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Mayor's Blog

Dec 1st, 2017
08:30 AM
about 2 years ago

“…quality of place is a useful and important element
in attract
ing talent and building healthier, happier,
and more prosperous communities

Richard Florida, American author

     The quote above emphasizes why the City of Jasper has set the tempo for the future with every action we have undertaken since 2012.  We are determined to take the best of what our city has and to improve upon it for the greater good of all. In today’s world, two essential components must be put in place by municipalities:  One is that we have to compete; the other is that we must collaborate.

     Jasper has an employment base equal to our population. The investments we are making in our community contribute to our leadership role and we must be reminded that other cities and regions are doing the same.  It is important for us to continue to be the regional center for employment, healthcare, shopping, lodging and dining.

     Collaboration is an equal force.  Such cooperation can achieve spectacular results such as the Jasper Community Arts and the Jasper Public Library joining together in the Jasper Cultural Center. We strive daily to work hand-in-hand with neighboring communities, our county or nearby regional partners.

     It truly is our goal to become a better, more attractive community for you, your family and future citizens to call home.  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Mayor Terry Seitz

Nov 1st, 2017
08:17 AM
about 2 years ago

As Mayor of Jasper I am grateful for…

  • Our community spirit

  • Our city employees

  • Our city boards and commissions members

  • Our thousands of volunteers for hundreds of causes

  • Our military and our veterans

  • Our businesses – small and large

  • Our love of parks and arts

  • Our students, teachers and schools

  • Our churches

  • Our cleanliness

Most of all, my wife and family, whose love and support make every day special.

Give Thanks Daily

Mayor Terry Seitz

Sep 29th, 2017
07:44 AM
about 2 years ago

      On Friday, August 25, the City of Jasper lost a phenomenal leader – Chief of Police J. Michael Bennett.  The outpouring of sympathy indicated the impact Chief had – on his family, his department, his city and the law enforcement community.  This month’s message - the lyrics to “That’s What Brother’s Do” - written and performed by Indiana State Police office Kirby Stailey - is dedicated to Chief Bennett.



Written By: Kirby W. Stailey

Copyright 2015



Well after twenty weeks of Hell….the dream was coming true

He stood there while his dad, pinned a silver badge on blue

He knows he’d never made it, without his friends to pull him through

You’re never left behind, yeah that’s what brother do



He worked most every night and raised a family too

There were struggles in his mind, from things he had to see and do

He knows he’d never made it without his friends to pull him through

They’re always by your side, yeah That’s What Brothers Do



Side by side, they form the thin blue line

With honor and pride, try to keep the wrong from right

With a shiny coat of armor in brown, tan, or blue

They’ve always got your back, yeah That’s What Brothers Do



Well they had no way of knowing, that his next call would be his last

And the thin blue line was broken, with the news that he had past



They led a flag-covered coffin, all the way through town

To a final resting place, where they laid the warrior down

And as they laid that folded flag on his widows lap

They said “You’ll never walk alone, cause we all have your back”



Side by side they formed into a line

Salutes held high as they said their last goodbye

Then with shiny coats of armor and badges broke in two

They went back to the fight, cause That’s What Brothers Do

Oh, in his memory they still fight, cause That’s What Brothers Do


Kirby’s video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeXYlCiUwic

Aug 29th, 2017
02:55 PM
about 2 years ago

"Leadership is an opportunity to serve."

--J. Donald Walters, Author

Leadership is a quality only defined by its absence. Perhaps its best described by the phrase, "I’ll know it when I see it." Well, I saw it daily from Jasper Chief of Police, Mike Bennett.

Mike defined leadership at the highest level through respect. He respected his officers, communications team, auxiliary officers and staff. In turn, he received it back tenfold.

He respected the community he represented and the citizens he served.

He respected the position he held with honor.

And I respected him greatly.

Rarely a day passed without the two of us speaking in person or connecting by phone. He was always there, like a shadow...a gentle reminder that things would be okay. Some mornings I'd unlock the door to my office lobby and he'd be sitting inside waiting for me with a smile.

I'm going to miss him terribly. The City of Jasper is going to miss him even more. But I already know the Jasper Police Department will remain steadfast in carrying forth his leadership legacy.

A good leader doesn’t leave a leadership void; they leave a legacy of leadership into which another leader will ascend. That’s what Mike did.

May God be with Ann and Chief's entire family now and forevermore.

Mayor Seitz

Jul 31st, 2017
11:28 AM
about 2 years ago

“The whole purpose of education is to
turn mirrors into windows.”

Sydney J. Harris, American Journalist

          The quote for this month’s message represents the difference between inward thinking and outward thought.  When one is staring only at a mirror, there is but one focus:  the person in the mirror.  When one looks through a window there is an entirely different view.

          This month is back to school time for area students of all ages and opportunities will be created which could change lives or change the world.  I am an advocate of lifelong learning.  I am also a proponent of career and technical training in addition to a traditional four year degree after high school.

          A skilled and trained workforce will enable Jasper to continue the productivity which is the envy of the rest of Indiana.  Our products and services will remain desired and praised around the world because of the commitment to quality taught in our schools and at our workplaces.

          This school year I ask you to do two things:

1)  Observe for school children and school buses and
     never pass a school bus with the stop sign displayed.

2)  No matter what your age, learn one new skill or task
     before Christmas.

Let’s open some doors!

Mayor Seitz

Jun 30th, 2017
11:40 AM
about 2 years ago

Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.”

Khalil Gibran – Lebanese writer/poet

There is a great amount of construction work underway in Jasper.  Much of it is from our wonderful companies who are building commercial structures, a clinic and homes. Other projects are those the city is involved in and here’s an update for you:

We have over 20 street projects, numerous sidewalk improvements and much stormwater work underway.  We are also performing repairs and updates in all our utility departments and in many parks.  I’d like to thank city staff and our summer help for a job well done.

Smithville Fiber continues its giga city buildout.  You can learn more about their project at https://jasper.smithville.com.

Work at The Parklands of Jasper is ahead of schedule.  Formation of a center pond, foundations for the bridge, parking and The Pavilion are well underway.

It’s almost time for residents to move into Jasper Lofts, the 67-unit workforce apartment complex on the old JOFCO property at 13th & Mill.  Across the street, Miller-Valentine is wrapping up demolition work for Vine Street Lofts on the site of the former Jasper Wood Products.

The River Centre development by Boxer Girl recently received formal approval of tax credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation which enables them to complete the pre-construction planning.

Finally, the Jasper Arts Commission and the Jasper Public Library Board have awarded a design and construction document contract to CityWorks of Louisville for the Jasper Cultural Center.

Jasper is advancing toward what it will be!

Mayor Seitz

May 26th, 2017
01:12 PM
about 3 years ago

“The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history. It represents the experiences made by men and women, the experiences of those who do and live under that flag.”
- Unknown

          There is a group of staff members who have a special role in the City of Jasper.  I refer to them as our “Flag Corps”. They are on call to lower and raise the flag as directed by the President of the United States or, at times, the Governor of Indiana.

          Jasper has many flags flying high across our skies and those that are on City properties are our responsibility to care for and symbolically lower to half-staff no matter what the time or day.  Often a notice is sent after hours or on weekends.  A system is in place to call upon staff at each department to perform the duty.  Other Flag Corps members attend to the flags at parks and other public places.

          The City can only lower the Stars and Stripes by official order from state or federal leaders.  As Mayor, I cannot order the American flag to be lowered.  However, in front of City Hall, we have three poles, one each for the American, State and City flags.  I can order the City flag only to be lowered for a commemoration.

          With the observance of Memorial Day, Flag Day and 4th of July occurring, I offer my thanks to all our Flag Corps members for the behind-the-scenes work they do!

Mayor Seitz

May 1st, 2017
01:56 PM
about 3 years ago

Individually, we are one drop.
Together, we are an ocean.”

Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese author

Every year, I accept an invitation to speak to High Ponies participants, a springtime gathering of youth built around the topics of citizenship, exercise and activity, developed by Jill Wigand of Jasper.  My 2017 message was about CITY:


Investing in



It’s rather fascinating to see what our youngest citizens know about local government.  For me, it’s back to basics as we explain about the obvious – police and fire – to the not-so-obvious such as running water and lights which magically come on with the flick of a switch.

Then I speak about citizenship and how many of them it takes to make us a community. Finally, we wrap it all up with a message about what Jasper will be like when they grow up and how Jasper leaders are focused on our future.

CITY – Communities Investing in Today’s Youth – is an acronym which represents the approach we are taking with Jasper today.  We are very fortunate for the vision, plans and implementation underway and for the city staff, boards and elected officials who are striving to make a better tomorrow possible.

Mayor Terry Seitz

Mar 31st, 2017
08:03 AM
about 3 years ago

Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I may remember.
Involve me and I learn.”

-- Benjamin Franklin

          In 2016, the City of Jasper held its first “Touch a Truck” event.  Little did we know the impact we would have for the 700 children and adults in attendance. We had people of all ages ask about the work our city staff performed each day of service to our citizens.  Small children asked their parents if they could do work for the City when they grew up. Everyone loved to get close to the trucks, equipment and machinery they see around Jasper every day.  Mark your calendars for the 2017 City of Jasper Touch a Truck!



Saturday, April 29th 9:00-11:00AM

Jasper Train Depot area

Open to the public & Free for all

Rain date:  May 6

Touch A Truck-2016

Mar 1st, 2017
12:40 PM
about 3 years ago

“At the end of the day, the goals are simple:
Safety and Security.”

-- Jodi Rell, former Governor of Connecticut”

            There is nothing better than to be healthy.  It’s so easy for us to take our health for granted until we have a minor bout with a cold or flu which knocks us down for a few days.  In the City of Jasper, we take a long-term approach to health, wellness, and safety.

            Through our Rejuvenate Jasper Wellness Program all employees of the city on duty have participated in wellness screenings several years running.  These annual events help us identify areas we need to improve upon and where to focus regular wellness activities.  In addition, a majority of employees undergo bi-monthly wellness sessions featuring blood pressure and weight checks and conversations with a certified counselor.

            On the job, our Personnel/Safety/Loss Control Department leads the way. The City of Jasper is the only government entity in Indiana which is INSHARP certified meaning we have met all standards for inclusion in the Indiana Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program.  Together, the City of Jasper has achieved more than a year of without a lost time injury!  For these efforts I thank Director Cale Knies, HR Assistant Cindy Hochgesang and our Safety Committee:

  • Tim Berger – Street Department/Fire Department
  • Mike Cravener – Gas and Water Department
  • Mike Gould – Gas and Water Department
  • Jeff Durcholz – Electric Department
  • Duane Lindauer – Police Department
  • Steve Hall – Park Department
  • Mark Pierce – Waste Water Department
  • J.P. Stemply – Park Department/Fire Department
  • Cindy Hochgesang – P/S/LC Department

Like the quote above says, at the end of the day it’s all about safety and security!

Mayor Terry Seitz

Feb 1st, 2017
01:53 PM
about 3 years ago

“Heroes don't wear capes they wear a police uniform.” 

A day doesn’t pass without a significant action by one or more members of the Jasper Police Department.  Under the direction of Chief Michael Bennett and Assistant Chief Nathan Schmitt, the 22 officers serve the citizens of Jasper well.  From homes to our schools, from highways to neighborhoods, JPD responds to calls from an ever-growing city.  In fact, Jasper has grown by nearly 1,000 people since 2010 - from 14,572 to 15,538.  JPD statistics indicate the increase and the changes in our society:


  • In 2016, there were 9,397 calls for service, a 28% increase since 2012.
  • In 2016, there were 4, 582 traffic stops resulting in 921 citations issued. This is a 9% increase in stops since 2013 and reflects a 4:1 warning-to-citation ratio. 
  • In 2016, there were 804 reports taken (accident, criminal, incident, etc.) a 34% increase since 2012.
  • In 2016, there were 517 criminal arrests, a 7% increase since 2012. There were 62 drug arrest with the K-9 in 2016, a 79% increase since 2013.
  • In 2016, officer reports show 71 community relations details (programs, car seat inspections, tours, etc.) an increase of 58% since 2012.
  • In 2016, there were 216 domestic violence calls, a 48% increase since 2014. This was a major factor in the Department becoming involved in the Lethality Assessment Program to help victims following an incident.
  • In 2016, officers drove 218,700 miles, a 3% increase over last year.


I am grateful for the work of the Jasper Police Department and you should be, too.

Mayor Terry Seitz

Jan 2nd, 2017
08:18 AM
about 3 years ago

How Jasper Is Implementing Our 2010 Comprehensive Plan
& Our 2013 Downtown/Riverfront Master Plan

In January of 2015, I provided an update on where we were as a city in response to the 2010 Comprehensive Plan which says: “There was overwhelming agreement the community should aggressively pursue ways to diversify its economy, continue to promote Jasper’s unique cultural history, as well as strengthen its quality of life.” The plan listed eight key issues and ideas:

  1. Support and strengthen local businesses in the community especially in the downtown area.
  2. Continue to support and expand recent development along the Patoka River.
  3. Capitalize on, and provide greater variety of, accommodations for visitors.
  4. Seek innovative ways to retain and/or redevelop underutilized factories or similar buildings in the downtown area.
  5. Preserve the surrounding rural setting (avoid sprawl) and seek ways to support local farm practices.
  6. Continue to support and strengthen Jasper’s unique arts and cultural programs.
  7. Encourage new development that reflects and enhances the unique character and qualities of the community.
  8. Provide a greater variety of affordable housing options as one method to attract families to Jasper.

That document also called for investing in planning for our downtown and riverfront leading to the 2013 Downtown/Riverfront Master Plan which states: “With this Plan as a blueprint, Jasper has put itself in the enviable position to re-imagine the character of the community in ways never before envisioned.” Key components are:

  1. The Courthouse Square
  2. Enhancing the City’s Relationship to the River
  3. Reuse of Former Industrial Properties
  4. Downtown Connectivity
  5. Integrating Art Into the Public Realm

As of January 2017, millions of dollars of private investment has been unleashed, local Economic Development Income Tax revenues have been judiciously leveraged and millions of dollars in donations have been received to be invested in our city core.  All these projects have included a very high degree of public transparency – from public information sessions attended by hundreds, numerous public advisory teams and actions taken at public meetings.


Jasper Quality of Place Investments

Project                                                 Investment      Funding Source(s)

Smithville Giga-City Fiber Build              $  7.0M (est.)    Private 

The Parklands of Jasper                        $  6.5M (est.)    City, State, Gifts

Jasper Lofts (old JOFCO)                       $15.0M (est.)     Private, City, State 

River Centre (old Jasper Cabinet)          $30.0M (est.)      Private, City infrastructure

Jasper Cultural Ctr. (old Hoosier Desk)   $17.0M (est.)      City, Library, State, Gifts

Vine Street Lofts (old Wood Products)    $14.0M (est.)      Private, City, State, County 

Astra Theater (Next Act LLC)                 $  1.6M (est.)      Private gifts, State grant

Multi-use Trail                                      $  2.5M (est.)      City, State grant

Downtown Jasper Revitalization             $  4.2M (est.)       State, City, Gifts

It will be wonderful to see construction begin on many of these projects in 2017 and continue with the development of others.  With so much support from the public, elected officials, boards and city departments we are truly “re-imaging the character of the community”! 

We’re very glad you call Jasper home!

Mayor Terry Seitz

Dec 1st, 2016
01:47 PM
about 3 years ago

“I’m stronger because of my hard times; wiser because of my mistakes; happier because of my sad experiences.”


The holiday season is upon us.  Virtually every event, activity and workplace is filled with the gifting, helping others and many measures of kindness as we celebrate. Similarly for many, this time of year is replete with emotional triggers for which joy is not present.

          The quotation above symbolizes life’s balance.

          First, there is no adult among us who hasn’t faced challenges at some point.  Using those moments as learning experiences is essential and overcoming obstacles enables us to be compassionate to others facing them.

          Secondly, none of us has gone through life without making a mistake and we’re probably annoyed with a few people who think they haven’t!  One should always attempt to minimize errors and, when they occur, to gain knowledge which prevents them from being repeated.

          Finally, the most significant negative impact this time of year is sadness – often from the loss of loved ones who are not able to share with us any longer.  Here is where understanding the root of happiness is so very important.  That is:  Being happy comes from within not from another.

          I extend my prayers for happiness to all citizens of Jasper and our city employees now and in the future. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mayor Terry Seitz

Oct 31st, 2016
04:10 PM
about 3 years ago

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” 

Alphonse Karr, French author

          It’s human nature to complain rather than give praise.  Traditionally, gossip spreads much faster than the Gospel and none of us are immune.  For example, recently I had an elective medical procedure to alleviate a condition that’s bothered me for years.  Yet, within 24 hours, I found myself expressing disappointment for having to temporarily wear a sling!

          We really do need Thanksgiving!

          Thanksgiving remains a nationally-treasured holiday…not because it’s a precursor to the holiday shopping season…not because of parades and football…but because of the simplicity of its two basic tenets:  Food and fellowship.

          The opportunity to share a meal with another opens the door to conversation and talking leads to understanding.  Thanksgiving enriches us through human outreach, community meals and gatherings of all kinds of “families”.

          I wish to thank employees of the city for the work they do, especially for those working on holidays on our behalf.  And to the citizens of Jasper, we are grateful to be your hometown.



Mayor Terry Seitz

Oct 3rd, 2016
09:04 AM
about 3 years ago

To help our citizens be informed about the Library referendum on November 8,
I present the following:

What is the proposed Jasper Cultural Center?
– The Jasper Cultural Center will be the new home for the Jasper Public Library combined with Jasper Community Arts education, studios and galleries. It will replace the existing building on the site of the old Hoosier Desk property at 3rd Avenue & Mill Street. Each entity will have a wing along with more than 8,000 square feet of shared space. A private developer, City Properties Group of Louisville, is evaluating the potential for loft apartments at the site. Millions of dollars have already been raised for the project from a funding partnership involving local residents, businesses and the State of Indiana.

Proposed Cultural Center

Estimated construction costs:        $16,800,000

State of Indiana Tax Credits1                $3,400,000    1Assumption of dollar for dollar

Jim & Pat Thyen private gift                  $1,700,000

Jasper LEADs private donations             $1,700,000

City of Jasper EDIT bond2                     $3,500,000    2 A maximum bond amount is projected to be $5.0M with up to $3.5M dedicated to the Jasper Cultural Center.

Jasper Public Library tax bond3             $6,500,000    3Involves a property tax increase.  The library bond amount will be reduced by the private funds directed from the Jasper LEADs community fund drive.                   

Balance                                      $0          
Jasper LEADs library pledges as of 9/30/16: $700,000


Let me get this straight – The state has already approved $3.4M in tax credits. YES. Another $3.4M is coming from the Thyen family and other private sources. YES. And the city is prepared to pay for the remaining portion by an EDIT bond just like the ballfields - without any property tax increase. Is that right?  YES.

So the only tax increase for this project would be from the library and it will be about $2.70 a month or $32.00 a year (or less) for a median home owner for the next 15 years? YES.

Mayor Seitz

Sep 2nd, 2016
09:49 AM
about 3 years ago

“People in small towns…share a destiny.”
Richard Russo – American author/screenwriter

The City of Jasper believes that our destiny is influenced by the vision, planning and actions of today.  One of the most important projects we have undertaken is an exhaustive review of the City of Jasper’s 20+ year-old zoning and subdivision control ordinances (UDO).

Since January 2014, the department of Community Development and Planning has been working with a citizen steering committee and planning consultants RATIO Architects, of Indianapolis, to compile recommended changes. To date, a public kick-off meeting, four focus group meetings, stakeholder interviews, surveys and dozens of steering committee meetings have been held.

The citizen steering committee made up of a diverse cross-section of the community includes Plan Commission members, members of the Board of Zoning Appeals, City Council members, Chamber of Commerce representatives, realtors, developers, contractors, engineers and business owners. This dedicated group of volunteers has met over the past two years, and already 12 times in 2016, to guide the creation of the ordinance that will address how best to zone and develop key areas of the city. This group has been selfless in its devotion to the future of Jasper. All in all more than 200 residents have provided input for the new UDO. The final decision will be made after careful study and analysis of the impact on:

  • Neighborhoods
  • Retail centers
  • Industrial and commercial sites
  • Mixed use development
  • Overlay districts
  • Medical and educational campuses
  • Agricultural land
  • Open spaces and the Riverfront
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accommodations
  • Complete streets and parking
  • Green infrastructure
  • Signage

A draft of the proposed UDO and zoning map is available for review in the offices of the Community Development and Planning Department, second floor of Jasper City Hall, 610 Main Street or on the City’s website at jasperindiana.gov.

Mayor Seitz

Aug 2nd, 2016
08:42 AM
about 3 years ago

“The raising of extraordinarily large sums of money, given voluntarily and freely by millions of our fellow Americans, is a unique American tradition.

President John F. Kennedy

          Recently, I was asked by a visitor to our city how Jasper was doing. My response was, “We are an extraordinary city in the midst of extraordinary times!”

          In the last four years, our employers have invested tens of millions of dollars into existing facilities or new complexes creating hundreds of new jobs.  At the same time, through vision, public input, planning Jasper has attracted the interest of many other companies and organizations who desire to invest in housing and commercial space.

          All this activity has brought forth significant charitable partners who are willing to offer their own money towards key public projects – something which has happened in Jasper often.  The Krempp Gallery, the Arnold F. Habig Center and Ruxer Golf Course have all occurred due to private gifts.  The City received the Jasper Riverwalk and Dave Buehler Plaza and contributions from the Seger families made Central Green and The Parklands of Jasper possible just to name a few.

          Recently, Jim and Pat Thyen provided a challenge gift of $1.7M towards the arts including the proposed Jasper Cultural Center, the Astra, the current Jasper Arts Center and future programming.  This helped to create an $8M community fund drive called Jasper LEADs – Library Enrichment Arts Downtown – with the goal of accomplishing these projects.  Learn more and donate at: www.jasperleads.org Thank you to the Thyen family and to all who have made gifts so far. These are truly extraordinary times!

Mayor Seitz

Jul 1st, 2016
04:10 PM
about 3 years ago

“You’ve got a playdate with destiny!!”

Lotso - “Toy Story”

          On Saturday, July 16, the City of Jasper will roll out the equipment we use to make this a great place to live and we’ll bring it to the Jasper Train Depot for our first annual “Touch a Truck” day!  We will have massive trucks, fire trucks, specialized vehicles, police cars, and even the Spirit of Jasper engine for all to see and touch!

          This event will take place from 9:00AM-11:00AM and it is open to the public, especially children.

Touch A Truck-2016

Mayor Seitz

Jun 1st, 2016
11:34 AM
about 4 years ago

“Summer means happy times and good sunshine!”

Brian Wilson – The Beach Boys

There is indeed something about summer which encourages more activity and a better frame of mind.  The City of Jasper gears up for the season by hiring additional help – for our Municipal Pool, Buffalo Trace, Ruxer Golf Courses and at many other departments.  As always, there are many great activities taking place every summer through your city government and 2016 is no different:

Summer time is a great time to be in Jasper.  Happy times and good sunshine to you and yours!

Mayor Seitz

May 2nd, 2016
09:54 AM
about 4 years ago

Small flags mark big sacrifices.”

To the Jasper citizens who take a small trash bag along on their walks to help keep our city clean.  Thank you.

To those who help take friends, neighbors and relatives to doctors’ appointments.  Thank you.

To the countless volunteer hours clubs and organizations invest in creating our quality of life.  Thank you.

For those random acts of kindness that are performed routinely by our residents and businesses.  Thank you.

The most important things in life are often little ones.  In honor of Memorial Day, thousands of small American flags will be placed on the graves of deceased veterans - a small remembrance of a great service.  This ritual is such an important element to lives in Dubois County it is impossible to imagine cemeteries without it every May.

It is essential for each generation to carry on the legacy of the one prior.  Therefore, on behalf of the 37 veterans employed by the City of Jasper it is my request that you acknowledge those comrades who have gone on before us with a moment of silence when you read this.  Thank you and thank a veteran.

Have a blessed Memorial Day.    

Mayor Terry Seitz