The New Castle City Council met a day later than usual this week after the Juneteenth weekend.
During their meeting, council members heard from five different organizations.
Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Corey Murphy. Murphy handed out a 2021 recap of what the EDC has done. Murphy also gave the council an update on tourism. He said that they launched a 39 second Youtube video. You can find the video at https://www.facebook.com/VisitHenry CountyIN/. The EDC is also about to launch a travel guide. It will be available as a PDF.
Murphy was excited to announce that three different breweries were looking at downtown New Castle to set up shop.
He said, “There is a ton of activity in downtown New Castle!”
Murphy gave an update about the New Castle-Henry County Municipal Airport. Work on the parking apron will start after the Fourth of July.
The New Castle Redevelopment Commission (RDC) will start planning an amendment for the city plan. The amendment to the plan will allow the city RDC to consider contributions to the YMCA, Bundy Auditorium, and the worker attraction program MakeMyMove.
New flag in New Castle
Local grad and current Ball State student Grayson Joslin came to the council meeting to share an idea for a flag for New Castle.
The Flag Institute explained in its 2013 guide that local flags help foster a sense of identity. Flags create a symbol which members of the community can relate to – often something celebrating the unique character of the area.
Joslin said New Castle does not have a flag, so he designed a green and white flag for the city.
His idea is a green four-point star on a white background and a white rose against a green background. Each part of the flag symbolizes a different part of New Castle.
Green symbolizes the nature in New Castle, and white symbolizes the empowerment, honor, and dignity that the city has built. The four-sided star symbolizes four core values that New Castle has defined: Progress, Resilience, Community and Citizenship. The rose represents the town’s nickname, which is Rose City, for the American beauty roses that used to grow here.
“I do believe with the right city flag in place, it can increase the spirit of the people in this town,” Joslin said. “I want a flag for New Castle because I want to inspire the people here and make them grateful to be from this city. It can help us establish an identity and show us how connected we are.”
Joslin said that he will look more into how to get the flag made.
Life Saving Awards
New Castle Chief of Police Matt Schofield awarded six police officers the Life Saving Award at the meeting.
Five officers were from the New Castle Police Department and one officer was from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department.
The six officers were a part of saving two citizens lives during a house fire that happened in April.
NCPD save two citizens during house fire
Assistant Chief of Police Justin Wardlow read the award recommendation letter from Sergeant Robert Sealover.
“It is my firm belief that the actions of the officers on scene displayed a selflessness, bravery, and dedication to the highest values of the New Castle Police Department,” Wardlow read, “and brings credit upon themselves and their service and is deserving recognition of the department’s Life Saving Award if only for the fact that their actions doubtlessly saved the lives of our citizens.”
The fire itself is still under investigation.
Carrie Barrett of New Castle Main Street came to the council meeting to give updates on the Building Renovation Assistance Program (BRAP). BRAP grants money to businesses to help better the downtown of New Castle. Barrett said that at their last meeting they awarded around $380,000. The money will bring 53 full-time jobs, six new businesses, and one living space.
They awarded the money to nine businesses:
- The Courier-Times Building
- Edward’s Jewelers
- Castle Theater
- F.C. Tucker commercial space and upper living space
- Smith Jewelers
- Broad Street Partners
- Artistry Annex
Overall, they have awarded $1.1 million to local businesses.
Later in the meeting, Council President Rex Peckinpaugh made a motion to waive non-state building permits and inspection fees for the BRAP projects. The motion died due to lack of a second.
Shafer Leadership Academy
Development Director of the Shafer Leadership Academy Jeff Robinson came to the city council meeting to explain his organization’s services.
Shafer Leadership Academy is a nonprofit organization that provides inclusive leadership development to different organizations, such as city governments and businesses.
Robinson said the issues that the New Castle City Council experience were not unique to New Castle. He said that the organization has worked with the City of Muncie and Tyson Foods.
If the city chose to use Shafer Leadership Academy, Shafer will go through an assessment process where they will send anonymous surveys to all city employees.
After reviewing the surveys, the academy will hold confidential conversations to identify key individuals in the administration and ask questions to them.
After the assessment process, they will provide the city with a plan and report that will show a holistic view of the issues the city is dealing with.
The entire process would cost the city $2,000.
Robinson said, “We want to do meaningful and impactful work with you.”
The council approved up to $2,000 a team assessment from Shafer Leadership Academy. The funds will come from the city’s Riverboat Funds.
For more information on Shafer Leadership Academy visit https://www.shafer leadership.com/.
– Story by Haley Segarra Torres (HTorres@TheCourierTimes.com) of The Courier-Times. Read more local stories at TheCourierTimes.com.