SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — After COVID-19 put a pause on several construction projects in Sullivan, the city’s mayor said plans will move forward in 2021, with an emphasis on the downtown area and the continued blighted home project.

Mayor Clint Lamb said the first steps of the new year are getting his citizens back on the right track after the pandemic.

“We definitely have to look at what a post COVID-19 looks like, and the City of Sullivan is no different. We have a lot of things that are really getting back to the basics, but they’re pretty exciting,” Lamb said.

Plans for 2021 include construction of the Lovers Lane expansion. Starting on West Jackson Street, it will extend to the Sullivan County Library then back to Washington Street near Tropical Sno on Sullivan Square.

Pending the approval of grants, in 2022 this expansion could extend to both Sullivan County Park and Lake and Sullivan City Park.

“We’re connecting the library to downtown, the plaza to downtown, the park and lake to downtown, and the city park, which will have reconstructed pool, to downtown. All trails lead to the heart of the city which is downtown. That’s kind of a big picture thing but you will see another expansion,” said Lamb.

This year will also see what Lamb calls one of the biggest housing expansions in the city’s history.

Negotiations are ongoing to bring in an additional 50 housing units and continued work with the “They Gotta Go Program” that eliminates old houses and replaces them with state built homes.

“It’s time to put some houses back on the tax rolls and refill that housing stock that was built during the Industrial Revolution. It’s time to recycle them and that’s exactly what we are trying to do. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we are trying to get back to the basics,” said Lamb.

Renovations on the city pool built back in 1963 are set to begin this year, as well as the ground breaking of a hotel at a later date.