Terre Haute city council votes to withdraw parking ordinance that put convention center on hold

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The Terre Haute City Council voted to withdraw the parking ordinance that was delaying construction on the city’s planned convention center.

An ordinance filed by Terre Haute City Council member Todd Nation would have limited surface parking lots along 7th and Wabash Avenue, effectively putting downtown convention center plans on hold.

After meeting with the public and city officials, Nation decided to withdraw this ordinance during Thursday’s city council meeting.

“It became apparent to me that it was important for the council not to be the arbitor of whether or not this could happen,” Nation said.

Nation says he discovered it’s a question that should go before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

In the short term, Nation says he is willing to let 7th and Wabash become surface parking lots to allow construction of the convention center, but long term he believes the city needs to a deeper look at the area.

“In those two to three years, we can be setting a community course to figure out exactly what we are going to build at 7th and Wabash,” Nation said.

During Thursday’s meeting, it was suggested by council member Tammy Boland to create a committee to consider the future of 7th and Wabash.

Council president George Azar says in the coming days he will look at forming this committee.

“First of next week I’m going to discuss that with the city attorney to find out what we need to do to form that committee specifically for that purpose,” Azar said.

Nation says he believes that the creation of this committee is the right move as the city moves forward.

“By working together we can figure out what it is we’ll build, how long it will take, and who is going to pay for it,” Nation said.

Members of the Capital Improvement Board say at this time it’s too soon to determine what comes next for the convention center.

They did confirm that at this time no agreement has been signed with the Vigo County School Corporation to purchase their administration building, which was the area of parking in question.

The CIB is also looking to select an operator for the project.

An operator for the Convention Center has yet to be selected. In February, three candidates were interviewed for the role.

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