Since taking office in January 2016, Martinsville Mayor Shannon Kohl has forged relationships with many mayors and other local officials throughout the state of Indiana.
Recently, it was announced that Kohl and Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers had been selected to co-chair the I-69 Equals Jobs coalition. Kohl and Myers have worked together for some time.
On Tuesday, Kohl welcomed Westfield Mayor Andy Cook to Martinsville.
Kohl and Cook both serve on the Central Indiana Council of Elected Officials, or CICEO.
“He knew some of the history of Martinsville,” Kohl said.
Some of that history that Cook knew about included the famous sanitariums that once dotted the landscape throughout the city and the Glenn Curtis gymnasium at John R. Wooden Middle School.
Kohl also showed Cook where Interstate 69 is proposed to be constructed through the city.
“He commented on how pretty our community was and our topography,” Kohl said.
According to Kohl, Cook and Westfield have recently dealt with the Indiana Department of Transportationconcerning road construction similar to what Martinsville has been dealing with and encounter in the future as Section 6 moves it's way through Martinsville and Morgan County.
Kohl said the advice Cook gave her was to keep doing what she is doing with INDOT and to keep in touch with them on a regular basis.
On Wednesday, Kohl visited with Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey in Rushville.
“I got some ideas, talked to them about some of the things they have done in their community,” Kohl said.
Like Martinsville, Rushville has recently seen a change in the administration in that city.
“That was a good informational meeting,” Kohl said.
Kohl said she believes that forging these relationships with other local mayors gives her the opportunity to promote Martinsville as much as possible and to discuss things which are being talked about in the state legislature which could affect local governments.
“I have made these relationships over the years with a lot of these mayors and I just go and see what their cities are like and what they have done and they do the same thing with us. Martinsville is really getting noticed around the state,” Kohl said.
Businesses and I-69
Kohl has also recently begun talking with local business owners who could be affected by construction of I-69 through Martinsville.
She said that she would like to keep as many of those businesses in the city and will work to relocate any business which need to be moved.
“We are just getting the process started to reach out to them to kind of let them know that the city is working to keep the businesses here,” Kohl said.
The city will also discuss I-69 topics with businesses which are not in the city limits.
According to Kohl, most of the business owners she has already met with seem to be excited about the future impact of I-69.
“We are just trying to get a dialogue to see what kind of things the businesses are looking for if they want to relocated,” Kohl said.
Mike Dellinger, executive director of the Morgan County Economic Development Corp., is meeting with the business owners along with Kohl.
Some of the business which could be impacted by construction may only see a partial impact on their property.
“There is a business in town where it is going to take out a sign,” Kohl said.
Several homes could also be affected by construction of the interstate and Kohl said she has had no home owners contact her.