TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– City and county officials met at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum on Monday to receive a mid-year update on the “See You in Terre Haute” community plan.
Josh Alsip, the director of community engagement for the city’s chamber of commerce, touted hundreds of projects and millions of dollars in investments the region has seen so far in 2022.
“Those 150 accomplishments represent over 500 million dollars invested in the community that will be felt for years to come and are going to move us towards the goals of reversing population decline and increasing per capita income [in Terre Haute,]” he said.
The accomplishments represent new businesses, facilities and programs, according to Alsip.
Vigo County commissioner Brendan Kearns said the project, which started in 2019, has been a success to this point.
“Some key takeaways for me, a lot of our quality of life projects that we’ve been working on the past few years are really paying dividends right now, for example our growth within our trails system,” he said.
Alsip also covered the results of the first Community Census day, which was conducted back in April and surveyed nearly 1,500 about various things regarding the city and county.
A press release from the chamber of commerce states one of the biggest takeaways was that, “Terre Haute-Vigo County residents feel positive about the individual characteristics of our community, they suffer from negative self-esteem when talking about the community overall.”
Alsip said those results will impact the next steps for the plan.
“The information we do receive from the sentiment of our residents… it does provide some insights that allow us to pivot a little bit, specifically with trying to increase the perception we have of the community,” he said. “There will be some things that are coming down the pipe, probably in the next six months or so, that are as a result of the community census.”
Kearns said he thinks it’s important to learn from the results of the survey.
“A big thing today, in this mid-plan update, is seeing the reality checks. The perceptions, how people feel about our community,” he said. “There’s a section that talked about people who visit, and whether they would come back to Vigo County. A majority of people said yes, but there were still people that said no. Why do they not want to come back?”
Kearns said he thinks one of the solutions is promoting more community involvement.
“We need to focus on changing our community image, we need to get people so much more happy about living here in Vigo County, we need to get them outside to enjoy what we have to offer,” he said.
The chamber of commerce also launched their “Community Plan Dashboard,” online, which tracks the progress of the plan along with several data points for the community. It can be found here.