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Special Price 2018 Golf Season Passes make great holiday gifts!

The Michigan City Municipal Golf Course will offer season passes for 2018 at a 10% discount from November 1, 2017 through December 28, 2017.    Are you still looking for that perfect Christmas gift?  Do you have a golfer in your family that is impossible to buy for?  Not sure what accessories a golfer might need?  Your worries are over.  By purchasing a season pass, you eliminate all the guesswork of what to buy your golf-lover.  These offers are only valid through December 28th.  After the December 28th deadline, passes will be regular price.  GIFT CERTIFICATES, cart packages and professional lessons are also available!!!!  These passes are available at the Golf Course during regular business hours weather permitting, or at the Park Department Office from 8am-4pm (located in the lower level of City Hall) Monday-Friday.  Additional information and rates are available online at www.michigancitygolfcourse.com  or contact the Pro Shop at 219-873-1516 or the Michigan City Park Office at 219-873-1506 for further details.


Golf Pro Shop Closes for Season

The Michigan City Parks & Recreation Department announces that the Michigan City Municipal Golf Course is closed for the season.  The South Course Pro Shop will remain open for season pass sales on the following schedule:

Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Saturdays & Sundays – 9:00am – 12:00pm

In addition, golf passes and gift certificates can be purchased at the Parks & Recreation Department office.  For more information, contact the Golf Course Pro Shop at 219-873-1538.


Cookie Decorating at Barker Mansion

Visitors to Michigan City’s Barker Mansion can decorate holiday treats during the Christmas season thanks to a partnership with Uptown Cakery. The local bakery will be on-site to assist participants in decorating cookies on Sunday, December 10 and 17. Both activities begin at 11 am Central Time and are free of charge after the mansion admission fee of $8 per adult and $5 per child.

“We’ve enjoyed getting to know our neighboring businesses better and Uptown Cakery has been very generous with our events,” said Barker Mansion Director Jessica Rosier. “Their staff does an amazing job interacting with our visitors around the cookie table too.”

Additionally, the mansion will be open for self-guided tours from 11 am to 3 pm and will offer guided tours at 11 am and 1 pm both days. Reservations are not necessary for the aforementioned activities. The Barker Mansion is located at 631 Washington Street in Michigan City, IN. The 38-room mansion was built by freight car industrialist and philanthropist John H. Barker in 1905. Visit www.BarkerMansion.com for a complete calendar of Christmas activities.

Cookie Decorating at Barker Mansion   Cookie Decorating at Barker Mansion


Glowing Lights Nights at Barker Mansion

Christmas tree lights will be the only source of illumination during Barker Mansion’s annual Glowing Lights Nights on December 2, 9, 16, and 30 from 4-6 pm Central Time. The public is invited to take a self-guided tour of all three floors of the historic home, which has been decorated for the holiday season by local non-profit groups. Following a walk through the mansion, guests can vote for their favorite Christmas tree; the winning non-profit group will receive a cash prize to help further their mission.

Michigan City local Anthony Holt will be playing Christmas carols on the Drawing Room piano each night of the event. Another highlight each evening will be the opportunity to view a train display set up in the third-story ballroom by Hesston Steam Museum which features the smallest working steam engine in their collection.

The Barker Mansion is located at 631 Washington Street in Michigan City, IN. The 38-room mansion was built by freight car industrialist and philanthropist John H. Barker in 1905. Cost is $8 per adult and $5 per senior or youth, ages 15 and under. Reservations are not necessary for Glowing Lights Nights. Visit www.BarkerMansion.com for details.


Snowflake Parade

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Snowflake Parade will step off from 10th and Franklin Streets at 4:00 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017! The Snowflake Parade will proceed north on Franklin Street and end at the Michigan City Library where a celebration of lighting the Christmas Tree at the Library and singing of Christmas Carols by the Michigan City High School Choir. Free Hot Chocolate and Cookies will be served by the Michigan City Fire Department Local 475.  We are proud to have the Michigan City High School Wolves 2017 Regional Football Champs in the Parade. The LaPorte County Draft Horse Association will be offering rides after the parade at the Santa House on 7th Street.  Santa Claus will also be visiting with the children at the end of the parade and will be dropped off at the Santa House on 7th street.

A Canned Food Drive will take place during the parade along the route. Bring your canned goods and they will be picked up by volunteers. Also, "Letters to Santa" will be collected during the parade.


Christmas at the Barker Mansion

An annual holiday tradition, Michigan City’s Barker Mansion will open its decorated rooms to the community for viewing on Friday, December 1 from 5-8 pm Central Time. Hours and events vary by day through December 31, which will mark the close of the mansion’s Christmas season. Popular traditions from the past will return throughout the month, including musical performances with locals Lee Meyer and Elizabeth Weigand, cookie decorating with Uptown Cakery, and kids’ crafts. Standard Christmas admission is $8 per adult and $5 per youth, ages 15 and under.

Again this year, the mansion has been decorated by local non-profit groups and volunteers. Each room takes a different theme, chosen by the groups. Everything from Bells of Salvation to Angels of Hope is depicted in the rooms. Visitors can view a working train set, which is assembled in the ballroom by the Hesston Steam Museum to the theme of All Aboard for the Holidays. The display features the smallest functional steam engine in Hesston’s collection.

 

“We were very happy to see the community involved in Barker Mansion’s Christmas activities,” said Director Jessica Rosier. “It has been wonderful to have the non-profit groups bring their ideas and creativity to the mansion, especially those groups that brought children to help decorate.”

Highlights of the Christmas season will include two Behind the Scenes Tours offered on December 8 and 15 at 6 pm. During the event, guides will delve into the nooks and crannies of the 160-year-old mansion alongside holiday traditions of the Victorian era. Cost is $15 per adult and $10 per youth. Reservations are required by calling (219) 873-1520 or purchasing a ticket on Eventbrite.

The popular Glowing Lights Nights will return this year, with additional dates added. During these self-guided tours on December 2, 9, 16 and 30 from 4-6 pm, visitors can wander the mansion at their leisure with the only illumination coming from the glowing Christmas tree lights. Standard admission charges apply for this event and reservations are not needed.

The mansion’s Christmas schedule varies by week; visit www.barkermansion.com for a printable calendar or call (219) 873-1520 for details. Please note that the mansion is only open during advertised dates and times; the building is closed on Mondays and will be closed on Sunday, December 24 as well. Those interested in volunteering throughout the month can email jrosier@emichigancity.com.


2017 Coat Drive & Giveaway

The City of Michigan City would like to announce that the annual coat drive is now underway.  Citizens can drop off new, and or, gently worn coats and snow suits at Concord Cleaners.  Concord Cleaners will clean and then deliver the coats and snow suits to the Michigan Township Trustees Office where they will be available, to those in need, beginning immediately.  The coat drive will continue throughout the winter season.   

“There is a large need for this yearly campaign in our community; I would like to thank our citizens for their generosity and also Michigan Township Trustee Rodney Washington and his office for their willingness to get involved and their help in addressing the needs of our residents.”  “My office spoke with the Trustee’s office this morning and they informed us that they have multiple racks of coats already out and ready” said Mayor Meer. 

“I would also like to personally thank Concord Cleaners for their generous offer to clean, at no cost, any coats and snowsuits that you wish to donate to the coat drive” said Mayor Meer.  “Simply drop off your coats at Concord Cleaners (3231 Franklins St.) and say they are for the coat campaign, and Concord Cleaners will clean them and deliver them to the Michigan Township Trustees Office weekly.”

This is the sixth year in a row, the City of Michigan City has partnered with Michigan Township Trustee Rodney Washington and his Office to move the distribution of coats from City Hall to the Michigan Township Trustees Office located at 2601 East Michigan Boulevard.   Hours of operation are: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  You can also reach the trustees office at: 874-5201.


2017 Fall Leaf Pick Up

The Street Department and the Sanitary District have begun the fall leaf pickup process.  These departments will be covering all areas of the city on a daily basis, Monday through Saturday, until all of the leaves are picked up.  All residents are encouraged to rake, blow, and/or place their leaves near the street curb along the front of their property.  In addition, compost will be picked up along with the leaves.
 
If citizens have branches that need picked up please call in your requests to the Central Service Department at 873-1500.

The Street Department and Sanitary District request that residents cooperate by following these rules:

  • No plastic bags are to be used
  • Branches, rocks and other debris must be kept out of the leaf piles
  • Leaf piles should be loose in large piles in front of the property as close to the curb as possible, but away from the sewer drains and Fire hydrants.
  • (NO TOTERS PLEASE)

NOTE* Leaves will not be picked up in the alleys.


Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association Announces New Grant Program

The Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association (MCUEA) is pleased to announce their 2017-2018 Neighborhood Beautification Improvement Grant Program.

This grant is intended to provide funding assistance and promote neighborhood engagement by encouraging neighborhood groups to participate in beautification projects in their neighborhoods.

The MCUEA will reimburse 100% of the eligible costs not to exceed $ 4,000 per grant. There has been $ 40,000 appropriated for this program.

The neighborhood group applicant must fill out the 2017-2018 Neighborhood Beautification Improvement Grant application by December 31, 2018 and meet the requirements set forth in the application to be eligible.

Click here for grant application.

The application must be mailed or emailed to:

Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association
P.O. Box 43
Michigan City, IN 46350

Email: MCUEA1984@gmail.com

Please contact Diane Wilczewski, Director at 219-561-6991 if you have questions concerning this grant.


Proposed Storm Water & Drainage Fee

After four public workshops, Mayor Ron Meer has decided to not move forward with the potential storm water and drainage fee increase that was being considered by his administration.

Over the past few weeks, the Mayor and his office have received numerous phone calls, letters and posts to social media, which have for the most part, been against any fee increase.  Mayor Meer respects the public hearing process and values the thoughts and opinions of his constituents. 

Mayor Meer’s administration, along with the Michigan City Sanitary District administration, will continue to look for alternative funding sources which will still be needed to address and fix the storm water and drainage problems highlighted during the public hearings.

Mayor Meer’s administration will continue their commitment to protecting the environment while also working to provide the residents of Michigan City with a high quality of life.


Washington Park Zoo Sets New Attendance Record

Washington Park Zoo Sets New Attendance RecordThe Washington Park Zoo has set a new record for attendance in 2017, up 2.6% from our last record season which was set in 2016.  As of the first week of September 2017, a total of 87,497 guests have visited our furry, feathered and scaly friends (which is 2,273 more guests than at the end of last year!)   While many of the zoo attendees came from Michigan City, about 88% were from out of town and their impact on the local economy is  estimated at $6 million.

Washington Park Zoo closed out 2014 by unveiling new branding for the zoo which focused on making sure that each animal has the best possible care and that every guest has a memorable zoo experience.  One of our main goals was to ensure our guests not only see the animals, but have a chance to connect with them on some level as well because guests that understand about the habitat, diet, and behaviors of an animal appreciate their zoo visits even more.   Education is an integral part of our zoo and helps to spread our message of wildlife conservation by engaging guests in fun, interactive programs that help foster stewards of wildlife.  Our programs include special events, summer camps, outreach programs, in house programs, tours, scout programs, and more.

Since 2015, the Zoo has been moving forward with our 5 year strategic plan, which has enabled us to continue upgrading exhibits, buildings, and grounds. With so much done and yet so much left to do, we are gearing up to launch a major “Roaring Wild for the Zoo” fundraising campaign.  The campaign is going to focus on raising funds to modernize some of the major exhibits like the historic Monkey Island and the Big Cat Habitats.  Monkey Island which was built in 1932, and the Big Cat house which was built in 1975, are not in line with our zoological practices of today. We want the public to know that “we don’t like them either” and that this campaign will help us update these habitats, as well as others.

Washington Park Zoo Sets New Attendance Record 2018 will mark the 90th anniversary of the Washington Park Zoo and to celebrate we are planning a fun filled season.  The Zoo has a long and rich community history beginning with our start in 1928 and our WPA (Works Progress Administration) construction in the 1930’s.  To mark this significant milestone, a variety of activities will be offered to visitors to commemorate the lasting effects the Zoo has had on Michigan City and the surrounding community and beyond.

The Washington Park Zoo is also dedicated to being a sanctuary for exotic animals in need of a safe home. Some of the zoo’s residents have been misplaced pets that proved to be too wild or were confiscated as illegally owned.  Some have suffered injuries that would make life in the wild impossible and others were removed by the DNR.  In all cases the residents are given the best environments that our staff can provide for their health and mental enrichment needs.  Our Staff is dedicated to the health and welfare of the animals in our care and their relatives in the wild.

If anyone is interested in helping with our campaign, please contact the Zoo to find out more about the projects.  Every dime counts and the contributions made to this project will be quite tangible; the evidence of “before and after” will be profound. The Zoo will also be offering “Zoo–nique” awards to schools, classes, clubs and even businesses who want to contribute with their own fundraising challenges like coin wars, bake sales or blue jean donation days.   All donations are tax deductible and will be directly reinvested in the zoo.  

Approximately 200 animals call the Washington Park Zoo home.  We are open daily from 10am to 4pm until October 31st. Regular admission is $7 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and children ages 3-11, and 2 and under are free.

For more information about the Washington Park Zoo, please visit the Zoo on Facebook or at www.washingtonparkzoo.com.

Washington Park Zoo Sets New Attendance Record   Washington Park Zoo Sets New Attendance Record


Michigan City Awarded $650,000 to Improve Trail Creek

The Michigan City Sanitary District has been awarded a $650,000 grant for the Cheney Run Wetland Project. The grant, awarded by Sustain Our Great Lakes, will help the City create approximately five acres of wetlands on Trail Creek to manage and treat stormwater from the Cheney Run stormwater sewer system.  The wetlands will improve water quality in Trail Creek and Lake Michigan, increase recreation opportunities, and improve habitat for animals and plants.

“This project will help advance multiple goals of the Sustain Our Great Lakes program,” said Todd Hogrefe, Central Region Director for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.  “The new wetlands will benefit the local community by increasing stormwater storage and reducing harmful stormwater runoff, while at the same time providing many fish and wildlife species with more of the habitat they need.”  Sustain Our Great Lakes, administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, receives funding and other support from ArcelorMittal, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Significant program funding is provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program designed to protect, restore, and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem. Additional Sustain Our Great Lakes information on grant awards can be found here

With the grant funding, the Michigan City Sanitary District, in collaboration with the Delta Institute and Alliance for the Great Lakes, will install 5 acres of wetlands that will reduce runoff from storm events, which carries harmful pollution into waterways.  Runoff pollution flows off the land in the Cheney Run watershed during storm events and into Trail Creek and, ultimately Lake Michigan.

When completed the project will benefit Trail Creek, Lake Michigan, and the quality of life of Michigan City residents by:

  • Improving Trail Creek & Lake Michigan Water qualityThe wetland will help to manage an estimated 37.5 million gallons of storm water each year, reducing the amount of pollutants such as sediment, E. coli, and nutrients entering Trail Creek & Lake Michigan. 
  • Increasing Recreation OpportunitiesNew trails will be created as part of the project, connecting nearby neighborhoods and existing trails, and will include new fishing access point an a new kayak launch on Trail Creek.
  • Improving Critical Coastal Habitat New high quality wetland habitat will help coastal Indiana’s animals and plants survive and thrive.  And, improved water quality and habitat in Trail Creek is critical to protecting the City’s famous Salmon and Steelhead Trout runs.

“The Cheney Run Wetland Project is another one of the many projects that we are implementing to improve the local environment for our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Ron Meer.

Several partner groups are also involved in the project, including the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Delta Institute, and the Trail Creek Watershed Partnership.  Partner groups will support Michigan City in planning and managing the overall project.  Moreover, they will engage residents and neighbors of the future wetlands site in identifying how the community plans to use, enjoy, and care for the site’s future recreation amenities.

Michigan City is also currently awaiting news on an additional $500,000 grant request from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to help fund additional pieces of this project.


Michigan City Urban Enterprise Business Grant Program

The Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association (MCUEA) announces their 2017 Business Grant Program for up to $ 7,500.

It is specifically designed to help promote businesses located within the Urban Enterprise Zone boundaries and to assist in the overall plan for the City by promoting visual improvements, historic preservation, structural integrity, boosting the quality of product and enhancing the customer experience. The grant is available for signage, machinery and equipment used in their business and for building improvements to the exterior and interior of the property.

The MCUEA will reimburse 50% of the eligible costs not to exceed $ 7,500.

The applicant must fill out the 2017 Business Grant Program application by December 31, 2017 and meet the requirements set forth in the application to be eligible. There is $ 75,000 appropriated for this program.

The application must be mailed or emailed to:
Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association
P.O. Box 43
Michigan City, IN 46350

Email: MCUEA1984@gmail.com

Please contact Diane Wilczewski, Director at 219-561-6991 if you have questions concerning this grant.

Business Grant Program Application Form (PDF)


Friendship Botanic Gardens Is Asking For The Community's Help To Locate Historical Pictures of the Gardens

Friendship Botanic Gardens (FBG) has a storied history spanning many decades, and now we’re commemorating our rich legacy by publishing a book of photographs and stories that will provide readers a window into the remarkable past of FBG. The FBG Board of Directors is asking for your help in locating old photographs taken in the Gardens in the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s.  

The Gardens held a very prominent place in the lives of Laporte County residents in the mid-twentieth century, and many members of the local community may have historical pictures from the heyday of Friendship Botanic Gardens stored in their attics and basements. If you have images from these bygone eras, please contact us at 219-878-9885 or info@friendshipgardens.org and help us bring the history of the Gardens to life for a whole new generation of visitors from Laporte County and beyond!"


Children's Art Scholarships Available

Children's Art Scholarships AvailableMAC (Michigan City Public Art Committee) is offering children’s art scholarship to qualified Michigan City children.

The Michigan City Public Art Committee, created in 2011 by the Michigan City City Council, has established a scholarship fund to assist Michigan City children in taking art instruction.

Visual art classes or individual art instruction for qualified children between 5 and 18 years of age will be funded. The maximum grant request per individual is $200. Funds will be available for instruction in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, collage, crafts such as beading, mosaic work and weaving, art camps or any combination of these taught by a legitimate instructor. Continuing this year is the youth glassblowing workshop with artist and instructor Ian Osborne that will be given at Quality Beat in Michigan City. The committee will not fund music, writing, dance, or drama instruction. 

Applicants must show financial need and take instruction from an art provider located in the Michigan City city limits. The deadline for applying is at least 30 days before the instruction is scheduled to start. Applications are available at the Visit Michigan City LaPorte, Marquette Mall, 4073 S. Franklin St., Michigan City, IN. Submission can be made to Jane Daley at the location or you can contact her via email and the applications will be sent to you.

You can find art classes for children at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts  or Ian Osborn, Glass Flameworking Artist & Instructor.

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Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association (MCUEA) 2017 Business Grant Program

The Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association (MCUEA) is pleased to announce their 2017 Business Grant Program. It is specifically designed to help promote businesses located within the Urban Enterprise Zone boundaries and to assist in the overall plan for the City by promoting visual improvements, historic preservation, structural integrity, boosting the quality of product and enhancing the customer experience. The grant is available for signage, machinery and equipment used in their business and for building improvements to the exterior and interior of the property. The MCUEA will reimburse 50% of the eligible costs not to exceed $7,500.

The applicant must fill out the 2017 Business Grant Program application by December 31, 2017 and meet the requirements set forth in the application to be eligible. There is $75,000 appropriated for this program.

The application must be mailed or emailed to:
Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association
P.O. Box 43
Michigan City, IN 46350
Email: MCUEA1984@gmail.com

Please contact Diane Wilczewski, Director at 219-561-6991 if you have questions concerning this grant.

To obtain the 2017 Business Grant Program application, please click here.

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Free Smoke Alarms

The American Red Cross, along with the Michigan City Fire Department, are sponsoring HOME FIRE PREPAREDNESS AND SAFETY. Free Smoke Alarms will be installed in homes to keep families safe. If you are interested and would like to have up to three free smoke alarms installed in your home and receive fire preparedness information to keep your family safe, please contact the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana at 219-756-5360.

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Transit Tringle PNW Campus Bus Stop

Effective January 1, 2017 Transit Triangle Commuter Route Buses will no longer be stopping at the PNW Schwarz Hall. The New Bus Stop location will be in front of the Dworkin Complex.

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Looking for the 421 South Franklin Street South Gateway Plan?

Are you seeking more information on the 421 South Franklin Street South Gateway Plan? Click here to find the plan document (PDF, 307MB).

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Seeking Public Input on Parks Master Plan

The Michigan City Parks and Recreation Department is seeking PUBLIC INPUT for our 5-year Master Plan.

Take the survey online. Click here for the 2017-2021 Michigan City Parks Department Master Plan Online Survey.

Or, download th survey and fax, mail or e-mail it in. Click here for a PDF of the 2017-2021 Michigan City Parks Department Master Plan Survey.

Surveys are also located at the Park Office, The Michigan City Senior Center, The Washington Park Zoo, The Michigan City Golf Course, The Michigan City Public Library, LaPorte County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, and Mayor Meer’s office in City Hall.

The Michigan City Parks and Recreation Department greatly appreciates your time and input.

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Michigan City Launches Official Social Media Presence

Four new social media pages launching today will provide new ways to interact with and promote the community. Each one will offer a different experience and a different way to show off “#myMichiganCity.”

Initiated by the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission, these pages will support local businesses, bolster economic development, create awareness and excitement for local events, and foster a strong online community. The effort will build on interest already generated by existing Michigan City social media presences, such as the Facebook pages of the Uptown Arts District, the Parks and Recreation Department, and many others.

Don Babcock, Vice President of the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission said, “The Redevelopment Commission is investing tens of millions of dollars to help revitalize our great city. A critical part of that effort is to help existing and new businesses thrive. This initiative will help build pride in our community and help sustain our momentum for the next generation.”

The four pages will consist of two separate Facebook pages, an Instagram account, and an official city LinkedIn page. The Discover Michigan City Facebook page will promote local businesses, events, and accomplishments. The Michigan City Resident Updates page will be home to announcements relevant to Michigan City residents. The Discover Michigan City Instagram account will share photos focused on food and drink, arts and culture, as well as great shopping and events. The LinkedIn page will build the City’s image as an excellent place to do business, reaching the professional community in and outside the City. Readers may “like” and “follow” the pages by visiting these links online.

A 16-member Social Media Advisory Council has overseen development of the social media launch and will oversee the content posted to each page. City Councilman and Social Media Advisory Council member Richard Murphy said, “We can bring the stunning visual imagery of our natural resources, the energy of the renaissance occurring in arts and culture in our downtown, and the many positive community efforts we have going on across our city right now to create a powerful online presence that will help Michigan City economically, and improve its image to residents and visitors alike.”

In the coming weeks, workshops will be announced to help businesses and organizations optimize their use of social media, support each other’s efforts online, and promote the City in general.

#myMichiganCity Program Offers Discounts & Prizes

The #myMichiganCity program will promote local businesses and encourage participation from residents and visitors alike. Social media users who post using the #myMichiganCity hashtag, and “check in” or “mention” specific businesses on any social network may earn discounts at participating businesses, plus enter for a chance to win prizes. Julia Nielsen, a Social Media Advisory Council member, says, "We look forward to supporting the City's new social media campaign and are excited to be a part of such an excellent community."

Nielsen's eclectic boutique, The Closet by Franklin Vintage, will offer a 10% discount as part of the program. Other participating businesses include Arturo’s Baked Goods & More, Burn ‘Em Brewing, Hoity-Toity, The Great Escape Spa & Art Shop, At The Beach Swimwear Boutique, Finders Keepers Consignment LLC, Threadbenders Quilt Shop, Maple City Roasters, Urban Soles Inc, and Beach Bum Jewels.

Residents and visitors using the #myMichiganCity hashtag anywhere in the City may also enter for a chance to win prizes, including a $50 gift card for Lighthouse Premium Outlets, a one-year family membership to the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, a one-night stay at Blue Chip Casino Hotel & Spa, a complimentary wine tasting for six with Perfect Pairing appetizers at Shady Creek Winery, and two VIP Passes for the Great Lakes Grand Prix provided by the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The drawing entry form is online at http://bitly.com/myMichiganCity.

Any business can join the program at any time by visiting http://bitly.com/myMichiganCity. To help businesses advertise their incentives, customizable, printable table tents are also available for download at the website.

Help spread the word about our great city! Use #myMichiganCity to show your civic pride. Follow, like, and interact on the Michigan City Resident Updates Facebook page, Discover Michigan City Facebook page, Discover Michigan City Instagram page, and The City of Michigan City LinkedIn page.

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Envision Washington Park

Envision Washington ParkMichigan City Parks & Recreation recently launched ENVISION WASHINGTON PARK. This is a community-based planning process to create a new master plan for Washington Park. Get involved and help envision a better Washington Park!

As part of the Park Department Master Plan, the Board and Staff are developing a Washington Park Master Plan, which will provide recommendations for improvements over a five-year period. Washington Park is the biggest and best-positioned lakefront in the region, serving the Chicago and Indianapolis metropolitan areas and everyone in between. As the centerpiece of the Lake Michigan Gateway, opportunities exist to create a world class, eco-recreation destination and catalyze development within the downtown Michigan City area. By planning for the future of Washington Park, the Board and Staff aim to create a regional destination that fosters year-round recreation opportunities, enriching programs and events, and improves the quality of life for residents, visitors and future generations.

ONLINE: www.placespeak.com/washingtonpark

We are looking forward to a great community conversation on the revitalization of Washington Park through the 2016 Master Plan process!

Click here for a printable flyer (PDF).

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Changes to Hand Gun Permit Process

The Michigan City Police Department is announcing that changes have been made to the hand gun permit process due to recent implementation by the Indiana State Police. Those interested in obtaining an application must do so on-line via the Indiana State Police website, which is located at www.in.gov/isp or at the Michigan City Police Department website at www.michigancitypolice.com.

For additional information, please click here.  

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Michigan City Crime Map

A crime mapping tool used by law enforcement agencies across Northwest Indiana to track and solve everything from car break-ins to homicides can now be accessed online by the public. Michigan City's crime data is now part of the Regional Crime Report available online at nwi.com. Click here to access the Crime Report online for Michigan City.

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Looking for Information on the Michigan City Lake Michigan Gateway Implementation Strategy?

Are you seeking more information on the Michigan City Lake Michigan Gateway Implementation Strategy? Click here to learn more from the Hitchcock Design Group, the team commissioned by the City to design the implementation strategy.

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Cheney Run Floodplain

Mayor Meer has made available the following documents related to the Cheney Run Floodplain:

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Texting and Driving - $150.00 FINE - A Simple Explanation

Cell phone use - especially texting - has become so ingrained in society that far too many people ignore the NO TEXTING AND DRIVING LAW.

The Michigan City Police are noticing more and more of this on a regular basis and now with the busy shopping season and fast approaching dangerous driving weather upon us and we are warning citizens of not only the dangers yet the fact that citations will be issued.

57 percent of Americans view their cellphones as key to their social life, and most view texting as a vital feature. Yet to mix this activity with driving is statistically extremely dangerous.

  • Five seconds is the average time a driver’s eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling 55 mph that is enough time to cover the length of a football field.
  • In 2011, at least 23 percent of auto collisions involved cell phones, equaling 1.3 million crashes.
  • At any given daylight moment across America, about 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. IC 9-21-8-0.5 

Specifically, the Indiana distracted driving law  (IC 9-21-8-59) prohibits drivers from typing a text message, transmitting the message or reading an electronic mail message. This also means all drivers regardless of age are prohibited from texting or surfing on the internet even when stopped for a traffic light.

Cell Phones
Drivers under 18 – are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving. PERIOD

Texting
All Indiana drivers NO MATTER WHAT AGE are prohibited from texting while driving

How is it Enforced?
Indiana’s cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. That is, the officer sees you texting and can pull you over immediately and issue a citation. The citation will cost you $150.00 and is tripled in a construction zone!

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Uptown Arts District Façade Improvement Applications Now Available

The Michigan City Uptown Arts District Façade Improvement Program through the Redevelopment Commission is designed to promote the continued use and maintenance of commercial and residential buildings in the downtown/Uptown Arts District area. It is intended to help property owners and commercial tenants to rehabilitate and restore the visible exterior of existing structures. Improvements must meet criteria for appropriateness of design.

For complete program information and application, please click here (PDF).

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Michigan City Animal Control Seeks Volunteers

The Michigan City Animal Control Division would like to announce a new volunteer program that will encompass Kennel duties located at Michigan City’s Central Maintenance on the west side.  Some of the duties will include, but not limited to feeding of cats and dogs and cleaning the kennel if required.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have their own transportation.  You can find the Application and Waiver forms at emichigancity.com under the Animal Control tab and the Michigan City Police Department’s Facebook page.  Applications and Waivers will also be available at the front desk of the police department.  Once the forms are completed, please turn them in at the Michigan City Police Department for review, you will be contacted shortly thereafter.

Click here for Dog/Cat Kennel - Michigan City, Indiana Volunteer Application (PDF)

Click here for Dog/Cat Kennel - Volunteer Waiver And Release (PDF)

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Streetlight Outage Reporting

Mayor Ron Meer, in conjunction with NIPSCO, would like to inform the public of an online option available to them in reporting a streetlight outage.

www.nipsco.com/streetlightout is an interactive website designed to allow the public an easier, faster, and much more efficient means of reporting a streetlight outage.  When a person accesses the website, they can report a streetlight outage with just three simple steps. 

Mayor Meer asks the public to please utilize this method of reporting when possible.  This website will eliminate steps in the reporting process and generate an immediate online report directly to NIPSCO.  However, for those who do not have internet access, you are encouraged to please call Central Services at 873-1500.  Central Services will then enter and submit the information on your behalf.

Mayor Meer would like to thank you for your help.  A well lit Michigan City is a safer and more appealing place for both our citizens and visitors.

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Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge

The Indiana Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) Community Challenge is a voluntary recognition program for local Indiana government. CLEAN helps communities take steps to plan, develop, and implement a quality of life plan. This plan includes gathering input and support from the community and local businesses.

Michigan City was awarded the status of a “CLEAN” community effective December 19, 2007.

To review Michigan City’s Quality of Life Plan and status of our existing projects go to http://www.in.gov/idem/prevention/2361.htm.

For questions on our local please contact:

Charlie Cate, Stakeholder Committee Leader
(219) 833-7591
ccate@emichigancity.com

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Indiana CLEAN

Free Prescription Drug Card Program

As a resident of Indiana, you and your family have access to a FREE Prescription Drug Card program. Simply download your Prescription Drug Card here to receive savings of up to 75% at more than 50,000 national and regional pharmacies. You may create as many cards as you need. Participating pharmacies include the following: Target, Kmart, CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Meijer, Kroger as well as thousands of independent pharmacies.

Discounts range in price from 10-70% but average about 30%. It is NOT insurance...it's a membership program, but like insurance you get a card that you show at the pharmacy and they can calculate your discount.

For people with insurance or Medicare, this can work with them as well. Because it is NOT insurance, members would be able to see if they get a better price with their existing insurance or with the card. Usually, the co-pay through insurance will be better, but not always. So having the card could be helpful even to people that already have insurance. (Not to mention many individuals and businesses are going to high deductible plans that don't cover prescriptions.)

This benefit is sponsored by United Networks of America a national healthcare company in conjunction with a consortium of the pharmaceutical companies. This exact program has launched successfully in 30 states over the last 2 years. UNA expects the program to discount over 20,000,000 prescriptions in 2009 for tens of millions of American families when they need help the most.

The membership program may not meet everyone’s need but offers an inexpensive alternative for many. Click here for frequently asked questions about the program.

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Do You Have Special Medical Needs? Let The Fire Dept. Know!

The Michigan City Fire Department is in the process of gathering information on adults and children in the community who have special medical needs. Fire Chief Dave Lamb urge families who use medical care aids such as cardiac monitors, ventilation devices, feeding tubes, wheel chairs, or any other such devices for sustaining the life and health of a family member, to complete this form. Please click here to view and print the form. It then needs to be forwarded to the Fire Department. This form should also be used for community members who are non-ambulatory and would require assistance in leaving their homes in an evacuation situation.

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Are You In Compliance With City Trash Regulations?

Setting out your weekly trash pickup may seem like a fairly simple mundane task. However, have you considered if you are actually doing so in accordance with city trash regulations? Are you using city trash containers --- or just placing bags along the curb? If you are using trash containers, great! But are they in compliance with city trash regulations? Are you remodeling a home or building a new one? If you are, what are you doing with the construction rubbish?

  • According to the City Code, it shall be the duty of every person owning or leasing a residence or place of business in the City wherein garbage accumulates to maintain in a clean and odor free condition a cart provided by the City.
  • The only container that may be used must be a cart that the City will supply.
  • All garbage, trash or rubbish which accumulates shall be deposited in either a cart or dumpster.  The lid to every cart and dumpster shall be kept on and closed at all times, other than when placing items in them.
  • Plastic garbage bags with tight-fitting tie closures may be used, but shall be placed inside either a cart or dumpster.
  • All carts must be put out for collection by 7:00 a.m. on the day scheduled for their collection with the arrows located on the carts pointing out toward the street or alley from which collection is made.  All carts must have open access for the trash collectors to retrieve them.
  • For street-side pickup, carts shall be set out no more than 24 hours prior to the usual time of collection and shall be removed within 24 hours after collection.
  • At no time shall the cart be moved from its assigned address.
  • The Refuse Department must be contacted at 873-1530 for special pick-up at the normal collection location of all large items that cannot fit within the cart.
  • The two-wheeled cart Toters are to be used for trash only and they are not to be used for construction materials or compost.

If you're unfamiliar with city regulations on trash containers and construction waste, are curious about what it looks like to be in compliance and not in compliance with the recently revised city trash regulations, or have any questions about city trash regulations, compliancy, or trash pick-ups, click here to learn more.

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Rental Property Smoke Detector Enforcement

The City of Michigan City and the Michigan City Fire Department have begun the implementation of recently enacted Michigan City Ordinance #4020, which regulates smoke detectors for rental properties.

The Fire Department Administration would like to remind all owners of rental property in Michigan City that a two-step process has been enacted to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Michigan City.  First of all, all residential rental units shall be equipped with smoke detectors.  And secondly, a registration requirement has been enacted stating that owners of property which is used as residential rental dwelling units or contains a rental dwelling unit are required to register all such properties with the Michigan City Fire Department.

The passage of Ordinance #4020 included an initial 45-day registration period and owners who have not yet registered their properties should do so immediately.  After this initial registration period following the passage of the Smoke Detectors for Rental Properties Ordinance earlier this year, owners shall be required  to register all such properties on an annual basis, by January 31st of each year.  Additionally, for new owners of rental property at any point throughout the year, registration is required within 30 days of becoming an owner of the real property to be used as residential rental property or rental dwelling units.

Rental property smoke detector registration forms can be obtained electronically over the internet at http://www.emichigancity.com/cityhall/departments/fire/, or they can be obtained in person from the Fire Department Administrative Office at 2510 East Michigan Boulevard.

Anyone with questions regarding smoke detectors for rental properties can contact Kyle A. Kazmierczak, Division Chief of Inspections, at (219) 873-1453 or Jeff Santana, Assistant Inspector, at (219) 873-1440.         

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Michigan City Noted as Top City for Affordability

Michigan City has been identified by CityTownInfo.com as one of the state's top cities for affordable property taxes.

Compared to other communities which are similar in size and diversity to Michigan City, our community is in the top 12% of communities regarding affordable property taxes, top 17% of affordable rent. Compared to all communities in the state, Michigan City rates in the top 14% of short commute times.

The website page dedicated to Michigan City, http://www.citytowninfo.com/places/indiana/michigan-city, lists many other demographic statistics, including politics, wealth, ancestry, commute and sprawl, housing, crime and climate.

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