Indianapolis has got one: Cologne, Germany.
So does Goshen, Ind.: Bexbach, Germany.
Heck, Chicago’s got 28 of them.
They’re sister cities, and the International Baccalaureate Class of 2013 at
Chesterton High School thinks it’s high time for the Town of Chesterton to
get one too.
At the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, three members of that class gave
a presentation on the benefits of sister-cityhood, which tend to begin—they
said—with less tangibly valuable cultural and educational exchanges but can
often lead to brass-tacks economic benefits: including tourism, business
contacts, and product-line exposure.
The first step: the creation of a sister-city committee, with
representatives from the International Baccalaureate class, the town itself,
the business community, and local service organization. The next step:
membership in Sister Cities International, an organization which pairs
municipalities with an eye toward size and compatibility. Cost of
membership: a buck a day, $365 per year.
The students did say that some sizable expenditures would be needed to
ensure a meaningful sister-city experience. They estimated $300,000 over
four years, or $75,000 per year, which they were hopeful could be raised
through donations from interested residents and businesses.
Those funds would be used to defray the cost of committee activity, travel
expenses, and events to promote sister-cityhood.
Members voted 4-0 to take the proposal under advisement. Member Sharon
Darnell, D-4th, was not in attendance.