Mayor Bascom reports on accomplishments, vision for Rising Sun

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I’d like to take time to give everyone an update on the City of Rising Sun.

We had another incredible year and the future presents some great opportunities to build on what we’ve accomplished. An area which received a considerable amount of attention was our infrastructure investment. In 2016, the Indiana State Legislature listened to the voices throughout our state and dedicated significant resources for local road maintenance. The state moved forward with legislation which incentivized local investment by awarding a 50/50 match for all road projects.

In 2016, the City of Rising Sun was awarded $138,850 for road repairs and construction commenced in 2017. This investment allowed our city to address some road deficiencies that we likely would not have been able to bear the full cost on. That state sponsored road repair initiative, known as the Community Crossings Grant, was renewed in 2017 with an even bigger match. In 2017, we were awarded $501,357.75 bringing our total state assisted funding to $640,207.75. This amounts to 75 percent of our total project funding for road repair. This spring, 19 roads will be addressed with new surfaces as well as the installation of ADA accessible curbs in needed locations.

The conclusion of 2017 also presented a significant milestone for our city. In 2006 under the leadership of then mayor Bill Marksberry, our city made an unprecedented educational investment for Ohio County residents. Rising Sun City Council approved the creation of a Future Generations Scholarship Fund within the Ohio County Community Foundation. Since its inception, $619,560.15 has gone to scholarships for Rising Sun High School graduates who attend a four-year institution of higher learning. In addition to that extraordinary investment, the city also created a Community Scholarship Fund for scholarships to attend technical colleges. The sum contribution to all Ohio County residents who wish to attend a technical college is $393,087.06.

As of January 1st, 2018, the City of Rising Sun has awarded a total of $1,012,647.21 in scholarship money for the future leaders of Rising Sun and Ohio County to pursue educational opportunities.

Without question, our City’s most significant project over the last two decades has been our investment into the riverfront. The project officially closed out with INDOT in May of 2017. Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (AIM) announced the city of Rising Sun was named a 2017 Placemaking Award winner. The city received its award during the AIM annual awards luncheon presented October 11th at the 2017 Aim Ideas Summit in Evansville. Rising Sun was honored for their Riverfront Revitalization Project. The multi-year project focused on protecting the riverbank, providing access to the river and diversifying the economic base through tourism. To be recognized among our peers is a testament to all seven administrations and five city councils which worked collaboratively to see such an exhaustive project through completion.

With this project now completed, it’s time our city turned its focus to Main Street and how we can better assist in driving commerce to this valued corridor. It’s a challenge which isn’t necessarily unique to Rising Sun. Every city has a challenge of driving patronage to its inner portions. Our City is exploring the best avenues with assistance given by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. OCRA has a Main Street Revitalization Grant which can award up to $500,000 in investment.

Suffice it to say, that would be a much needed infusion of investment to help our city to continue to grow and attract new patronage.

Brent Bascom, Mayor

City of Rising Sun