The Daviess County Economic Development Foundation wants to see the quality of life improve in the area and getting the closed down Indiana Theater back open and operating is one part of their plan.
The foundation has announced a fundraising effort in hopes of acting as a catalyst for the reopening of the theater and two other projects. "We believe quality of life is an important part of economic development," said Ron Arnold with the Daviess County Economic Development Foundation. "We feel it is key to provide a community that is enjoyable for the existing workforce and to attract new workers in the future."
The three-part project will begin with assisting in the rehabilitation of the Indiana Theater, helping develop a walking path from downtown to the Eastside Park, and dealing with distressed and empty properties in the downtown area. "We have a good list of things to draw people and their interest," said Arnold. "These are things people can get behind and support."
With the Indiana Theater the Foundation plans to work with a private developer and assist in improving the outside appearance of the closed down building. The work includes improving the sign and restoring the glass windows on the front of the building. The Foundation will also help provide gap financing to refurbish the inside of the the theater and to purchase digital projects. If successful the organization would provide a low interest loan to the new owner.
"The theater is something the community really is concerned about," said Arnold. "It needs a lot of work, but we believe people will want to step up and help."
The second project will be the development of a walking path that could be done in phases. It would run from Main Street to Washington High School, out Bedford Road to the hospital and eventually lead to the East Side Park. The work would include sidewalk improvements, lighting, and additional parking.