One Southern Indiana wants feedback for regional development eff - WDRB 41 Louisville News

One Southern Indiana wants feedback for regional development effort

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Using plastic cups and post-it notes, one big map of Southern Indiana is used as a drawing board for development. Using plastic cups and post-it notes, one big map of Southern Indiana is used as a drawing board for development.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- One Southern Indiana is gathering public opinion on possible development projects, in a local effort to benefit from Governor Mike Pence's Regional Cities Initiative.

Members of the public used post-it notes and a large map of Southern Indiana to submit ideas for redevelopment.

"We want the public to come up and give us their best ideas -- their boldest ideas," said Suzanne Ruark of One Southern Indiana, "on what will make Southern Indiana a better place to live, work and grow."

The open house at the Pepin Mansion in New Albany Friday was one of two opportunities for the public to share their ideas. Hosted by One Southern Indiana, the event looked to gain public opinion on projects that would spur growth and investment.

"We are doing everything we can to figure out what these opportunities are -- these assets," said Vincent Gauthier, director of planning for BNIM of Kansas City, "then take that feedback, churn it up and come back with specific projects that we think will help elevate this region."

The effort in Southern Indiana is a result of Governor Mike Pence's Regional Cities Initiative. 

"With our workforce getting older and older we need to attract millennials. To do that, we need to look at our quality of place because millennials look at where they want to live and then they find a job," said Ruark.

As of Friday, development was far from a sure thing. The Indiana legislature has slashed the governor's $84 million proposal.

"The House of Representatives came out and put in $20 million, rather than the $84 million, and we just found out the Senate did the same," said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI). "So right now, we've gone from $84 million to $20 million, which is obviously much less money and that's fewer things that can be done."

GLI has come out in support of the Regional Cities Initiative saying Friday, "what's good for Southern Indiana is good for Louisville."

Davasher-Wisdom deals with government affairs for GLI and says the measure could return to committee, which would be the only hope in restoring funding to the originally proposed $84 million.

The next public workshop is this Saturday:

April 11

10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Greentree Mall

757 E. Lewis and Clark Pkwy, Clarksville, IN 47129

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