The mayor of Jasper says a cluster of ongoing developments says a lot about the business climate of the Dubois County city. Terry Seitz says the $30 million River Centre project, which is expected to get underway within days, and a planned $17 million cultural center to house the city library and Community Arts Commission facilities will help the city of around 16,000 compete for business and talent with larger communities. Jasper launched a $40,000 downtown riverfront master plan in 2013 that Seitz says has helped lay the groundwork for tens of millions of dollars in current and potential projects.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Seitz says thinking regionally has been key. "We used the term regional city before it became kind of a state identifier, because we draw from seven other counties by population," he said. "We’re probably more influential than a city of, maybe, 60,000 or 70,000, because we have four publicly-owned companies. Three or four of them are international companies and they’re all headquartered here in Jasper," which Seitz says is driving investment from the public and private sectors.
The projects, which Seitz says aim to boost the quality-of-life in Jasper, include:
- Smithville Giga-City Fiber Build – estimated $7 million in private investment
- The Parklands of Jasper – estimated $ 6.5 million from city, state and donated sources
- Jasper Lofts at the former JOFCO property – estimated $15 million investment from private, city and state sources
- River Centre at the old Jasper Cabinet property – estimated $30 million in private investment and city infrastructure work
- Jasper Cultural Center at the old Hoosier Desk property – estimated $17 million in city, library, state and donated sources
- Vine Street Lofts at the former Wood Products property – estimated $14 million in private, city and state sources
- Astra Theater renovation in partnership with Next Act LLC – estimated $ 1.6 million in private gifts and state grants
- Multi-use river trail – estimated $ 2.5 million in city funds and a state grant
- Downtown revitalization work – estimated $ 4.2 million in state and city funding and gifts
"We’re a city on the move and we are a place that needs to be able to compete with cities much larger or our size and we’re going to."
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In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Mayor Terry Seitz says thinking regionally has been key.