KOKOMO, Ind. (Feb. 16, 2020) – Last week, the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce sat down with city officials to discuss ongoing and upcoming city projects, including Championship Park, the upcoming Gus Macker tournament, Kokomo manufacturing and more.
Sandy Chapin, manager of the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce, talked with Mayor Tyler Moore and Kokomo Parks & Recreation Superintendent Torrey Roe. The conversation, which was held at Cross America and broadcast over Facebook Live, was the latest in the Chamber’s Coffee & Conversations series. Prior to the pandemic, these events were open to Chamber members who were encouraged to stop by to network and chat with the mayor. Over the last year, however, these events have been held virtually.
Roe discussed the Kokomo Parks and Recreation Department’s upcoming programs, including the annual adult and youth Easter egg hunts. In 2020, the department had to cancel the Easter egg hunts due to the pandemic, but Roe said they’re looking forward to welcoming people back for these competitive events. The adult hunt, he said, includes around 20,000 eggs each filled with prizes.
“If you’ve ever witnessed the adult Easter egg hunt, it’s a lot of fun and controlled chaos,” Roe said.
In addition to planning for this year’s programming, the department has been working hard recently to keep the trails clear of snow and ice, Roe said.
“It’s our goal to have those trails cleaned off and ready for you whenever you’re ready,” he said.
Speaking of trails, Moore provided updates on the expansion of the Clover Leaf Trail, which cuts diagonally from Washington Street to Markland Avenue. The expansion will take the trail further southwest past Markland, and the ultimate goal is to take it to the edge of the county to connect to Clinton County.
“It’s such a cool opportunity for us to be able to have so many walking trails to help our healthy lifestyle and to get people moving,” Chapin said.
Moore said he’s also excited to see the completion of Championship Park, a new development on the north side of the city. The park will allow for more softball and baseball leagues and will bring more tournaments to Kokomo.
“It’s a great win for the community,” Roe said, adding that it will boost the local economy with traveling teams and those coming to watch the tournaments. “We are set up in a really, really good spot to get teams into Kokomo.”
The conversation also touched on the 2021 Gus Macker Tournament, a three-on-three basketball tournament with players of various ages and skills that’s hosted in communities around the U.S. The city hosted Gus Macker in 2019 and was planning to host it again in 2020 but rescheduled due to the pandemic. This year’s tournament is slated to take place August 28 and 29 around the Kokomo courthouse square.
“It’s an event for the whole family,” Chapin said. “This is an event for our whole community.”
Moore also discussed changes with what was once Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and is now Stellantis. Earlier this year, FCA announced a merger with French auto maker Peugeot to form the new company Stellantis.
“For the local workforce and their footprint, it does nothing but enhance the investment that they have in our community,” Moore said, adding that the existing infrastructure and workforce will be assets for the new company.
Chapin asked Moore to share updates on local vaccinations efforts. Vaccinations are currently being given at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center. Moore said the process is moving along smoothly, but he urged the community to continue to follow safety guidelines. He also thanked the owners of the Kokomo Event & Conference Center for allowing the health department to use the facility for vaccinations, and he thanked the health care workers who have been working to administer those vaccinations.
“It’s a total team effort,” Roe said.
The conversation, as well as past events hosted virtually, is available on the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.