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New Haven’s mayor touts strong, safe city

The outlook in New Haven is good and bright, largely because of the community’s strong “whatever it takes” attitude, Mayor Terry McDonald said during his State of the City speech Monday.

New Haven has had a great year; enjoying strong economic growth with still undisclosed plans unfolding for future development, McDonald told the crowd that gathered at Orchard Reception Hall for the annual event.

McDonald lauded various city departments and personnel, including paramedics and police and fire departments.

“The paramedics have responded to 1,609 emergency calls and continue to be the premier paramedic service in northeast Indiana,” McDonald said.

McDonald urged residents to consider volunteering for the fire department and credited New Haven Police Department with a lower crime rate in 2013.

“Fortunately, we saw no homicides in New Haven,” he said. “There were fewer rapes, a reduction in aggravated assaults, fewer burglaries and motor vehicle thefts.”

Touting the city’s commitments to the region as a whole, McDonald said the city cannot be successful on its own.

“We all need each other, because a strong Fort Wayne is a strong New Haven, a strong Kendallville, Garrett, Columbia City, Bluffton, etc., … and when our communities are strong, then Fort Wayne is strong.”

Citing several new and expanding businesses, McDonald said the city has enjoyed good growth in the private sector and as a city.

Noted businesses included:

•FedEx Ground, an investment of $20 million with the promise of 87 new jobs;

•Corrugated Supply Co., investing $12.6 million and creating 27 new jobs;

•Hercules Machine Corp, $1.3 million investment and adding nine employees, and;

•Central States Enterprises, which is investing more than $12 million at its grain storage operation in New Haven.

More business is good for existing businesses, said Terry Gratz, owner of Al Gratz Body & Paint Shop on New Haven Avenue.

“Everything’s been great in New Haven, and he’s been a great mayor,” said Gratz, whose family-owned business was established 72 years ago.

There’s been a lot of new industry and the completion of Maplecrest Road extension was a big plus, Gratz said.

Rob Callahan of Temporary Solutions Inc. on Maplecrest Road agreed.

McDonald’s description of the community’s can-do attitude struck a chord with Callahan, who is also board chairman of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce.

“It is a really strong community, and we know what has to be done and we can get it done,” he said.

The Bill Fritcha Memorial Award, normally given at the event, was postponed until later this year because of the recent death of Todd Fritcha.