The Means Manor neighborhood on the south side of Gary is a 1950s planned community with a flooding problem made worse by the spring rains. Officials say that problem and many others will be solved with new federal dollars earmarked for Gary.
Four federal grants were unveiled Wednesday totaling nearly $6.7 million for a range of needed projects:
– $3.5 million to replace aging sewer infrastructure
– 2 million dollars for the equipment of the Gary airport
– $620,000 to extend the Marquette Greenway west to Hammond
– $500,000 for new technology to help the Gary Police Department
At the bottom of a Means Manor street, the funding was met with surprise.
“I feel good about it because right now my basement is in the flooding phase,” resident Arnita Jones said. “All the time, I can’t have anything there, because it’s going to come up through the sewers, it’s going to come up through the sinks.”
The funds will also help ensure that more sewage is treated locally at the Gary Health District Wastewater Treatment Plant rather than being discharged into the Little Calumet River.
“Ultimately it’s about quality of life or water quality, which equates to quality of life, not just for the residents of Gary, but it will impact the entire region. “said Gary Mayor Jerome Prince.
Residents said the announcements made them feel heard for the first time in a long time.
Airport boosters said the new equipment will make the Gary/Chicago terminal a bigger player in air cargo and logistics – part of Gary’s “reinvention”.
“What is important is that the city, the administration will now be able to create economic development and create opportunities for businesses to come and move because they have more capacity,” said said Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-IN- 1st District.
Police money will go towards more body cameras and building advanced data storage facilities.
“Growing up in this city has been really good for me,” said resident Jeffrey Bess. “It was a wonderful time and you see how it is now, it hurts. So I’m glad to see them putting some money into it.”
“That’s how we do it in Gary,” resident Jarrett Ward said. “We put up with Gary. We go through a lot and we come together and always make the best of it.”
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