Small City Continues Big Downtown Push

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The Daviess County Economic Development Corp. is proposing a more than $2 million project designed to give downtown Washington a shot in the arm. The early-stage plan calls for an empty furniture store on the city's Main Street to be razed and redeveloped to house the Daviess Community Hospital's rehabilitation department and office space for a private business. The property is across the street from the Indiana Theater, which reopened recently after major improvements. EDC President Ron Arnold believes the downtown could eventually shape up around a "health and wellness theme," featuring additional hospital facilities, dentists, chiropractors and optometrists. The EDC proposed the plan to the city council this week. The organization is working to acquire all the necessary property. It will also have to be presented to the county council.

Arnold says the corporation and the Daviess County Economic Development Foundation, which he also leads, are urging the city to seek U.S. Department of Agriculture funding for the project. He says there is a USDA program that could allow the city to borrow $2.3 million with zero interest over ten years.

The county and city have been reaping the benefits of the I-69 expansion project that now connects Crane to Evansville.

Arnold says the community is now "in the ball game" for economic development opportunities that had previously been out of reach.

You can hear Arnold's perspective on I-69 by clicking here.

Source: Inside INdiana Business