City of Angola. Thumbnail provided by Steuben County Tourism Bureau.

A special production of Comcast Newsmakers from the Accelerate Indiana Municipalities Idea Summit at the Old National Events Center in Evansville, Indiana.  The annual summit features local officials from across the state as they visit together in exchange of development ideas, economic success and needs.

This segment highlights the city of Angola by Mayor Richard Hickman. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part 1 of 1.

Read a partial transcript of the interview here:

Bennett: I understand you have some new developments; some new projects underway thanks to Trine University.

Hickman: Yes, actually the city of Angola was able to partner with Trine University on the Northeast Regional Partnership. Trine was able to get $3.1 million toward two projects for quality of life in our community. They were able to get a new hockey arena of which they started a new hockey program for Division 3, men and woman plus two club teams. They’re also building a new basketball arena which will hold about 3,000 people and have bowling alleys, e-sports, and physical therapy and the new clubhouse for their golf course…all in one building.

Bennett: We could come to Angola for the sport’s capitol.

Hickman: We’ll have a great time. They are bringing quality young men and women to the community that really understand hockey. I can’t believe how excited our community is about it. Kids coming in from all over that just want to learn how to skate and adults working with our YMCA, it’s exciting.

Bennett: Do you expect it to be regional or maybe some national events?

Hickman: We think some national events will also be happening there. Right now, there are over 60 home games of different calibers coming in. They actually started out with the Detroit Legends hockey team coming in and playing to open the arena up.

Bennett: What do you think that will do to your downtown?

Hickman: It’s already brought a lot of interest and development; several hotels are interested.

Bennett: I imagine that will create some more growth.

Hickman: People have been buying up buildings in our downtown; making apartments on the second floor and retail on the first floor. The community is changing.

Bennett: When you look at the I-69 project what’s going on with that?

Hickman: I-69 and US 20…we received a Community Crossings Grant of one million dollars from INDOT and turned it into four million dollars through private partnerships. We’ll enhance a park back there and bring in some new business. You don’t see crane’s up in small communities like ours but they are everywhere.