Crawfordsville Wraps Up 2018 Budget Workshops

Jul 25, 2017
J. Stephen Conn

The city of Crawfordsville completed its final budget workshop Monday night, and despite a 10-percent health insurance premium increase, the mayor says it could have been much worse.

During the meeting, Crawfordsville mayor Todd Barton said at the county level, premiums are going up 20-percent. The city’s employees are also receiving a two-percent salary increase.

The majority of the city’s departments have little to no significant change in their budget for next year, which Barton says is due to planning.
J. Stephen Conn

The newly-reformed Crawfordsville Commission on Human Rights is looking to tackle what the city says is a growing number of issues concerning diversity in the Montgomery County community.

The 12-person commission is intended to serve as an advising body to the mayor and city council on affairs concerning diversity and human rights in the community. The commission was officially created in 1979 but involvement had lapsed in recent years.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation /

State leaders have pinned Indiana’s economic fortunes to regional economic development initiatives.  

Many programs have been created in the last few years to foster cooperation between nearby counties and cities.

But as WBAA’s Chris Morisse Vizza reports, at least two West Central Indiana mayors say the inherent instinct to compete for jobs and corporate investment is an obstacle.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

Last year, the North Montgomery School Cooperation came face-to-face with tragedy—three of its high school students committed suicide within a 10-month period. Now, the rural district is re-learning how it approaches conversations about the topic.

The North Montgomery school board voted Monday evening to adopt a significantly expanded policy that puts communication—both with students and teachers—front and center when it comes to prevention efforts.

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State officials are taking the road funding debate outside the statehouse, to rural locations across the state.

The meetings between the Department of Transportation and Indiana Farm Bureau are a chance for rural residents to speak up about their infrastructure needs.

Larry Pullam was one such resident at a recent meeting in Crawfordsville. He's a retired corn and soybean farmer from Hendricks County, and says he never felt like he had a voice in the infrastructure conversation before the meeting.

Lee Coursey /

As if there aren’t enough orange construction barrels on Indiana roads, drivers should brace for more.

Repairing roads was the priority this year when state lawmakers voted to return local income tax dollars to cities, towns and counties across the state.

How The Cash Can Be Spent

Seventy-five percent of the money must be spent on roads.

Lawmakers allowed local governments to spend the remaining quarter of the money they’re getting back on a non-road project or to put it away for future use.

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton created a new job at city hall, director of operations, and appointed long-time resident Dale Petrie to manage the many infrastructure projects his city will undertake as part of Indiana’s Stellar Communities program. Barton talks to WBAA’s Chris Morisse Vizza about the need for the new position and why Petrie is the right person for the job.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Each summer, the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum in Crawfordsville takes a look back at an important moment or aspect of the "Ben-Hur" author's life.

But that life is a conflicted one and portraying it objectively can be a problem. For instance, how to deal with longstanding criticisms that Wallace's missteps at the 1862 Battle of Shiloh may have cost some of the more than 20,000 men who died there their lives?

Sarah Browning /

4:30 p.m. UPDATE:

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton says negotiations on the expansion started around the first of the year and seemed all-or-nothing in nature.

Barton says if Crawfordsville hadn’t landed the additional jobs, it was likely the plant would have closed entirely as Penguin Random House streamlines its operation.

The company now has two national distribution centers. The other is in Maryland.

Original story:

Study examines Montgomery Co. history

Jan 9, 2013

The history of Montgomery County is highlighted in the Indiana Archeology journal.

A group from Ball State received a nearly 50-thousand-dollar grant from the Historic Preservation Fund to examine 915-acres of agricultural land northeast of Crawfordsville.

Archeologist Christine Keller says the information offers details on how early inhabitants of the area lived.