SHELBURN, Ind. (WTHI) - The town of Shelburn, Indiana is getting a new look. Two abandoned properties were torn down Thursday morning to kickstart a revitalization project for the town.
The town of Shelburn has acquired multiple properties to begin its downtown revitalization initiative. Shelburn’s treasurer Jay Southwood spoke to News 10 about the project.
Buildings in the town of Shelburn, like one on Washington Street and another On Grifffith Street, are what Southwood calls eye sores.
He says what made this project possible is that Shelburn reached a resolution with the County Council. After a nearly two-year long process, the town now owns these properties.
Southwood says what also worked in their favor is the County council voted to raise the Local Income Tax to 1.5%. This Allowed them to get more money to move forward.
They began the revitalization process by tearing down two buildings Thursday morning. Southwood says both buildings had been abandoned for years, and now they can start turning the properties into something better for the future.
“It means a lot because I was born and raised here and I’ve watched the town just decline over the years,” Southwood explained, “The town just never really had the extra money to do these things so now that we have the extra money, it’s time to do it.”
Southwood also spoke more on what the town has planned for the properties and the continuation of the project through the end of the year.
They have ideas for the properties including city greenspace, new single-family housing, and even potential development opportunities for local businesses. Southwood says this is a start, but they have much more of this planned in 2020.
He says a contractor could come in and turn one of the properties into a spec house, and the other could bring new business to downtown Shelburn.
However, it doesn’t stop with just these two. Southwood says by October, they plan to take down eight to nine more rundown properties. Southwood says this is all in an effort to bring new life to the place he’s called home for so many years.
“I’m just hoping that it instills other property owners that live here that maybe thought about leaving that maybe the town is trying to take itself back and then they stay,” Southwood said, “Maybe even encourage other people to build here.”
Southwood also said that Shelburn was awarded nearly $500,000 from the state of Indiana. This is to work on and improve the town’s streets.
It truly is the start of a full blown revitalization in Shelburn, and Southwood says he is extremely excited to finally get things going.