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Mayor's Blog

Mar 1st, 2019
08:00 AM
19 days 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 month 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 2 months 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 3 months 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 4 months 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 5 months 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 6 months 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 7 months 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 8 months 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 9 months ago

Mayors Blog-June 2018

May 1st, 2018
08:21 AM
about 10 months 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 11 months 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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

Dec 1st, 2017
08:30 AM
about 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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.

 

THAT’S WHAT BROTHER’S DO

Written By: Kirby W. Stailey

Copyright 2015

 

V1

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

 

V2

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

 

C1

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

 

B

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

 

V3

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”

 

C2

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 1 year 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 1 year 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