TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - With Terre Haute becoming financially stronger, Mayor Duke Bennett says its opening up the door for more opportunities.
That's after Thursday morning's city update to the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Bennett said the city made it four straight years with a balanced budget. With about $90 million in the budget for 2019, he says there are more ways for the city to invest in itself.
One way is through plans for a convention center in Downtown Terre Haute.
Bennett said leaders met Wednesday to discuss funding for the project. Now, sights are set on bonds and moving forward with construction. However, there are still a few more things left to do before we see any movement.
Bennett said they're still waiting on the city council to vote to vacate 8th Street, that's in addition to working out utilities for the project.
Despite the number of moving parts left to address, Bennett said it's not taking away from plans to build.
"I think the goal would be to be under construction next year," he said, "So if we can get there by the end of this year, that would be phenomenal. We have some things to do. Utility work would begin to happen, but actually getting construction going, I'm hopeful we can do it by the end of this year, but spring of next year for sure."
One project that still remains up in the air is the possibility of bringing a casino to Terre Haute.
Mayor Bennett said they'll know more about that in the coming weeks, but for now, it's in the Senate. He said if it moves to the House, that will be a big indicator.
Also during Thursday's update, the mayor talked about what's in store for city roads.
Bennett said the Margaret Avenue Overpass set the bar for some major road improvements. The overpass opened to drivers in December.
Another overpass is on its way to the north side at 13th and 8th Avenue.
The mayor said crews will be busy as more road work is expected to come.
"We'll be doing a lot of paving projects," he said, "We're going to do a project out here on Poplar Street. We're going to be doing 1st and Prairieton Road, 1st and Hulman. So we've got several big ones on this year's agenda too."
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