It was a pleasure to meet the new Shipshewana town manager, Mike Sutter, today at the monthly Pumpkinvine Advisory Committee meeting in Middlebury.
Sutter comes to the town-manager job with a wealth of administrative experience. He served on the Sturgis, Michigan City Commission for eight years, the Board of Commissioners for St. Joseph (Mich.) County for eight years, and the St. Joseph (Mich.) County road commission for several years.He also was county administrator in two Michigan counties — Sanilac County in the thumb of Michigan for 13 months and Wexford County, where Cadillac is the county seat, for three years.
Other work experience includes being owner, president and CEO of Michiana laminated products in Howe. Sutter had retired from that position before taking the town-manager position.
He began the new job on Nov. 12.
“Shipshewana is an incredibly vibrant community,” he said. “To watch and observe what is happening in this community impresses me every day.”
One of his priorities is to connect the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail from where it ends at 850W to the town center.
Pumpkinvine receives grants for $1.82 million: $517,530 supplemental grant for Shipshewana to Elkhart Co. line; $300, 854 supplemental grant for Middlebury to LaGrange Co. line; $999,489 for Wayne St. to U.S. 20 in Middlebury.
10 years ago – Dec. 2002
·Middlebury awarded $150,000 grant for .65 miles of trail between Wayne St. and York Dr.
·Jim Smith joins Friends board.
15 years ago – Dec. 1997
·The Elkhart County Board of Zoning Appeals granted the City of Goshen a special use permit to develop a linear park and trail along the Pumpkinvine corridor between State Road 4 and County Road 28.
·A cumulative gift of $500 will get founder’s name engraved on a plaque to be located on the trail.
20 years ago – Dec. 1992
·On Dec. 5 the Friends of the Pumpkinvine Steering Committee approved a constitution and bylaws. Committee members are: Larry Beachy, Linda Clark, Karen Fergison, Quinn Holdeman, Jr., William Hostetler, Galen Kauffmann, Norm Kauffmann, Joe Lehman, Lowell Miller, Chet Peachey, Sharol Raber, and John Yoder.
·Penn Central is doing an appraisal of the Pumpkinvine to determine an asking price.
At the Dairy Queen today, I met a Paul Mishler who was at one of the information meetings we had about the proposed Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in Shipshewana 20 years ago, and he said he remembers one gentleman at the meeting be very much against the trail. I said, “One! I don’t remember any being for it.” He agreed. Paul and Dan Unternahrer were out on the trail enjoying the warm November day.