Hear the entire speech here.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – City of Lawrenceburg Mayor Kelly Mollaun is moving his vision forward.
That was the theme of Mollaun’s State of the City Address on Wednesday afternoon at the Lawrenceburg Event Center.
The word “vision” has been a word Mayor Mollaun has said a lot over the last four years. When he was first took office in 2016, Mollaun’s vision was to run the City of Lawrenceburg like a business.
“I believe that resonated well with the community because it led to an election victory,” said Mollaun.
Almost immediately after taking office, the city collected on 13 loans that were due from 2011 and completely revamped the budget, proving that they meant “business.”
“I made a commitment that we would always make decisions based upon good, sound financial principal,” said Mollaun.
One of those financial decisions was to start applying for grants. Mollaun told a packed Rivers Ballroom that to date the city has received over $2.5 million in grants over the last four years. Mollaun added that the city continues to go after grants.
Another decision Mayor Mollaun made during his first four years in office was to invest in projects that fall under three pillars: education, economic development and quality of life.
Educationally, the City of Lawrenceburg is doing well thanks to a college ready program at Lawrenceburg High School. By partnering with Vincennes University, LHS students are able to earn credit hours towards an associate degree. In doing so, students set themselves up to save thousands of dollars in tuition costs.
Still some students struggle with paying for college.
“We revamped the Tremain Scholarship to include an opportunity for students from lower-income families to take advantage of the scholarship,” said Mollaun.
Additionally, Ivy Tech Community College Lawrenceburg is now offering an EdOPP scholarship to adults 18+ seeking a credential or required classes for advancing employment. The scholarship is made possible in part by a $125,000 grant from the City of Lawrenceburg. To date, 58 people are taking advantage of the scholarship.
On the economic development front, Mayor Mollaun touted the enhancement of the new home program in downtown. The program originally started with the city committing 10 percent of the selling price of the home for the buyer.
“We enhanced that over the last four years from 10 percent to 35 percent,” said Mollaun. “It’s a great program for young buyers.”
Since the program was initiated, there have been 52 homes built.
Over the next four years, Mollaun hopes to see more affordable and senior housing.
Speaking of homes, Mayor Mollaun gave an update on a $30 million housing project to be located on the Ohio River Levee along West High Street. Mollaun said the Army Corps of Engineers have notified the city they will be approving plans to move forward the project.
“You should see some activity down there for that 150-unit complex within the next few weeks,” said Mollaun.
The mayor also highlighted all the new businesses that have popped up in Lawrenceburg over the last four years. He even shed light that a new tenant will soon be moving into the last remaining spot at the old Kroger location off U.S. 50 at the flyover bridge.
In terms of quality of life, some of the things that stand out in Lawrenceburg is the River Cities Bike Share Program and city parks.
Plans for the future include a green space on the Ohio River Levee near Ivy Tech Community College and the Doubletree Hotel. There are also plans to connect the Dearborn Trail from Lawrenceburg to Greendale.
Mollaun also spoke about significant upgrades at city parks, starting with the large playground area at Ludlow Hill Park. Mollaun estimates the Ludlow Hill Park project will cost close to $500,000.
Ludlow Hill is also in line for some road upgrades. The city expects some Community Crossing Grants to help with road construction projects.
Then there is public safety.
Among the highlights were resource officers in all Lawrenceburg schools, a state-of-the-art camera system throughout town and 360 degree cameras that will be installed at all traffic lights in town.
Another way to protect community members is a new REACH Alert opt-in program. Mollaun stated, "we are going to be able to put out real time alerts. Water main break, Music on the River being cancelled, etc."
The idea for the alert system came about after active shooter situation last years at a business near Lawrenceburg Schools, while Meet Your Tiger Night going.
"We're not immune.," said Mollaun. "We want to make sure we can provide the safest environment we can for everyone in the community."
After about 30 minutes, Mayor Mollaun wrapped up his speech with the following remarks:
“We enjoy a wonderful place to raise our families here, we have a great school system, we have great parks, we are all fortunate to have a clean and safe city environment. None of this would be possible without the efforts of our utility workers, civil city employees and of course our first responders," said Mollaun. “Lawrenceburg is being noticed around the state for great things but in closing I want to make one thing perfectly, perfectly clear. We, and when I talk about we, I’m talking about myself, council, clerk treasurer’s office, Mr. Fetter. we’re committed to make decisions on behalf of the city that will not only enhance the continued growth but keep ourselves financial solvent and transparent. I’m so excited about the next four years and I hope you are too. We are truly a city on the rise.”