LOOGOOTEE, Ind. – The city of Loogootee is making plans for a new gathering space in its downtown, thanks in part to the state’s $500 million Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative. Our partners at WTWO-TV report the community will receive a $225,000 grant as part of the Indiana Uplands region’s allotment of $30 million.
The city intends to build a park on property it purchased 10 years ago from CSX Railroad (Nasdaq: CSX) but never developed. Loogootee Mayor Noel Harty says the park will include a pavilion, a stage and green space and could be used for numerous community events, such as a farmer’s market.
“Rural communities as a whole, their number one challenge is trying to get their downtown, either get them going or keep them going,” said Harty. “That’s definitely our number one goal right now in Loogootee.”
The city will match the grant, meaning the project will have $450,000 in funding. Harty says one of the top reasons they pursued the project was to try and bring more people to the area.
“Not only as a business owner, but as a community person, anything they add to that, when you used to come through town, it was such an eyesore,” said Jolene McAtee, a small business owner. “That is going to be such a welcoming space that will add a lot of beauty.”
Harty says the city is working to remove electric and telephone poles in the empty He said they hope to complete the project in late 2023 or early 2024.
Click here to see WTWO’s coverage.