by Heidi L. Everett
All things considered in a pandemic, St. Joseph is doing OK. In an interview prior to Mayor Rick Schultz’ annual state of the city address to the Chamber of Commerce April 14, he talked about how COVID-19 impacted this small town.
“We did some projects, but it just wasn’t normal activity by any means,” he said.
The list of accomplishments includes updating Millstream parking and lighting, purchasing a new public works storage facility that will provide capacity as the city grows, completing infrastructure for a new affordable-housing apartment complex in east St. Joseph, and allocating money for downtown streetscapes that needed to be replaced.
When talking about the usual hustle and bustle of the town, though, that’s a different story.
“There just wasn’t that much there,” Schultz said. “We didn’t have a single event in downtown last year – no parade, no JoeTown Rocks, no Millstream Arts, no Oktoberfest. Every event was cancelled.”
And these events typically fuel business in downtown as well as serve as fundraisers for non-profit organizations.
Schultz talked about how the CARES Act and Coronavirus Relief Fund came in two waves to help St. Joseph businesses in the form of grants and low-interest loans.
“Just about every one of our businesses applied for these grants and loans and got money in the first or second wave,” Schultz said.
Schultz noted the city budget is…