In his first State of the City address, Mayor Scott Furgeson highlighted current and upcoming projects within city government.

Furgeson called the first three months in his return to office a “great three months,” and said local government is looking to update the city’s motto of Pride in Progress.”

“We’re really working on invigorating people to have pride in our community,” he said. “(The current motto has) done us well but I think we can do better. I think people need to understand that this is not just the mayor’s office, I’m not anyone trying to tell you what to do or how to do it. It’s a team effort on everything. We’re blessed in our city.”

Among the highlights of his address:

The Common Council passed a tax abatement earlier this year for the 15th Japanese company to come to Shelbyville. The addition of RISU America Inc. started when local officials, including Furgeson, Brian Asher (then a City Council member), Clerk-Treasurer Scott Asher and current City Council member Linda Sanders, visited Shelbyville’s sister city, Shizuoka City.

The City Council also passed a new tax abatement standard in which the city receives 2 percent, an idea that Furgeson credited former City Council member Brad Ridgeway for originally submitting. The council at the time was unable to pass Ridgeway’s idea.

And the council passed an ordinance that requires food truck businesses to pay a fee toward local non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club.

In the engineering department, the next two big projects are the overlay project on McKay Road, from Miller Street to Berwick Drive this summer, and the completion of the southwest connector trail that will add two miles.

The goal with the latter is to “enhance the community” so that “people want to be here,” Furgeson said.

He also highlighted the recent and ongoing developments of the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department.

Along with the installation of wifi in local parks, he noted Blue River Memorial Park will be hosting its first pickleball tournament later this spring, and there will be three new water features at the Splash Pad this summer.

The Shelbyville Fire Department has had a lot of maintenance issues this year, Furgeson said.

The city should be receiving three new ambulances this year after waiting the past two years to receive them.

“We have great people to do it but getting the equipment has been the problem,” Furgeson said.

The department is also upgrading its technology to improve communication with dispatch.

There are also expected to be nine new paramedics trained in the next two years and the mayor said this is “probably the youngest fire department I’ve seen since I’ve been in government.”

Furgeson previously served two terms as mayor.

The Shelbyville Police Department is transitioning into using more non-lethal alternatives, including the addition of new tasers later this spring.

The department will also be receiving body cams this year.

Furgeson also highlighted the new crisis intervention team as well as the city looking into building a new police station.

More than 300 apartment units and 800 single-family homes are scheduled to be built, he said in addressing the Planning and Building Department. Furgeson credited former Mayor Tom DeBaun for his efforts in getting that started.

And the city is currently in negotiation for several commercial and real estate projects, but Furgeson was unable to share details.

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