City Looking Onward

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A Convention Center, casino and balanced city budget were all big talkers today at Mayor Duke Bennett’s City Update.
 
Several big projects have been on the burners for a while and the mayor says 2019 will be the year that we see them come to light. His hope is that the city’s outlook isn’t just attractive to locals, but to tourists as well.
 
“There are several little pieces over the next couple weeks that will allow us to take some very big steps,” he said.
 
This year 2019 is already starting proactively for the city of Terre Haute. According to Mayor Duke Bennett, that’s when bonding will start for construction with the Convention Center along Wabash Avenue. It’s also when we plan to hear if the new county jail will be built on the property across the prison and we’ll know if the casino bill makes a move from the senate to the house. All projects, definite and potential promise revenue.
 
“The idea is that we’ve got to diversify our economy,” Mayor Bennett said.
 
The casino would be a 150 million dollar investment offering 400 jobs at 25 dollars an hour. Plans for the Convention Center were placed around the Meadow’s conference room during the update. But some other plans, a little more tucked away, were in the Art Spaces office.
 
“This area could be come an art decorative of some sort that kind of leads your eye to the courthouse because that’s a piece of astonishing architecture that needs to be better featured,” executive director of Art Spaces, Mary Kramer said.
 
Terre Haute is one of ten communities around the state that received a cultural arts district.
 
“We tackled this urban design project in order to connect downtown with the river, and sort of engage people in this natural resurce that they really want connection with.”
 
Kramer shows us what’s in store for the turn to the river project, also anticipated to start by the end of 2019. Also in store, a water feature and green space at the courthouse and city hall courtyard.
 
“That’s where public announcements can be made … Civil marriage ceremonies and people can go out there to take pictures.”
 
The project leads to the river including a space for food trucks and farmers markets and a structure that overlooks the river.
 
Mary says this project is happening regardless of a convention center, but the two work nicely together.
 
“You see the list of initiatives going on and i think people are more engaged than they were,” Shelley Klingerman with Launch Terre Haute said.
 
She says this past year, Launch has seen an increase in interested entrpreneurs. She expects that to continue growing if and when we see these projects move to town.
 
“All of those ingredients come together and I think we’re really close to have a great recipe for this community.”
 
Mayor Bennett says the city budget for 2019 is 90 million dollars a little higher than 2018. He says that gives us more revenue to invest in our community.
 

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