Home
Utility Emergency: 812-482-9131
Local Time

Blog

Mayor's Blog

Sep 3rd, 2019
08:00 AM
about 1 year ago

The Impact Jasper Comprehensive Plan was approved and adopted in the August City Council meeting. The plan was developed over fourteen months and was divided into three parts:

  1. IMPACT TODAY - Information gathering of existing physical, demographic and market conditions, as well as previous and ongoing planning and visioning. This was the starting point to determine the direction for the future.
  2. IMPACT TOMORROW – Included vetting and finalizing a defined vision, overarching goals and strategies that are anticipated to impact our community.
  3. IMPACT THE FUTURE – Outlined an action plan for implementation of the goals and strategies to determine how Jasper will impact our future.

This plan document provides us a roadmap for advancing the city over the next ten years through proactive steps rather than being reactive to changes ahead. It contains a broad view of our community including economic development, neighborhoods, transportation, community facilities, utilities & infrastructure, parks & recreation, environmental assets, quality of life, and more.

Implementation of this plan is expected to happen through prioritization of projects, budgeting, land use decisions, resource availability, and the impact on economic development, quality of life, policy, code/compliance, and complexity.

The IMPACT Jasper Comprehensive Plan is ours and it’s up to us to ensure it is executed effectively.


Mayor Dean Vonderheide

Aug 1st, 2019
08:09 AM
about 1 year ago

Jasper is a community that is built on hard work ethic and strong core values. As both a community member and Mayor, I have witnessed these qualities lead Jasper to many notable accomplishments. We have much to be proud of. This past September, Jasper was named the “2018 Indiana Chamber Community of the Year.” This award is given annually to a Hoosier community for significant contributions to its local business climate and overall image. It is humbling to know that others are able to recognize all that we have accomplished, and will continue to accomplish here in Jasper.

We take pride in Jasper being a safe place to call home. Jasper was also recently recognized as one of the safest places to live in Indiana by Home Security Advisor. Our community was named the seventh safest city among the top ten safest cities in Indiana. We are so very fortunate to have a police department, citizens, and visitors that work hard to maintain the safety and security of our community. 

I am also humbled and proud of the City of Jasper to be recognized by USA Today as the best city to live in, in Indiana based on quality of life. What sets Jasper apart and makes our city so deserving of these awards are the people that live, work, and play in our community. An outstanding quality that I see both within our workplace and the community as a whole is a diverse way of thinking. To pursue visions and accomplish goals, diverse perspectives and broadened visions must be brought to the table. I am proud to say that Jasper is able to think diversely, yet share the same core values that glue our workplace and community together: family, friendships, faith, hard work, and more. As we strive toward new goals and accomplishments, it is important to keep these strong, core values at the forefront of our progress. Let’s continue to move forward, together.
 

Mayor Vonderheide

Jul 1st, 2019
08:00 AM
about 1 year ago

For an organization to be healthy, the relationships must create more energy than they burn.

Seems like a simple and to the point statement but when you sit down and think about how this statement impacts you, it can be very perplexing.  When we are inclusive of other perspectives when establishing direction, we are building community.  When we operate in our own little silo and don’t communicate freely and openly with other stakeholders we create distance and a breech of trust.  I ask that we all take responsibility to respond to our stakeholders in a timely basis acknowledging receipt of their message with an approximate time we will get back with them.  Then do what you said you were planning to do.  Relationships will thrive and partnerships develop to help accomplish those projects we face. 

We do a good job of this most of the time.  We need to do a better job of communicating all the time.  Starting with me.  I will strive to improve communication, collaboration, and improve my responsiveness to all City of Jasper stakeholders.  I would much rather be the fuel source than the energy drain.

Mayor Dean Vonderheide

May 31st, 2019
07:54 AM
about 1 year ago

With 5 months under my belt as Mayor I have grown
my appreciation for the many employees of the City.
No matter what our individual role is we strive to
execute effectively as a team. I’ve witnessed
collaboration across multiple departments to achieve
an end goal without the prodding I would’ve
assumed was needed. Our team continues to bring
value to our citizens even when challenged with
financing the many projects underway and digesting
the volume of ideas that have been shared by the
public for future consideration. The best way to
accomplish more with the same or less resources
available is to improve our productivity and eliminate
waste.

I wrote prior about embracing technology and that is
one approach and critical to productivity
improvement. There is also an opportunity to
improve productivity by eliminating complexity.
When there are multiple steps along a path to
complete a task we need to challenge the process
map and determine if there are some steps that
could be eliminated entirely or at least simplified.
We can’t snap our fingers and make a process
better. It requires taking the time to gather the facts,
document process flow, and collect the time it takes
for each task completion. When we do this we can
identify the opportunities for improvement. Dealing
with facts will take the emotion out, overcome our
pre-existing paradigms, and lead to higher
productivity which then helps us overcome some of
our financial challenges. We can all evaluate the
work we do and look for ways to simplify or
eliminate it.

There is much to do but not enough manpower to be
aggressively moving us forward as a community. We
need to free our time to address our current and future
needs. Being proactive about how we spend our time is
a much healthier state than being reactive.

Mayor Dean Vonderheide

Apr 1st, 2019
07:45 AM
about 1 year ago

We hear from many of our citizens they want Jasper to stay just the way it is.  When I ask questions to better understand their statements, they usually say:

  1. “Jasper is a safe place to raise my family.”
  2. “Jasper is a community where my friends live.”
  3. “Jasper is a clean, well-kept community.”
  4. “Jasper is a community rich in religion, culture and values.”
  5. “Jasper is a very competitive community.”
  6. “Jasper is a community where people work hard and play hard.”

Jasper is all those things and more!  We have been fortunate over the years to have people in our community who have valued innovating or recreating themselves and/or their organizations.  “To hold on to the things we value about our community, we can’t continue doing things the way we’ve always done them.”  We must stay focused on what’s important to us.  We need to innovate; use old technologies in new ways, improve processes and collaboration to preserve what we value in our community. 

Can you imagine what it would be like in our community if our forefathers hadn’t stayed current with new methods and technology?  They weren’t willing to slide backwards as a community with tightly held values and thus challenged themselves and their businesses to innovate and prepare for the future.  It wasn’t easy but it was necessary.

If we continue to do things the way we’ve always done them, we will place at risk what we value in our community presently.  Our future can only support our current values of our community if we strive to innovate and move forward proactively.  Innovation is an exciting activity that will help us hold on to what we as an individual and community value.  How have you embraced, driven and deployed innovation recently in your personal life, church, volunteer organizations you belong to, or at your place of work?

Thank you,
Mayor Dean Vonderheide

Mar 1st, 2019
08:00 AM
about 1 year ago

Jasper is our home!  We innovate, invest, build, maintain, expand, freshen, secure, insure, learn, play, pray and raise our families here.  Jasper is what the citizens make it. 

I believe the above to be true.  In my short experience as Mayor I have been witness to an overwhelming amount of community support to continue the progress that has been part of our history.  Our citizens expect the community to be a role model for other communities not limited to the immediate area but on a national scale.  We take pride in what we do and how we live.  I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity as Mayor to be a part of the development of our Long-range Comprehensive Plan.  This plan, when completed later this summer, will provide us with a pathway to improving our community in ways that will attract new residents, fill voids for existing residents, and raise the “Quality of Life” standards we’ve grown to expect.  It’s an exciting time and together we can accomplish more than if we independently go about our business. 

I am excited about the collaboration that is taking place in our greater community of Dubois County.  Our neighboring communities and the Dubois County government officials are regularly working together to address opportunities that surface.  Recently, I was in various meetings with Mayor Spinner (Huntingburg) and Commissioner Brames (Dubois County) every day of that week.  It’s apparent to us that we need to work together to advance the future needs of our region.  As an example, we worked closely with the Army Corps of Engineers to request a deviation from standard operation procedure to help lower the water level of the Patoka Reservoir and prepare for spring rains which could be destructive for farmers and other businesses downstream.  We’ve also worked together on legislation that would not be beneficial to our communities by having conversations with Representative Bartels and Lindauer and with Senator Messmer. 

Jasper is a regional hub for activity and we must work with our neighbors to leverage the opportunities we have before us.  Our collaborative approach is a great asset from which we will continue to draw upon.   Thank you for your engagement and involvement in our community.  Together we make Jasper what it is.


Mayor Dean Vonderheide

Feb 1st, 2019
09:38 AM
about 1 year ago

It’s no surprise to the residents of Jasper we work hard collectively to ensure this is a safe community to live and play.  It takes each and every one of us to hold each other to the standards and values we have embraced.  We have work to do but we are doing good work.  Thank you for being part of the solution in protecting our residents and their property.  The more eyes and ears we have the better the prevention.  Also, hats off to our Police Department and their constant effort to protect the citizens and guests of Jasper. 

Indiana’s crime statistics vary considerably by area, with the position overall being roughly comparable to US norms. They include:

  • It’s the 26thsafest state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
  • The state violent crime rate is marginally above national averages with a ratio of 1.04 based upon 3.60 violent crimes per 1,000 versus the national average figure of 3.47.
  • By contrast, property crime is significantly lower than national levels at 28.89 against the national level of 40.43 – giving a ratio of 0.71

Some areas of Indiana are noted as being particularly safe in crime statistics terms. The top 5 safest areas of the state include:

  1. Dyer
  2. Carmel
  3. John
  4. Crown Point
  5. Jasper 

The link to the complete article is: https://www.alarms.org/safest-cities-in-indiana/

2019-Safest Cities Poster

Mayor Dean Vonderheide

Dec 28th, 2018
11:10 AM
about 1 year ago

"Moving on is simple.

It’s what we leave behind that’s hard.”
                                                              Unknown

          I am writing these words with heartfelt gratitude to the citizens of Jasper and to all city staff members. Sunday, January 6, 2019 will be my last day in office as Mayor of Jasper. The following was part of my announcement on December 13, 2018 that I have accepted a senior staff position with United States Senator Mike Braun:

          “It has been the highest honor to have served as your mayor for the last seven years. Waking up each morning knowing that I represented all the good this city offers has been an extraordinary experience. Along the way I’ve met many new friends, both here in Jasper and around the State of Indiana. Building upon these same friendships will be part of my work for Senator Braun.

          A very talented City staff has been engaged in every step of the projects underway and planned in the City. This will not change. Let me assure you that, while I’ve played a role in what is happening in Jasper, this dynamic team deserves credit for all our accomplishments. We will continue to build upon the collaboration we have established in our region as a leading Indiana city and a city of leaders. Our future is in good hands.

          My wife, Deena, and I offer our deepest gratitude for all the kindness and trust bestowed upon us over the years. Likewise, we are grateful for the opportunity to assist Senator Braun as he begins his new journey.”

May God bless our next mayor, Dean Vonderheide, and the City of Jasper!

Mayor Terry Seitz

Dec 1st, 2018
08:30 AM
about 1 year ago

It is my privilege to recognize the awards received by the City of Jasper, our departments and individuals during 2018 and to acknowledge the effort of all city employees!


INDIANA COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR

Indiana Chamber of Commerce
 

QUALITY OF PLACE AWARD - THE PARKLANDS

Accelerating Indiana Municipalities (Aim)
 

CHAMPIONS OF THE ARTS

Friends of the Arts
 

IARC ADVANCING REDEVELOPMENT AWARD

Presented for work on the Patoka Riverfront to Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission

by the Indiana Association of Regional Councils
 

WENDELL LADUE UTILITY SAFETY AWARD
JASPER GAS & WATER DEPARTMENT

Presented by the American Water Works Association
 

INDIANA GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION COUNCIL EXCELLENCE IN GIS AWARD

JASPER ENGINEERING / GIS DEPARTMENT
Presented to GIS Technician Jeff Warren

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY AWARD

Presented to Det. Martin Loya of the Jasper Police Department

UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE AWARD OF APPRECIATION

Det. Loya, Officers David Burger, Grant Goffinet, Brent Duncan

of the Jasper Police Department

PATRIOTIC EMPLOYER AWARD

Sgt. Adam Bower of the Jasper Police Department

 

We are a very blessed community!

Mayor Terry Seitz

Nov 1st, 2018
08:09 AM
about 1 year ago

         This month Jasper earned distinction by being named “Community of the Year” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and we are thrilled for the recognition by such an esteemed statewide organization.

         Yet, as renowned chef Julia Child once said…

The measure of achievement is not winning awards;
it’s doing something that you appreciate,
something you believe is worthwhile.


          Notice the award is not called “City of the Year”, but “Community”. This underscores it’s an honor earned by everyone – citizens, corporate citizens, churches, schools and organizations. And, the community of Jasper extends far beyond our city limits.

          Let’s take a few moments to celebrate and give thanks, then continue on our journey towards all that is worthwhile.

Mayor Terry Seitz

Oct 1st, 2018
07:38 AM
about 1 year ago

“Infrastructure creates the form of a city and enables life to go on in a city, in a certain way.”

Paul Goldberger, American architectural critic

 

          The City of Jasper is focused on our infrastructure…annually investing more than $2,000,000 in streets and sidewalks with an equal amount put into utility and stormwater improvements.

          Over the course of the next year, we have a major project along U. S. 231. Starting now, we are upgrading a two-mile section of water line from 6th & Bartley to 30th & Newton to be followed in 2019 by repaving of the highway by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).

          Phase 1 will go from Bartley to 6th & Newton; Phase 2 will go from 6th & Newton to 15th & Newton; Phase 3 will go from Matthew Lane to 30th & Newton. You can expect some lane closures, traffic tie-ups and rough surfaces from time-to-time. Cars, pickups and SUVs may take alternate city streets.

          We simply ask you to use common courtesy while driving in and through our community. This is a much-needed investment in Jasper by our local, state and federal governments. We will be communicating along the way through news media, social media and www.jasperindiana.gov.

          Thank you for your patience.

 

Mayor Terry Seitz

Aug 31st, 2018
08:03 AM
about 2 years ago

     Over the course of one season…Jasper has changed so much. I hear it every day from citizens and visitors alike. In the span of two months these projects have impacted Jasper forever:

     July 7 – The Parklands of Jasper opens

             To say The Parklands has been well received would be
             an extraordinary understatement. Taking a former
             private golf course and woods and creating public space
             of this magnitude has created Indiana’s Natural Destination.

     August 25 – Demo of the Hoosier Desk site complete

             This work sets the stage for construction of the Thyen-
             Clark Cultural Center, the future home of Jasper Arts and
             the Jasper Public Library.

     Ongoing – River Centre

             In a couple months, River Centre’s Marriott hotel is really
             taking shape, work on one of the parking areas is underway
             and the old Jasper Cabinet building stands ready to become
             77 apartments and a commercial/retail venue.

     Thank you to everyone who has helped with Jasper’s future! What a difference a day makes!


Mayor Seitz

Aug 1st, 2018
08:00 AM
about 2 years ago

On July 7 The Parklands of Jasper opened to outstanding crowds and even greater reviews from the public. I wish to thank all city staff and volunteers who made Indiana’s Natural Destination a reality.

Mayor Seitz 

picThe Parklands 1_Blog pic      The Parklands 2_Blog pic

The Parklands 3_Blog pic

“It’s a generational gift!”

Jun 29th, 2018
07:50 AM
about 2 years ago

Even if you are on the right track,
you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

Will Rogers – American humorist

Will Rogers was able to communicate as well as anyone in American history and his quote so eloquently describes my approach to local government. Local governments must strive to prepare for the worst and to plan for the best.

For example, our departments train for uncertainties such as destructive weather, fire, and accidents. Such preparation is a part of the daily lives of those who work for the City of Jasper and we have earned distinction for it. But we can’t just wait for a disaster to strike; doing so would be like sitting on Will Roger’s proverbial track. Instead we must envision our future and act upon it.

What’s amazing about the future is that it holds so many unknowns. Yet if you set in motion actions which guide your own destiny you can eliminate, marginalize and manage for just about every circumstance. This is done with planning – the best tool I know of to set the stage for what is to come. Currently, we are just beginning our next Comprehensive Plan, the guide for Jasper’s next ten years.

We have assembled nearly two dozen citizens to steer us and we will be engaging you along the way. I invite you to look for meetings, events and online ways you can contribute to the years ahead. Thank you!

Mayor Seitz

Jun 1st, 2018
07:53 AM
about 2 years ago

Mayors Blog-June 2018

May 1st, 2018
08:21 AM
about 2 years ago

You’ve got to think about the big things
while you’re doing the small things,
so that all the small things go in the right direction.”
                               Alvin Toffler - American writer, futurist, and businessman

Big things, little things, all sorts of things are happening right now in Jasper and I promise you if it weren’t for all the “small things”, none of the big things would be taking place!

On the list of “Big Things” we include:

  • The Parklands of Jasper
  • The Astra
  • River Centre
  • The Jasper Cultural Center
  • …and the many residential, commercial and industrial projects including the conversion of two former, abandoned factories into housing!

Every one of these successes has been the result of Vision and Planning followed by Execution.  Each of them has involved dozens, perhaps hundreds
of people and even more appointments, meetings and lists of items to complete.

When you experience The Astra, see the beams go up at River Centre, watch the grass grow at The Parklands and prepare for demo on the Jasper Cultural Center site, I ask that you contemplate all the little things as we celebrate the big ones.

Grow With Us!

Mayor Terry Seitz

Mar 29th, 2018
02:06 PM
about 2 years ago

Through their day-to-day work, City of Jasper staff members have the wellbeing of the City at heart and the future of the City in mind. We thank the people of Jasper for the support and the gratitude which is regularly received by our staff.”

Mayor Terry Seitz
2018 State of the City

These were among the many activities in the City of Jasper in 2017!

                       Jasper By the Numbers 2017

135 – number of events conducted by the Jasper Arts Department.

99.9% – the percentage of tickets sold for the Spirit of Jasper.

8,500 – feet of sidewalk replaced throughout the City.

5,640 – feet of curb and gutter replaced throughout the City.

353 – number of runs made by the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department.

170 – number of false alarms responded to by JVFD.

4 – ISO property insurance rating for the City of Jasper.

75 – acres.  Size of The Parklands of Jasper – opening Spring 2018.

$31,295,121 – value of the new building permits issued in 2017.

13,000 – calls for service by the Jasper Police Department.

400 West – a joint City/County road improvement project led by the Jasper Street and Engineering Departments.

$42,150,000 – total sales of the Jasper Municipal Utilities.

$6,513.06 – bad debt written off by the Jasper Municipal Utilities.

47.75 – inches of rainfall recorded by the Jasper Wastewater Department.

576,874,050 – gallons of water processed at the Jasper Water Department.

Mar 1st, 2018
07:40 AM
about 2 years ago

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
                                                                                  Abraham Lincoln    

     Our 16th President was known for his wit and wisdom, much of it honed during his formative years here in Southwest Indiana. In the quote, Lincoln was responding to the ratio between planning and action. I am in agreement with his statement that proper preparation yields a better outcome.

     As a municipal government the City of Jasper has a responsibility to be prepared for sudden occurrences and an even greater role to lead in planning for the future, to be proactive about where the community needs to be in five years, ten years and beyond. A key way we do this is through a Comprehensive Plan.

     In the next few months the City of Jasper will embark on developing a new Comprehensive Plan and there will be many opportunities for you to become part of this process.  Comp Plans – as they are referred to – are required, but putting them to use after they are complete is not a requirement. However, Jasper’s 2010 Comp Plan and the subsequent 2013 Downtown/Riverfront Master Plan have been tremendous guiding tools for almost every aspect of what is happening in Jasper today.

     This is your invitation to watch and listen for your opportunity to set the stage for the future of Jasper by helping on our new Comprehensive Plan. You’ll be glad you did!   

Mayor Terry Seitz

Feb 1st, 2018
07:35 AM
about 2 years ago

"Know safety; No injury.  No safety, Know injury.”

                                                               Author unknown

         This past November, the City of Jasper and its employees, were recognized with another INSHARP designation by the Indiana Department of Labor. It begins our 14th year of INSHARP certification.

         INSHARP is a federally recognized program, providing recognition, rewards and ongoing support to small Hoosier employers that operate exemplary safety and health management systems. Certification in INSHARP is an achievement of status that will single employers out among business peers as a model worksite for occupational safety and health.

        What does INSHARP certification mean to Jasper citizens?

  • It means city employees are provided the highest level of safety and training.
  • Of more than 150,000 organizations in Indiana eligible for INSHARP, only 40 have met the stringent qualifications.
  • Jasper remains the only government – state, county or municipal – INSHARP-certified in Indiana.
  • Every workplace in the City is part of INSHARP – not just one. That is an astounding achievement.
  • Thank you to our Safety Committee and our Personnel/Safety/Loss Control Department – Cale Knies and Cindy Hochgesang – for all your work!

SAFETY NEVER TAKES A HOLIDAY!


Mayor Terry Seitz

Dec 27th, 2017
08:54 AM
about 2 years ago

"Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could do only a little."

Edmund Burke, British statesman

          I am writing these words as an invitation to “do a little” for the City of Jasper in 2018.  This is your invitation to participate in our second annual Jasper Citizens Academy.

The Jasper Citizens Academy will deliver information about how your local government operates.  You’ll meet elected officials and every department leader.  Plus, you’ll visit City Hall and all other city departments.

Participants in the Jasper Citizens Academy will attend classes at City Hall, Jasper Arts Center, Jasper Wastewater Facility, Jasper Gas & Water Treatment Facility, Habig Center, Jasper Street Department, Jasper Police Department and Jasper Volunteer Fire Department Kiefer Fire Station. You’ll see equipment operate and have a chance to ask questions.

Classes will be held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, February 6 - May 15, 2018 from 6:30PM – 8:30PM.  To enroll, email Lisa Bower at lbower@jasperindiana.gov or call at 812.482.4255.  A minimum of 10 participants will be required with a maximum of 15 in the class.  “Do a little” in 2018!

LEARN ABOUT WHERE YOU LIVE!

Mayor Terry Seitz