Crown Point community members, business owners, and city officials gathered on Wednesday evening to hear one of the most anticipated addresses in the area, the 2019 State of the City. Presented by Mayor David F. Uran, the State of the City address offered a look into the progress, current affairs, and future of the City of Crown Point.
Guests enjoyed a night of elegance at the St. Peter & Paul Macedonian Banquet Hall in Crown Point. The community came together, connecting with one another during the pre-networking mix and mingle hour. Guests greeted old friends and formed new friendships as they waited for the main event of the evening, the Mayor’s address.
“These are exciting times,” Uran said. “Over the last decade, we’ve seen a lot of different changes to the city. Over 183 years, we’re growing. We do this through partnerships, through residential help, through our commercial base and business owners, and through our visitors.”
Mayor Uran celebrated each of the major departments of Crown Point. Guests cheered as Mayor Uran recounted the bright year that Crown Point has had. Celebrated highlights spanned a wide range, from the firefighters who strived to keep the residents safe and property damages at a minimum to the special events that bring life to the city, such as the annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities and the citywide picnic.
One major highlight of 2018 was the success of Bulldog Park, an ice-skating rink that drew in thousands of skaters. In the winter season, Bulldog Park welcomed over 17,000 skaters, creating $114,000 in revenue with $44,000 in profit. With over $1.25 million in sponsorship in place for the future and an inviting reputation as the most inexpensive ice-skating rink in Northwest Indiana, Bulldog Park will be a highlight for Crown Point residents for years to come.
“We’re in the best financial shape that this city has seen in the last decade,” Uran said.
Safety is among the top concerns for city officials of Crown Point. The Crown Point Police Department was recognized for their outstanding efforts in making Crown Point the fourth safest community in Indiana. The department brought an impressive year to Crown Point, including over 3,000 hours of training for their police officers, an increasing number of officers that will soon yield an all-time high of 48 officers, additional school resource officers to strengthen the department’s relationship with the schools, and increased police presence and interaction.
Awards were presented to outstanding organizations and businesses of the city. Boosting local economy and enhancing the living experience of the community members, the small businesses of Crown Point demonstrate how businesses can add vibrance and stability to a community. The City of Crown Point recognized businesses in the area for their dedication that provided Crown Point with a legacy of services. Charles and Casassa Insurance was recognized for its 36 years of service; Phil and Son, Inc. was recognized for its 47 years of service; Rohder Machine and Tool, Inc. was recognized for its 51 years of service. Though not in attendance, Dr. Mark Van Buskirk, DDS and Hair Shapers were also recognized for their decades of service.
The Community Involvement Award recognized local businesses making outstanding contributions to their community through their time, action, talents, and dedication. This year’s winning recipients of the Community Involvement Award were i4D Event Services and Café Fresco.
Both organizations recognized served the City of Crown Point in numerous ways outside of their standard services. Café Fresco has created a legacy of giving, making philanthropy a keystone in their business plan and encouraging customers to do acts of kindness in the community. They’ve given away over 3,200 free cups of coffee to those who spread kindness in the neighborhood, and the business regularly uses their tip money to pay for the grocery bills of strangers. Members of Crown Point look forward to their stop at Café Fresco, where they receive a positive, encouraging message handwritten on every cup of coffee served.
“It’s because of the community that we’re able to do what we do and to keep giving back to the community. You made us what we are,” Breanne Zolfo, owner of Café Fresco, said.
Each year, the community looks forward to one special award—the Youth Community Achievement Award. Completing over 420 hours of community service, the recipients of the award embody the true spirit of Crown Point. The City of Crown Point and the Crown Point Community Foundation presented this year’s awards to high-school students Haily Marlene Hughes and Afan Atif. Mayor Uran presented a $500 scholarship check to the 2019 Community Service Awards recipients.
The evening recapped some of the city’s most memorable and exciting endeavors of the year and left guests looking forward to the City of Crown Point’s future. Uran highlighted several exciting things for Crown Point to look forward to in 2019, including upcoming constructions, predicted city revenue, future events, and the Bulldog Park Grand Opening of the outdoor plaza.
“The City of Crown Point has been recognized for the last 10 years in a row to be the best city to live in Northwest Indiana,” Uran said. “With your help and because of all the positive things that are happening in Crown Point, we’re poised to defend our leadership of Northwest Indiana.”