Category Archives: News & Events

A MESSAGE ABOUT THIS WEEK’S CONSTRUCTION

Monday was the beginning of three road closures in close proximity to each other in the downtown Goshen area. The City Engineering Department had carefully coordinated the closures for the 100 block of South Main Street and the 200 and 300 block of West Lincoln Avenue between the various contracted road construction companies for improvements to the Goshen Theater and paving projects, respectively.

The Indiana Department of Transportation notified the City late last week of their intent to close West Plymouth Avenue (SR 119), between South Indiana Avenue and South Third Street to do repairs on the Elkhart River bridge during this same time period.

Commuters are understandably frustrated as they traverse from point A to point B on their normal routes and find themselves in traffic accumulations of drivers that are trying to avoid detours. 

To help drivers navigate across town quicker, we have outlined some suggested routes to try at this time. A map with the alternative routes is below. Note that traffic is at its heaviest between 2 and 6 p.m.

Unless delays are caused by the weather, Main Street and Lincoln Avenue will be reopened in the middle of next week (the week of June 24). Construction on Plymouth Avenue is expected to continue by the end of June. 

Police Chief Jose’ Miller asks for drivers’ cooperation and patience through this construction period, “The driver in front of you, and the driver behind you are experiencing the same frustration as you. Anger at them, and driving demonstrating that anger, will not be a solution—this will only add distress to those around you.” 

As outlined above, the reasons why these three roads ended up being closed on the same date include private contractor schedules, equipment rentals, State involvement and poor weather conditions. 

Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said the following:

“Generally, the City tries to balance all public projects with the private projects while scheduling with the state and county governments. We also deal with the schedules of the paving companies who rent paving equipment (which has its own schedule and availability). 

“At the same time, these contractors are balancing schedules of projects in multiple communities. The City also considers the schedules of any of the utility/service companies, which may have to approve or move their infrastructure. Finally, we do our best to work around large events like First Fridays and the Elkhart County Fair. 

“As a bonus, the weather can be—and lately has been—very unpredictable, which makes it nearly impossible to keep up with a well-planned construction season. 

“The City overall balances the need to upgrade infrastructure while doing so in a timely manner. We do work hard to make every project move as quickly as possible, but we can’t ignore the needs of our community’s infrastructure. Our goal is to keep our community moving.”

MILLING AND PAVING: LINCOLN AVENUE

Contractor Niblock Excavating is expected to close Lincoln Avenue for milling and paving from:

The bridge to 3rd St. June 17th – June 26th
Main St. to 8th St. June 24th – July 3rd
Main St. to 3rd St. June 26th – July 3rd

Construction will be done weather permitting.

BRIDGE MAINTENANCE: PLYMOUTH AVENUE (SR 119)

The following is a press release from the Indiana Department of Transportation:

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces that bridge maintenance is scheduled for S.R. 119 over the Elkhart River, in Elkhart County, on or after Monday, June 17, weather permitting.

Beginning Monday, motorists may experience alternating lane restrictions and traffic directed by flagger or temporary signal between South Indiana and South 3rd streets. Be prepared for stopped traffic and vehicles entering or exiting the work zone. INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through an active construction zone. 

Work on the S.R.119 bridge over the Elkhart River is expected to continue through late June, weather permitting. The contract was awarded to Pioneer & Associates for $573,000 and includes maintenance on several structures across the Fort Wayne District.

AMERICA’S FREEDOM FEST TO BE HELD JULY 6

Fireworks at night
Photo by Garreth Broesche on Unsplash

Bring your friends and family Saturday, July 6, to the third annual America’s Freedom Fest, featuring Rotors N Ribs, a daylong celebration featuring an airshow, 5k run/walk and fireworks display. The event will take place at the Goshen Municipal Airport, 17229 CR 42, Goshen, Indiana.

Though this is the third annual Freedom Fest celebration, 2019 marks 25 years since Goshen held its first airshow. Goshen Municipal Airport Manager, Randy Sharkey, stated, “it’s our tradition of having one of the largest fireworks displays in the Midwest, this event is attracting close to 30,000 spectators each year.”

The day at the airport begins at 8 a.m. with the Freedom Fest 5000. Now in its seventh year, the Freedom Fest 5000 continues to gain popularity among the running community with its unique venue. A $25 registration fee includes a 5K run/walk on the airport runway, a chance to win great prizes, and a ticket for the airshow later in the day.

Gates for the airshow open at 1 p.m. Warbirds and other static aircraft will be on display throughout the afternoon for those interested in viewing them up close. Food vendors and kiddie rides will also be available throughout the day.

The airshow will start at approximately 5:45 p.m. with performances by the USAF F-22 Raptor Military Team, P-51 Heritage Flight, Shockwave Jet Truck, Susan Dacy in Big Red, Randy Ball’s Mig-17 Russian Jet, Kyle Franklin’s Dracula, Sky Soldiers Helicopter demonstrations, skydivers and more! 

“This is the more impressive line-up we’ve ever had at the Goshen Airport,” Sharkey said.

Mad Bomber Fireworks will begin at dark around 10 p.m. ending a day packed full of fun with the traditional fireworks display. A full schedule can be found at americasfreedomfest.net.

Tickets in advance are $12 for adults and $4 for children. At the gate (the day of the event), tickets will cost $15 for adults and $5 for children. Children under the age of 5 are free-of-charge, as are veterans with military ID.

For those wanting to watch only the fireworks display, gates will open at 9 p.m. No tickets will be required at that time.

Advance tickets can be purchased at the following locations:

  • First State Bank (locations in Goshen, Middlebury, Elkhart and South Bend)
  • Goshen City Hall, 202 S. 5th St., Goshen
  • 5&20 Country Restaurant, 7995 Hwy 20, Shipshewana
  • Double R Grocery, 65730 SR 13, Millersburg
  • Gardners Outdoor Power Equipment, 2804 S. Main St., Goshen
  • Goshen Municipal Airport, Main terminal building, 17229 CR 42, Goshen

STORM DRAIN ART PROJECT OFFICIAL UNVEILING

The following are remarks from Stormwater coordinator Jason Kauffman during the unveiling of the storm drain art project.

Welcome everyone and thank you for joining us this evening as we officially unveil the 2019 Goshen Storm Drain Art Murals. We are very excited for everyone to see these amazing works of art.

The Storm Drain Art Project is an opportunity to celebrate Goshen’s beautiful water resources and look at ways that residents and visitors can work together to help protect them.

You may be wondering what a storm drain is and why it is important. The answer is each and every storm drain plays an important role in our city by draining rainwater and snowmelt to keep our roadways safe and prevent urban flooding. The role they serve became very clear this past weekend as roads began to flood after Saturday evening’s hailstorm caused many storm drains to become clogged with storm debris and trash.

Many, but not all, of the city’s storm drains flow directly to our local waterways, like the Elkhart River and Rock Run Creek, which means whatever falls or washes onto our roads can end up in a waterway with little to no treatment. This is called stormwater pollution. Stormwater Pollution is the only growing source of water pollution in our country today. It includes ordinary things like soil, trash, oil, grass clippings, fertilizers, pesticides, and pet waste, and when these pollutants enter local waterways they not only pollute the water but also make it difficult for fish and other aquatic wildlife to live or even breathe. Some pollutants can even pose a health hazard for humans as well.

Our theme this year was “Our rivers are a resource worth protecting” and we hope the combination of art and storm drains will help the public make the connection that what “we do on the land does affect our local waterways.”

I want to thank Mayor Stutsman and the members of the Goshen Stormwater Board (Mike Landis and Mitchell Day) for their support of this project. Thank you to the many artists who submitted proposals and to those who were selected to paint this year.

Please come forward when I call your name:  Rachel Weaver, Katelyn Pedler, Katelyn Conley, Rachel Neff, Holly Hathaway, the Day Program Participants at ADEC’s Gaining Grounds, Tavi & Dteban Mounsithiraj, Heather Potsander, Katarina Antal, and Jessica King.

This project would not have happened without your time and talents. Thank you to the members of the Selection Committee for helping to select these 10 artists.

Thank you to the many generous sponsors for your support of these amazing artists. Please come forward when I call your name: Mutual Bank, My Community My Water, Roger Miller State Farm Agent, Goshen Floral & Gift Shop, Maple City Health Care Center, Abonmarche, Goshen Floor Mart, Jeremy, Maija, Boden, & Pippin Stutsman, and Psi Iota Xi Sorority.

Thank you also to the city staff for your help in preparing each location so the artists could paint and for providing behind-the-scenes support. Thank you everyone.

To learn more about the Storm Drain Art Project pick up one of the brochures we have here with us this evening, scan the QR code by each mural with your smart phone’s camera, or visit our website www.StormDrainArt.org where you can access a map with artist and sponsor information.

Again, thank you for coming and enjoy the rest of your evening.

TRAFFIC CONTROL: 9TH STREET

It took somewhat longer to complete work on the west side of Ninth Street between Jackson and College, but that work has wrapped up this week!

On Monday, June 10, 2019, traffic will be switched from northbound only to southbound only for about one month until they move to the next phase of construction.

For more information, including a construction schedule, go to 
https://goshenindiana.org/ongoing-projects.

GOING SOLAR WORKSHOP

A white house with solar panels on the roof. The Solarize Goshen logo is located on the lower left corner.

Solarize Northern Indiana, a regional volunteer-powered initiative that helps local residents and businesses go solar, is officially kicking off the 2019 Solarize initiative with an information session at the Goshen Public Library. This is the first event in the region.

Attend and learn how to go solar on your home or business in 2019 and hear from current solar owners.

Solar is very much alive in Indiana in 2019. If you go solar now, net metering is still available under NIPSCO and Indiana Michigan Power until July 1, 2032! Note that the 30% Federal Tax Credit starts to phase down after this year.

Why go solar together in 2019?

  1. You can get a discount: Leverage our community’s buying power tor educe electric bills for decades.
  2. Get a fair quote: Installers, equipment and pricing will be selected competitively.
  3. Make it simple: Attend the Going Solar Workshop to learn more.

To RSVP, email Leah Thill with the Michiana Area Council of Governments at Lthill@solarizeNI.org or call 574-287-1829, ext. 801. You can also RSVP online at http://bit.ly/2XfhRoZ

GOSHEN STORM DRAIN ART PROJECT UNDERWAY

Katarina Antal works on her design.

Public invited to unveiling event at June First Fridays

Residents and visitors will be able to see the new Storm Drain Art Project throughout the City now that the project is underway.

An unveiling event, to which the public is cordially invited, will take place at 6:30 p.m. June 7 at the courthouse during First Fridays.

Ten designs were selected early spring and the locations have been assigned. The artists awarded are all local to Elkhart County, including a delegation of artists from local nonprofit ADEC. The artists selected were the following:

  1. Rachel Weaver
  2. Katelyn Pedler
  3. Katelyn Conley
  4. Rachel Neff
  5. Holly Hathaway
  6. ADEC, Inc.
  7. Jessica King
  8. Katarina Antal
  9. Heather Potsander
  10. Tavi Mounsithiraj and Dteban Mounsithiraj

The selection committee was composed of City staff, elected officials and local artists. They were:

  • David Kendall, local artists and professor at Goshen College
  • Jama Brookmeyer Graber, Art Teacher at Waterford Elementary School
  • David Gibbs, Goshen Street Commissioner
  • Jeremy Stutsman, Mayor of Goshen
  • Amy Worsham, Arts Coordinator, Goshen Arts Council
  • Felix Perez Diener, Goshen City Council Youth Advisor
  • Theresa Sailor, My Community My Water
  • Michelle Kercher, My Community My Water
  • Jason Kauffman, Goshen Stormwater Coordinator

Several of the artists have already begun painting their storm drain art murals and a few are already done. The murals are expected to be completed by mid-June, weather permitting.

Jason Kauffman, Stormwater Coordinator, said stormwater is the only growing source of water pollution in the country, and most storm drains flow directly to a waterway untreated.

“By drawing attention to storm drains with art, my hope is more people will make a connection between storm drains and our local waterways, which are a resource worth protecting,” he said. “By way of this connection, people will then make a more deliberate effort to keep potential pollutants like trash, grass clippings, and pet waste from coming into contact with stormwater, thus improving the water quality of our local waterways.”

This project is made possible thanks to help from My Community My Water LLC, the generosity of local businesses and community members, and the time and effort of local artists.

A map listing all the locations of the drain art works can be found at mycommunitymywater.com/art-in-the-city-of-goshen.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT ENCAMPMENT REMOVAL

As the deadline for the removal of campsites nears, below is additional information about the City of Goshen’s efforts in working with local nonprofits to offer help to those in need of shelter.

A policy establishing a procedure for the removal of homeless encampments in Goshen was announced early May with the original removal deadline of May 27— the deadline was moved to June 3 because of the holiday weekend. The policy was drafted by a task force created by Mayor Jeremy Stutsman and composed of City staff, elected officials, nonprofits and neighboring residents and businesses. This policy and process is only possible because there are plenty of shelter beds available if campers will accept the offer for safer and healthier spaces to live.

Since the policy was announced, City staff has personally reached out to the campers at their sites on three separate occasions to inform them of the removal deadline and offer resources that could help them get assistance. They have distributed copies of the policy and letters outlining important information about the process.

Additionally, nonprofit organizations experienced in working with the homeless community have reached out as well through three organized events at the Powerhouse Park on May 16, May 23 and May 30. A number of people from the encampment have already participated and taken advantage of the services offered by the local nonprofits.

“I want to thank the nonprofits who have worked collaboratively with the City to ensure the residents in the encampment have the assistance they need moving forward,” Mayor Stutsman said.

Some questions have arisen about the City’s legal authority to remove campers from public property — and whether the campers have the legal right to continue camping on City property. Goshen City attorneys have researched the City’s rights and powers and recent court decisions, and are confident that the policy is legal, as it attempts to treat all persons with dignity. Within Elkhart County, options for shelter do exist, and those options will remain on the table even past the deadline.

Mayor Stutsman and City staff will continue to work with the Goshen Coalition for the Homeless to find long-term solutions to the issue of homelessness in our community. Allowing the camping in public property has brought unfortunate socially unacceptable consequences such as public intoxication and brawling; it is not a sustainable option for our community.

“This is not about removing residents from our community — I want each and every one who lives in Goshen to be safe and healthy,” Mayor Stutsman said. “We want them to use any and all resources available to get assistance while we work on longer-term solutions that can’t be built or implemented overnight.”

GOSHEN TAKES STOCK OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AS PART OF IU INAUGURAL RESILIENCE COHORT

The City of Goshen will spend the summer collecting information about community-wide and local government operations greenhouse gas emissions as one of thirteen communities selected to be a part of Indiana University’s first Resilience Cohort.

Findings from the community-wide greenhouse gas inventory will be used to help residents and local officials understand Goshen’s current emissions profile and to help create an action plan to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and improve air quality.

Findings from the local government operations inventory will be used to help Goshen employees identify greenhouse gas reduction strategies for the municipality.

A greenhouse gas inventory is a fundamental first step for Hoosier cities, towns and counties committed to combating the climatic changes communities in Indiana are already experiencing, such as heavier rainfalls in spring and winter, more river and flash flood events and more freeze-thaw events wreaking havoc on transportation infrastructure and potholes. The inventory process will provide 2017 data on the amount of energy consumed, the diversity of energy supplied to the grid, vehicle fuel use within the city boundary, the amount of waste generated within the city boundary and more.

“We are excited to start this process,” Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said. “The more data we have, the better we can manage our budgets and plan for the future. An energy-efficient community will help us save dollars in the future, provide a better quality of life and help protect the next generation of community members.”

The Resilience Cohort was established by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative. The Cohort is made up of 13 Indiana cities, towns and counties that will complete their inventories this summer. As part of the Cohort, Goshen has access to technical resources, a peer network, and training through ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, a nonprofit that specializes in helping local governments with emissions inventories.

“We are delighted that these 13 Indiana communities have chosen to take a critical early step on the path to reducing carbon emissions and enhancing air quality,” said Ellen Ketterson, Director of IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute. “The findings from these greenhouse gas inventories will provide a roadmap for local officials to address emissions produced in their own backyards, improve public health, and strengthen the resilience of Hoosier communities.”

A partnership with Sustain IU’s Indiana Sustainability Development Program is providing eight of the 13 communities with summertime externs – IU students – to help with the data collection and processing. Goshen received an extern placement: Bronson Bast is a graduate student at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University pursuing a Master of Public Affairs and a Master of Science in Environmental Science degrees. He is also the President of the Energy Leaders Student Association, a student organization dedicated to the professional development of students interested in the energy sector.

Director of Sustain IU Andrew Predmore commented, “I am thrilled that the Resilience Cohort was launched this summer as part of the Indiana Sustainability Development Program. Not only are these students developing professionally through these work experiences, but they are also making real sustainability contributions by doing the foundational work needed to seriously address the challenges posed by climate change.”

The City of Goshen anticipates that the inventories will be done by the completion of the Resilience Cohort, September 15, 2019.

Other Resilience Cohort participants include Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Delaware County / Muncie, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Greencastle, Michigan City, Oldenburg, Richmond and West Lafayette.

About the Prepared for Environmental Change initiative: The Indiana University Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative brings together a broad, bipartisan coalition of government, business, nonprofit and community leaders to help Indiana better prepare for the challenges that environmental changes bring to our economy, health and livelihood. Announced in May 2017, Prepared for Environmental Change is working to deliver tailored and actionable solutions to communities across the state of Indiana.