The State of Columbia City (Aim Ideas Summit 2017)- 5:00
with Mayor Ryan Daniel, City of Columbia City
Posted Nov 01, 2017
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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 Columbia City by Mayor Ryan Daniel.
Bennett: I wanted to ask you about the growth Columbia City is experiencing. ?So much so that you are looking at new housing.
Daniel: There's a lot of things happening in the city and housing is the biggest component. Whitley County has?the 2nd highest net migration out for work each day and what that means for us is, yes, we are a bedroom community, we have a lot of business growth too but at the end of the day we need places for people to sleep. We're at about 8,800 people and are trying to get to 10,000 by the  census. In order to grow our population that way we've got 4...5...6 housing developments happening right now from market rate apartments to single family housing. It's a good range for us and giving opportunities to people.
Bennett: Are there any certain areas of the city that people want to move to?
Daniel: It's interesting...in Columbia City, since we are a small city...there really isn't a bad place. A couple of months ago, someone came up to one of our employees and asked to see our bad areas...they couldn't find them.
Bennett: It's not a bad problem to have...also talking about growth you are building a new high school.
Daniel: Our school corporation is the only one building a new high school in the state of Indiana. Construction began and it's going to be a great, state-of-the-art facility.
Bennett: How many kids do you have going to the school?
Daniel: We have about 1200 give or take. We broke ground this year and this year's classes we've seen a net increase of 70 students. Also, because of the school funding formula that ends up being literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for our school corporation.
Bennett: What about new jobs?
Daniel: Our most critical issue right now is finding workers. I know Governor Holcomb is working on this right now. Indiana is really at a crossroads. We have to have more workers to fill the jobs we have.