July 2023 Edition
A Letter from Mayor Dave Wood
Front Porch Friday
Growing up in Mishawaka, I spent a lot of time on front porches. Many memorable experiences in my life happened on the front porches of the Princess City. I spent quality time with my family, hanging out with friends, meeting new neighbors, or constituents as I went door-to-door. When Jaimi and I were looking for our first (and current) home, it was our requirement it have a front porch. Likewise, I always felt City Hall should have one as well. Since I have always felt front porches were inviting, I decided to make an opportunity to invite our residents to stop by, have a glass of lemonade, and sit on the porch swing. I felt it would be a creative way for our citizens to share their thoughts, concerns, ideas or just find out what’s going on as they drive around town. I call it “Front Porch Friday” and my first one was held on June 16th. We had a solid turnout and every time slot was filled. I had the chance to meet new residents and see some old friends. I even learned I was related to one attendee! I had such a great time that I decided to make it a regular event. Future “Front Porch Friday” events are scheduled for August 18th and September 29th. Mishawaka residents are invited to attend.
Ground Breaking on New Mishawaka Youth Athletic Facility, “The Mishawaka Fieldhouse.”
Mishawaka has long been known for its retail presence and has emerged as a regional business, commerce and medical care center. In addition, Mishawaka will soon be a major regional youth sports destination. We broke ground on June 22nd on the Mishawaka Fieldhouse, a 220,000 square foot indoor multi-sport complex that will house ten multipurpose courts, two turf fields, concessions, support, bleachers and medical tenant space on Veterans Parkway, just east of Juday Creek Golf Course.
The City of Mishawaka and Visit South Bend/Mishawaka [VSBM] leaders have been working with Card and Associates since 2018. I am pleased to report we worked through the funding, planning and partnership dynamics on this unique, complex and creative arrangement. This deal included working with multiple layers of government, structuring a separate tax increment finance district, one million dollars a year pledge from the St. Joseph County Hotel/Motel Tax and 5.25 million dollars in READI funds from the State of Indiana. Since some things are best left managed by the private industry, we decided early on that the City would not own nor operate the athletic complex. We then sought out and selected an owner/operator with a great record of running similar facilities in growing communities around the Midwest. The Mishawaka Fieldhouse will be a private, tax-paying entity and will benefit the local economy.
As a result of the new Fieldhouse, it is important to communicate that the City of Mishawaka is planning for tens of thousands of visitors traveling from outside the area. This will be a significant benefit to our many hotels, businesses, and restaurants in Mishawaka and the greater region. It’s also an opportunity to give a great first impression to thousands of visitors that likely would not have come here otherwise. VSBM is extremely confident that this facility will generate increased tourism. Hotel occupancy will be positively impacted throughout the year to supplement seasonal peaks. The Mishawaka Fieldhouse will have an immediate positive impact upon opening not only for the residents of Mishawaka, but for the entire St. Joseph County community. The Mishawaka Fieldhouse will certainly be an important asset and robust contributor to the economic vitality of our area.
Card & Associates is excited to become part of the Mishawaka community by adding this vital sports asset. Through their extensive experience, they believe this Fieldhouse will kick-start the area’s transformation to become a vibrant and welcoming sports destination. We concur!
The current construction schedule anticipates opening in the third quarter of 2024. Future phases could include an outdoor component such as baseball/softball/athletic fields and even indoor hockey.
Public Safety Mishawaka’s #1 Priority: As your Mayor I had the honor to Swear in seven new members to the Mishawaka Fire Department [MFD]
It has been a great month for The MFD! I was able to swear in seven new members to the MFD family. In normal MFD fashion, these men come to us from very different backgrounds and experiences. Two new recruits are brothers, Ethan and Evan Baker. Ethan comes to us with career fire experience from Baugo Twp. Fire Dept in Elkhart County. Evan was also with Baugo as a Volunteer and also currently serves in the Army National Guard. Preston Geier is a Mishawaka High School grad who served as a Corpsman in the United States Navy. Alex Moench made a long trek to Mishawaka from Tampa, Florida where he went through a fire and EMT academy. And yes, I asked him – he loves Mishawaka and doesn’t plan to move back to the warmer climate of Tampa! Clay Price comes from a family of firemen and served in the United States Army as an Infantryman. Nolan Rose is the young guy of the bunch. While attending Adams High School, he went through the CTE program at South Bend Fire Department. Our final swearee is Hayden Vogely. Hayden has a master’s degree, is a former teacher and most recently worked in Behavioral Consulting.
It is an honor to have these seven men now serving our Princess City MFD and I am confident they will serve you exceptionally well!
In addition to the New Firemen…The Mishawaka Fire Department (NFD) also introduced two new arrivals! TWINS!
The MFD would like to introduce two new arrivals to the community we serve! This amazing set of twins are both Sutphen Monarch Pumpers and they couldn’t be more identical. Each had a birth weight of 47,000lbs and are 35ft 7in long, 9ft 11in high! Both of them carry 750 gallons of water and can’t wait to serve the city.
Engine 3 will be serving the north side of the city, replacing our current E3 – a 2008 Seagrave going into a reserve status. Engine 4 will be serving the city at headquarters on the east side. It will be replacing the former E4, a 2007 Seagrave. That apparatus suffered a catastrophic failure of the sub-frame while responding, resulting in its immediate decommissioning and disposition. Please know we are committed to providing our MFD and Mishawaka residents top of the line equipment to respond with world-class service when they need it most.