive approach to water resource management in Indiana. 

“Environmental preparedness is vital for the well-being of our community,” said Mayor Gina Leichty, “Successful implementation requires the help of a whole team. Fortunately, Goshen’s talented leaders are guiding Goshen towards a more sustainable future.” 

“It is an honor for us to be recognized by the Indiana Association of Floodplain and Stormwater Managers as the 2023 recipient of the Outstanding Floodplain Project award winner for the City’s work to help our community be more flood resilient,” said Jason Kauffman, Stormwater Coordinator.

The Flood Resilience Plan was developed after the City experienced its most significant flood event in recorded history in 2018. The City partnered with Christopher B Burke Engineering, LLC to create a study that identified at-risk areas and outlined practical ways of addressing the problem. The plan was passed unanimously by the Goshen City Council in July 2022.  

Recommendations within the plan ranged from specific actions undertaken by various city departments to ordinance updates that limit high-risk development and incentivize future growth outside flood hazard areas. 

More info about the City’s plans to address flooding and additional resources can be found here

City employees and elected officials integral to the creation and implementation of the Goshen Flood Resilience Plan with Mayor Leichty.  (Front L to R: Jason Kauffman, Stormwater Coordinator; Mayor Gina Leichty; City Councilor Julia King; Mattie Lehman, GIS Coordinator. Back L to R: Deputy Mayor Mark Brinson; Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley, Environmental Resilience Director; Dustin Sailor, Public Works Director; City Councilor Matt Schrock; Tanya Heyde, Parks and Recreation Director; Ryan Miller, Stormwater Specialist)

City of Goshen claims $1 million grant for trees and arbor education

L to R: Theresa Sailor, DER Grantwriter and Educator; Melanie Helmuth, Forestry Assistant; Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley, DER Director and City Forester

The City of Goshen’s Environmental Resilience department today announced that it successfully procured a $1 million grant from the United States Forest Service. Funding from the grant will grow the City’s urban forestry program, providing area students with arboriculture education, expanding our tree stock, and supporting robust public education on tree care. 

“A healthy tree canopy offers both physical and economic benefits to our community,” said Mayor Gina Leichty. “I’m grateful to the Environmental Resilience team for their hard work and bringing essential funding to expand Goshen’s tree canopy.” 

Studies show that communities with access to trees and green spaces are associated with improved health outcomes, reduced crime, lower average temperatures, and an influx of other kinds of investments and new economic opportunities. Through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the Forest Service is making historic investments in boosting the nation’s tree cover in urban, suburban, and rural communities nationwide. 

“This kind of funding is transformative for a community like ours, which is preparing for the effects of climate change,” said Aaron Sawatsky-Kinglsey, Director of the Department of Environment Resilience. “This grant will help to power our 45% urban tree canopy goal, keeping us cooler, reducing our energy demands, and improving our urban environment. Caring for trees is caring for people.” 

The agency has selected 385 grant proposals from entities that are working to increase equitable access to trees and green spaces and the many benefits they provide. 100% of funding will flow to disadvantaged communities, and funded proposals are located in all 50 states, two U.S. territories, three U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands and several tribal communities. 

Deputy Mayor Mark Brinson honored with statewide award

Today, the City of Goshen, Indiana, announced that Deputy Mayor Mark Brinson has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Ivan H. Brinegar Award by Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (AIM). The organization honors individuals for outstanding achievement, successful innovation, and steady leadership in municipal government. The award is presented to an appointed municipal official with at least ten years of city service who displays strong leadership, contributes to their community, and serves as a role model to residents and other municipal officials. 

“I’m thankful and honored to accept this award,” offered Brinson. “With that being said, I have to emphasize the importance of teamwork in building a successful, nationally recognized City. What makes it possible for communities like Goshen to shine is the number of dedicated staff, elected officials, and board members who all contribute to our shared community service mission.” 

Tale of Two Cities and Six Mayors 

Over his four-decade career, Mark has become an icon of community planning and development within Elkhart County. His long list of successful projects includes redeveloping brownfield sites, strengthening neighborhoods, supporting public education, building community pride, creating a home for the arts, expanding parks and placemaking, and driving economic prosperity. Mark was the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Elkhart, serving three mayoral administrations and guiding Elkhart through an unprecedented era of growth. Mark joined the Goshen team in 2008 and was quickly promoted to Director of Community Development. In 2020, Mayor Jeremy Stutsman appointed Mark as Goshen’s first Deputy Mayor, a role he continues to hold with Mayor Gina Leichty. 

Contributions to Goshen Awards 

Brinson has been key to Goshen’s advancement and helped the City earn such accolades as the Top 20 Safest Cities in Indiana, SolSmart Gold Award for Advancing Solar Energy, Green Project of the Year, and Indiana Community of the Year. Recently, Mark has also been instrumental in Goshen’s success in attracting major housing projects, including affordable, workforce, and market-rate housing projects. When these projects are completed, Goshen will add approximately 1,900 housing to Goshen’s current 12,800 units. 

Mayor Leichty Offers Thanks 

Goshen Mayor, Gina Leichty, credits Brinson’s success to his inspirational, never-say-quit leadership style. “Mark often works behind the scenes – but the impact of his work has a lasting, positive impact on our community,” said Leichty. “What really sets Mark apart is his ability to pull the necessary stakeholders together and inspire them to tackle the most challenging projects. His ability to get buy-in and his determination to see things through has led to positive outcomes for our whole city.” 

Nomination from Mayor Stutsman 

As one of his final actions in office, former Goshen Mayor, Jeremy Stutsman submitted Mark’s nomination for the Brinegar Award. “It was an honor that one of my final actions as Mayor of Goshen was to nominate Deputy Mayor Mark Brinson for this award,” said Stutsman. “There’s no better choice for AIM or Indiana. Mark is a creative thinker and problem-solver, so I often called upon him to help with the most difficult projects. I am a better man for knowing Mark and Goshen is a better City because of him.”