Wednesday night’s shooting in Gary, Indiana which injured five people is adding to the perception problem that the old steel town may not be able to turn its neighborhoods around.
The city’s Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says despite the crime issues Gary is improving. Freeman-Wilson is marking two years as Gary’s Mayor and says in the last six months or so they’ve noticed signs of a turnaround.
Among other things, an expansion and privatization of Gary’s Airport has been approved. Freeman-Wilson says, “It was a $100 million dollar deal over 40 years, but there’s a guarantee of $25 million over the first 3 years.”
Last month Gary was also designated as one of seven U-S cities in a program that would put it in line for federal investment.
The city has also started a $1 program that allows residents to purchase an abandoned home for a buck. Freeman-Wilson also realizes there are a lot of infrastructure repairs and upgrades that need to happen.
She’s hoping that will come with time and through investment. They have plans to re-develop downtown and demolish some of the old buildings that have been vacant for decades.