Deputy Mayor Mark Neal discusses launch of Light-Up South Bend

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South Bend, Ind. An effort to “Light-Up South Bend” is being launched this week.

Council members Tim Scott and Karen White will join other city leaders and Indiana Michigan Power Wednesday morning to talk about a program intended to bring more street lights to parts of the city.

Deputy Mayor Mark Neal joined us Wednesday morning to talk about that and other current issues in our monthly mayor chat.

“Light-Up South Bend” will be introduced in two neighborhoods. A study by city engineers found that 50 new lights are needed in LaSalle Park and 26 new lights are needed in Keller Park. The city will look to expand this pilot program to other neighborhoods in the future.

“So it’s really a public safety initiative, working with those neighborhood associations to put in a few more lights to make it more uniform in terms of the quality of lighting and make it safer,” Neal said. “We wanted to establish a standard through our Public Works department for our commercial corridors as well as residential streets and that’s what this program is doing.”

Neal also discussed plans for the consolidated emergency dispatch center. The state is requiring all Indiana counties—including St. Joseph County—to consolidate the four existing emergency dispatch centers into no more than two centers by the end of this year, or risk losing its portion of e-911 fees received from the state, which amounts to about $2 million a year.

The plan for the county is to consolidate to two centers, the Mishawaka dispatch center and the South Bend dispatch center, by the end of 2014.

“We will be staffing it with the same number of full time employees as we have right now,” Neal said. “We expect the new facility to be completed sometime later in 2015 and we still have the same number of full-time employees identified for that operation too.”

The new center will be located in Mishawaka off of Capital Avenue and south of 12th St.

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