$5 million casino grant to help fund changes to New Albany's wat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

$5 million casino grant to help fund changes to New Albany's waterfront

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Gamblers' losses are New Albany's gain.

The city hit the jackpot Tuesday morning with a $5 million grant from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, meaning casino revenue will fund major changes to the city's waterfront.

"The Horseshoe Foundation board of directors has made a $5 million commitment that will continue to enrich our community for years to come," said Mark Seabrook, president of the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County.

Half of the money will help fund the finishing touches on the Ohio River Greenway project, an effort to build one continuous bike and pedestrian path from New Albany to Jeffersonville. 

"You will see green space developed for play," said New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan. "You will see lookouts: places that are elevated so you can see the river."

East of the Sherman Minton Bridge, the Loop Island Wetlands will be overhauled into a nature preserve.

The city has also purchased 43 acres of land just outside of downtown, west of the Sherman Minton Bridge. That land is currently occupied by Riverside Recycling, a recycling center which will be relocating to make way for biking and walking trails, playgrounds and docks.

"We have to create a place where people want to be," Mayor Gahan said. "That's number one. Nowadays with the economy, you can relocate anywhere you want. You can work out of your home. We want this to be a great place for everyone to live. And we're well on our way."

For people like Jim and Carol Tyler, who enjoy walking along the waterfront, it's good news. 

"I think it's great," Carol Tyler said. "Anything on the riverfront is great."

"I think it's overdue," Jim Tyler added. "It's time to spend the money down here now."

Terry Lynch hopes neighbors stop by her store, Pearls on Pearl, just a block off the river. 

"Take the walk, and then visit the local businesses," Lynch said. "It's all tied in together."

The other half of the grant money, $2.5 million, will be used just beyond Lynch's front door, restoring historic facades downtown.

There's no word yet on the timeline for completing construction or the new location of the recycling center.

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