COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel, the second-youngest mayor in Indiana, completed his first year in office in 2012, and, in a recent interview, highlighted what he felt were some of the bright spots of his inaugural 12 months in office.
The largest accomplishment for the city, in the mayor’s estimation, was the completion of Phase 2a of the long-term control plan and, just as importantly, receiving a two-year extension on the need to complete Phase 2b.
The long-term control plan is a state-mandated project that will require the city to separate the flow of storm water from waste water. As part of the Clean Water Act, many of the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) have to be closed down. Currently these CSOs, when they get backed up, cause waste water to flow back into the river. These changes will prevent much of the pollution that occurs in waterways.
The second big accomplishment noted for 2012, in the mayor’s opinion, was the hiring of the City’s human resources director. Up until this point, Columbia City didn’t have the position.
Daniel said having a person specifically oversee human resources gives the city freedom in other areas. Previously, many of these duties were performed by the clerk-treasurer’s office.
The third accomplishment noted by Columbia City’s mayor was the implementation of an employee evaluation policy. Such efforts have been attempted in the past but were not successful. Going into the future, Daniel believes the city has a solid system in place.
Looking into 2013, Daniel sees many possibilities and projects on the table for Columbia City. The Line Street project will continue with utility and street upgrades. This year’s project will go from Spencer Street to the railroad tracks. There will also be water main work on 205 near U.S. 30. There are also other projects that will likely come up and appear on the 2013 highlight reel that are not apparent at present. Either way, Daniel plans on making the most of his time.
“The way I see it, I have four years, guaranteed, to make a difference in Columbia City, and I plan to use every minute of it,” he said.
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