Casino Resolution Passes; Loan from Redevelopment Fails

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Despite some of the opposition surrounding a casino coming to Terre Haute, the city council passed the resolution, advancing it to the state level.

But not every ordinance got the thumbs up.

The casino resolution urges the Indiana General Assembly to adopt legislation in favor of creating a casino in Terre Haute. The decision came with controversy, including personal testimony of a past gambling addiction.

“I ended up stealing a total sum of $3,600 from my father and mother. That threw me into a very vicious cycle of depression, where there wasn’t a morning that I woke up that I didn’t want to kill myself,” says one resident.

The council also passed the tax anticipation warrant loan that will help the city with cash flow.

“They approved the loan for us to go to the bank and borrow money, up to 4%, up to 4 million dollars. On the other side of it, didn’t pass the internal loan that we wanted to do,” says Mayor Duke Bennett.

But to the mayor’s surprise, the resolution suggested by some council members to borrow money from redevelopment funds failed in a 3-6 vote.

“They wanted us to shift and borrow more from redevelopment, because it’s interest free. It’s our money that we already have,” says Bennett.

The executive director of the Redevelopment Commission, Steve Witt, said he was confident in the proposal when asked by the council.

“We have projects downtown that are not ready to go out to bid yet,” Witt said.

Councilman asks Witt, “so you’re confident in what’s being proposed here?”

“Yes,” Witt said.

Mayor Bennett adds, “They passed the ordinance to allow us to go borrow money from the bank, and the open market that will cost us interest, and passed on borrowing interest-free money they we already have in the bank.”

Finally the fire code ordinance was tabled, pending clarification, and concern from some council members whether a fee should be included.

“The important part of this ordinance is we update our code, but secondary, and I can’t focus on this enough, is the necessary funds that we need to have to help operate our division,” says Norm Loudermilk, Assistant Chief of the Terre Haute Fire Department.

The council will revisit the fire code ordinance at their sunshine meeting in March.

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