By Lucy Perry
The stretch of a busy city block near 13th Street and Wabash Avenue is about to get a dramatic makeover, as a nearly $10 million Terre Haute Police Department Headquarters construction project is now closer to ground breaking.
The Terre Haute City council voted six to three in favor of a special ordinance
authorizing the issuance and sale of bonds and bond anticipation notes, payable from City EDIT proceeds, to pay a portion of the cost of construction of the police station.
There was a lengthy discussion during the meeting tonight about the city's financial situation and whether it is appropriate to use EDIT money to finance the police station.
Following up on a request for more informaton on the budget from the last meeting, Mayor Duke Bennett explained pooling funds and cash flows to the council. He stated that a five-year plan is financially sound, considering major projects (Margaret Avenue overpass and Hulman Center renovation) in the works.
Bennett said there will be a $3 million cash balance at the end of each year in the EDIT fund, even with multiple projects underway. He stressed the use of EDIT funds for the police station is not outside of the scope of its purposes.
"Bonding is the way you go out to be able to do a project and to do multiple projects,"he said, "That's what these funds (EDIT) come in for, to be spent on economic activity."
Voting in opposition to using EDIT funds: Neil Garrison, John Mullican and Todd Nation.
"I have concerns about the city's financial health," Garrison said, noting there is a $7 million deficit.
Mullican agreed with Garrison, saying it has been "financially tough year,' and he's concerned about vendors who are saying they're not getting paid.
Voting in favor of using the EDIT funds: Amy Auler, Jim Chalos, Bob All, Don Morris, Norm Loudermilk and George Azar.
In other business:
Before the meeting, several members of the audience voiced concens about sewage bills and possible liens. Bennett noted that the number is around 700 out of 30,000 that are considerably behind in payments and the city has worked with some individuals who've approached them at City Hall.
© Indiana Central News. All rights reserved. Terre Haute, Indiana
News Writer: Lucy Perry