With budget cuts by Governor Mitch Daniels, and Terrible news by a resent study on towns in the path of I-69, Oakland City Indiana seems to be headed for trouble.
A study conducted by The University Of Southern Indiana (USI) states â€œInvestment in upgrading/expanding infrastructure (e.g., water/sewer facilities)
yields a greater return if it is made early-on, before completion of construction
of the relevant segment of I-69. It helps retain and attract new businesses (as
experienced by Garrett County). Such investment is all the more urgent where
there is a proximate larger city that is taking rapid economic development
initiatives. This has a bearing on the economies of Oakland City and
Petersburg. A large multi-use complex, the Promenade, is being planned in
Evansville on 228 acres of land. While it may take about 10 years to complete,
construction on access roads is expected to commence this year. I-69, by
significantly improving access to the jobs generated by the complex, could spur
losses in employment as well as population (as experienced by Jeffersonville) for
Oakland City, with the latter effect growing in likelihood as gasoline prices
continue rising. With Washington already developing an industrial park, similar
effects may be experienced by Petersburg. These effects are likely to be
relatively more pronounced as I-69 will bypass Petersburg, draining the current
through-traffic on U.S. 57 â€“ a phenomenon similar to that experienced by
And according to a FOX7-WTVW news report May 21, budget cut by Daniels have left the city officials helpless. According to the report, only on police officer is on duty per shift, and they cant update equipment, or vehicles and they still might have to make further cuts and tehy fear a rise in crime.
The news report went on to say that city officials mowed the grass at the local park to prepare for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, but donâ€™t know when they can afford to mow it again! And they stated it wont get any better for 2 years.
According to the USI report, Oakland City would need to invest a sugnificant amount od money to try to possibly gain from the I-69 NAFTA Interstateâ€¦â€¦.but wait, they donâ€™t have it, so does that mean Oakland City would be a city no more???
I urge all Cities and Towns in the path of I-69 reassess their positions on 1-69 and the possible repercussions for thinking it would be good for your communities.
The price tag for the I-69 will go up significantly if gas prices rice, which in the long run would mean deeper budget cuts for every community in Indiana.
The USI report can be viewed at http://www.usi.edu/newsinfo/images/articles/communitydevelopmentstudy.pdf