Mayor's paint program marks its final year

Mayor Tim Neese

ELKHART — After 31 years, Mayor Tim Neese is preparing for the final year of his ‘Kick-A-Can’ Paint Program. The conclusion of the decades-long program coincides with Neese’s final year as mayor.

The ‘Kick-A-Can’ Paint Program offers assistance to residents who otherwise could not afford paint to make exterior home and garage improvements. Neese began the program as a member of the Elkhart City Council in 1988 and continued to do so during his 12 years in the Indiana General Assembly. Neese estimates that during that time, nearly 400 families have benefited from the program, in addition to the larger community benefit.

“What I have found – throughout my service to the greater Elkhart community – is that people take pride in their homes,” Neese said. “As the city works with residents to achieve compliance with local standards, it is nice to be able to help people with these types of exterior improvements, particularly when it would create a financial burden for them to do so otherwise.”

The program is funded through profits from a year-round recycling project as well as individual financial contributions and paint donated by Sherwin Williams and Rollie Williams Paint Spot in Elkhart.

“This program is a great example of what we can accomplish when the public and private sectors work together to strengthen neighborhoods,” Neese said. “Sherwin Williams and Rollie Williams Paint Spot have been a part of this since the very first year and none of this would have been possible without them.”

To be eligible for the program, individuals must live within the Elkhart City limits, own the home or garage to be painted and be financially unable to purchase the paint themselves. The recipient must also provide the labor.

Requests will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis as supplies are limited. To apply or to donate to the program, residents can contact the Mayor’s Office at 574-294-5471, Ext. 1041.

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