Innovation In Government

South Bend's New City Engineer: Michael Mecham

If Michael Mecham does his job well, residents of the City of South Bend may never hear of him.

That’s just fine with Mecham, who started in early April as South Bend’s City Engineer.

Mecham’s job is to keep working many of those systems that urban residents take for granted — sewers...

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City going social in updated communications strategy

In a wired world, when people expect 24-7 access to information, South Bend residents want better communication with City departments and leaders, a recent study has found.

After taking office in January, the administration of Mayor Pete Buttigieg initiated a critical review to determine...

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South Bend investigating data-management tool

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Knowledge is power.”

In the future, the City of South Bend will be putting its knowledge — and data — to powerful uses, through an innovative performance-management tracking system.

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South Bend’s 3-1-1 line to offer streamlined solutions

Have a question about recycling? Want to report a burned-out streetlight? This year, it will be easier than ever to get the city government’s assistance with these and other non-emergency issues.

Following through on his campaign promise to put citizens first, Mayor Pete Buttigieg already...

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The little blue car that could

Think City Car

These days, South Bend residents probably have been noticing a little sky-blue Think City car tooling around town.

Despite its diminutive size and unassuming appearance, a number of features make this electric car, used by the City of South Bend for reading water meters, a pretty...

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Luecke’s tenure honored by local government group

IACT

Stephen J. Luecke, the longest-serving mayor in South Bend’s history, recently received the 2011 Russell G. Lloyd Distinguished Service Award from the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns.

The Lloyd award is given to an individual who has made...

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South Bend wellness program outpaces other city health plans

O'Brien Fitness

The City of South Bend is reaping the benefits of upgrades to its five-year-old Healthy City program for municipal employees, implementing several new benefits in 2011 without any additional cost to city budgets or employees’ wallets.

In 2011 for the first time, employees who actively...

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TIF creates attractive gateway into South Bend

Drivers heading into downtown South Bend from the north on Michigan Street as it passes by the Memorial Hospital complex are greeted by an abundance of beautifully manicured green spaces, attractive brick structural features, and well-planned sidewalks, curbs and streets …  all part of an...

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Rain barrel and garden offer green alternative

An area facing chronic basement backups during storms benefited this summer from a neighborhood environmental stewardship demonstration project that was implemented by volunteers and City of South Bend engineering staff.

A pilot household was outfitted with green solutions to flooding...

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Innovative solutions meet clients’ needs

The first thing you notice about Courtney Parry’s desk is that there isn’t very much on it: a computer, a business card holder and her elbows, as she leans forward to talk to you.

Not one piece of paper in sight.

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Zoo’s river otters get first municipal green roof

Potawatomi Zoo

There’s another reason to see the four North American river otters, who were introduced to the public April 1 at Potawatomi Zoo as part of one of the largest new exhibits in the zoo’s history.

The river otter exhibit building is also home to the first green roof on a municipal structure...

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City residents collaborate to keep neighborhood clean

Photo courtesy of the City of South Bend

When Catherine Toppel became director of the City’s Department of Code Enforcement in 2003, one of the first meetings she attended involved Near Northwest Neighborhood residents, who were proposing an effort to beautify their neighborhood.

What truly was innovative about their approach,...

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New York City officials see CSOnet demonstration

Photo courtesy of the City of South Bend

Utility officials from the nation’s largest city visited South Bend on Thursday, March 25, to witness the operation of CSOnet, the City of South Bend’s first-in-the-world system to use embedded wireless technology to monitor and control combined sewer overflows.

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City’s IBM initiatives to expand capacity for excellence

Emnet

When it comes to innovation, the City of South Bend often has formed partnerships with the private sector to accomplish shared goals while improving delivery of services to residents.

In his 2011 State of the City address, Mayor Stephen J. Luecke announced that South Bend has formed a...

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Do-it-yourself upgrade improves softball complex

Belleville

The Belleville Softball Complex on South Bend’s west side has hosted the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gold Medal Softball Team three times, in addition to annual national championships for the Amateur Softball Association since 1999.

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Two economic-development efforts receive awards

A brochure to promote economic development opportunities in conjunction with South Bend’s Ignition Park won an Excellence in Economic Development award from an international panel of private- and public-sector experts.

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City saves time, money on winter snowplowing

Brine System

After record snowfalls in early January, South Bend residents have been doing extra shoveling and extra worrying about forecasts for the rest of the winter season.

But City of South Bend snow-removal crews are addressing seasonal snowfalls in a more proactive, cost-efficient way. The new...

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FISH: Cultivating ideas for a better world

FISH Logo

One enterprise hopes to implement a low-cost distribution platform for delivering safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

Another proposes to develop ways to engage low-income and minority parents in their children’s education.

Whatever their individual passions, the...

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The Morris gets makeover to host wedding party

Morris Theater

The innovative response by the staff for the Morris Performing Arts Center and the Palais Royale ballroom, two public facilities operated by the City of South Bend, is being profiled in the Winter 2011 issue of Wedding Day magazine.

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South Bend’s bond rating rises again

For the second time in 2010, a national credit rating agency has affirmed an improved bond rating for the City of South Bend.

Fitch Ratings recently affirmed an AA+ rating on four bonds issued by the City of South Bend’s Redevelopment Authority and revised the City’s rating outlook from...

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Ignition Park master plan approved by Commission

The South Bend Redevelopment Commission on Friday, Oct. 1, approved a master plan for a planned unit development for Ignition Park, which will enhance the City of South Bend’s ability to attract tenants to the planned technology park.

Under the leadership of the Area Plan Commission, the...

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SELL South Bend helps Realtors sell homes

Once a week for a period of nine weeks, Realtors participating in the City of South Bend’s Certified Realtors Program absorb the ins and outs of the city’s neighborhoods, economy, schools, culture and history.

The classes are offered through the SELL South Bend Initiative and were...

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Converting traffic signals to LEDs will save $2 million over a decade

LED traffic signals in South Bend

In 2007-08, the City of South Bend upgraded traffic signals at 226 intersections from high-energy incandescent lighting to greener light-emitting diodes (LEDs) – the first city in Indiana to implement a solution on this scale or scope.

The conversion is projected to save the City nearly $2...

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Saving $120 million with local ingenuity

CSOnet Automated Smart Valve

Kitty Hawk, N.C. Menlo Park, N.J. Silicon Valley, Calif. These places are associated with life-changing innovations – manned flight, electric lights and the microcomputer. Now, people can add South Bend to the list of game-changing places.

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