Logansport leaders work to boost community progress

A new program, known as the Hometown Collaboration Initiative, is being rolled out in Logansport, aimed at boosting long-term progress. WLFI/File Photo
A new program, known as the Hometown Collaboration Initiative, is being rolled out in Logansport, aimed at boosting long-term progress. WLFI/File Photo

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) – A new program is being rolled out in Logansport, aimed at boosting long-term progress.

Over the summer, Logansport leaders applied for a program known as the Hometown Collaboration Initiative.

Offered to Indiana communities of 25,000 or less, the initiative is sponsored by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Ball State and Purdue University.

In September, the city of 18,000 was selected to participate in the project.

“I think that we have a lot to offer, but I think any community in today’s world has challenges of telling its story,” co-coordinator Michelle Dials said. “And I think that’s one of our biggest challenges here is telling our story, and what the great things that we have in our community are.”

A team of local leaders meets every two weeks for training from coaches from Ball State and Purdue.

“Everything’s been really, really positive,” said Dials. “We’re happy to have so many people from so many different sectors represented on the team.”

Right now, the team is putting efforts toward marketing a survey it created. Offered in Spanish and English, the survey includes three key topics: quality of life features of the community, the local economy and local leadership opportunities.

This will give those who work and live in Logansport the opportunity to have their voices heard.

“Logansport is, is radically different than typical towns of our size through Indiana because of our diversity,” Core team co-leader Zach Szmara said.

Dials said, “Our push right now is to get members of the community involved and to get them to take that survey.”

Along with an online version, paper surveys are available at the Mayor’s Office, Cass County Community Foundation and Intersection Coffee Shop.

At last count, 300 people have filled out a survey and the goal is to have at least 2,000 submitted by year’s end. University researchers will then analyze the results and share them with HCI team members.

The next step — pursuing a project to help enhance the quality of the community.

“The more we know how our community feels about itself, the better we are able to move forward with some of the assets we have,” said Szmara.

If you’d like more information about the project and want to fill out a survey yourself, you can visit the Hometown Collaboration Initiative website.