TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Terre Haute, Ind.’s 12 Points Revitalization Initiative hosted its first in a series of neighborhood planning forums Thursday night to discuss the future of 12 Points and gather feedback from the community.

Thursday’s forum started at 5:30 p.m. at the Maryland Community Church 12 Points location, with around 35 people attending. President of 12 Points Revitalization Jennifer Mullen said she thought this was a good turnout considering the snowy weather and that the forum was primarily positive.

“I would say the night was around 75% positive,” Mullen said.

The forum was facilitated by members of RJL Solutions, a company helping the 12 Points group to develop a 3 to 5 year plan for the area’s development. These members asked the crowd of community members five open-ended questions, Mullen said, including who they think is being served in 12 Points, who should be served, what concerns there are and what businesses and events people would like to see.

Mullen said the crowd of attendees was comprised of property owners, small business operators, 12 Points residents and other community members. According to Mullen, positive feedback was given regarding the neighborhood’s progress in areas such as arts, commerce and culture.

Some community members also provided the 12 Points Revitalization team with constructive criticisms, including the lack of single family housing in the area and concerns of vandalism and graffiti. Mullen said another primary concern was unkept homes.

“As a nonprofit, we are working to address some of these issues with the addition of cameras and eventually more lights in 12 Points,” Mullen said. “Some of these changes will come with time.”

While Mullen said some in attendance spoke of how the neighborhood could be a good incubator for small businesses, others said the city of Terre Haute and the 12 Points neighborhood need to give young people more of a reason to stay in the area. One suggestion for new, attractive events included a 12 Points parade, Mullen said.

In addition to taking public comments, forum leaders also defined three distinct areas of 12 Points including the neighborhood and business district. Furthermore, RJL Solutions employees conducted a survey with attendees regarding various aspects of the neighborhood.

With the information gathered at this event as well as two other in-person forums, Mullen said the 12 Points group and RJL Solutions will create a 3 to 5 year long term plan for the neighborhood’s development. This plan will then be presented to the Mayor’s Office and city officials to see what contributions can be made, Mullen said.

The second forum will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 1 Library Square in Terre Haute. The third and final scheduled forum will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at the same location.

Those unable to attend an in-person forum who still want to provide feedback can fill out an online version of the 12 Points survey by clicking here.