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Gary mayor touts ARPA plans, public safety initiatives during State of the City address

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screenshot from Re-Imagine Gary Facebook video
Gary Mayor Jerome Prince delivers his State of the City address at U.S. Steel Yard on Sept. 15.

Gary Mayor Jerome Prince said he remains focused on making the city better for everyone, during his annual State of the City address Thursday. "It's a great day in the city of Gary, and I believe that the future is as bright as the sun is today," Prince told those gathered at U.S. Steel Yard.

He said the city's $80 million share of federal American Rescue Plan money is an opportunity for transformation -- providing funds for the Tolleston Opportunity Hub, broadband expansion effort and guaranteed income pilot program. Now, he wants to use the remainder of that money for small business grants, housing down payment assistance and the demolition of additional blighted buildings, among other projects.

Prince also highlighted the private developments coming to Gary, particularly Fulcrum Bioenergy's proposed waste-to-jet fuel facility. "They will also be a catalyst for attracting like-minded businesses and industries right here to the Region, and Gary is poised to be a clean industry hub that invites the next wave of innovators right here to our city. And we want them to call Gary home," he said.

The mayor said Gary is also making progress when it comes to public safety. His administration has worked with the Indiana State Police to start the process of updating the city's police policies, and a new program that lets businesses share their security camera feeds with police is already seeing results.

"Within three days of initiating Operation Safe Zone, the department was able to make an arrest at a partner gas station, and we learned how to do this with less resources," Prince said.