Bennett touts economic progress during Terre Haute update
The city of Terre Haute is making progress toward goals of stopping population decline and increasing per capita personal income, according to Mayor Duke Bennett.
Speaking at the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce’s annual City Update on Thursday, the mayor cited economic development and infrastructure improvements among the reasons for the city’s continued momentum.
Bennett spoke to a crowd of over 200 at the Terre Haute Convention Center.
He said the city has reached its eighth consecutive year with a balanced budget in 2023. The city has also seen $758 million in private investment and the creation of more than 1,000 jobs over the last few years.
Among those projects in 2022 were Fort Wayne-based Steel Dynamics Inc.’s $231 million investment in its Terre Haute facility, as well as an $80 million investment from Colorado-based Bolder Industries Inc. to restart the former Pyrolyx USA plant.
“As you leave here today, continue to be a supporter of what we are doing,” Bennett said. “It’s not about the Mayor, or the commissioners, it’s about all of us as a community. More has happened in the last ten years than the previous thirty or forty for a lot of reasons.”
The mayor also touted the funding the city has received through the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI, as part of the Wabash Valley RDA’s $20 million allocation.
Projects that have already been approved for funding include a new outdoor space at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum, as well as a new Courtyard + Residence Inn and parking garage in the city’s downtown.
The mayor also discussed the READI funding in a recent interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, which you can watch here.
Another major project underway is the Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort. The mayor said all permits have been issued and construction has commenced, with a target opening date of March 2024.
Our partners at WTWO-TV reported in December that the cost of the project had increased $30 million to $290 million.
Bennett added the city is continuing to demolish condemned properties throughout the city. Last year, the city removed 61 blighted houses and five garages, while rehabbing 28 condemned properties.
The city currently has 198 houses, 19 garages and six commercial buildings on its condemned properties list and plans to demolish between 60-70 this year.