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What's next for Riverscape after rezoning decision?

If not a jail, then what? Many of you still have questions about the future of Vigo County riverfront property and News 10 is looking for answers.

Posted: Dec. 17, 2018 10:21 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - If not a jail, then what? Many of you still have questions about the future of Vigo County riverfront property and News 10 is looking for answers.

The Terre Haute city council decided last week not to rezone several acres of land off Prairieton Road for a new jail.

Many have voiced their support for the Riverscape vision of the property which includes recreation and entertainment development.

Riverscape, also known as Wabash River Development and Beautification Incorporated, is a non-profit group on a mission to transform the Wabash riverfront so more people can enjoy it.

Members were staunchly opposed to the county commissioners’ request to put a jail on the property. Riverscape leaders say they were pleased the city council denied the request after they, and many others, voiced support for the Riverscape plan.

Riverscape President Charlie Williams says, "We weren't altogether surprised because I really believe, and I've said a number of times, I think that so many people in our community see Riverscape as a source of hope for our future in Terre Haute and Vigo County."

Now that the city council has voted, Williams says Riverscape needs to keep considering best uses for the property. That could be anything from a splash park to an outdoor pool or baseball stadium.

News 10’s Heather Good asked if members feel increased pressure to quickly take action to develop the property.

Williams says, "Well, sure. And, you know, Rome wasn't built in a day and Riverscape's been at it for over twelve years and we knew all along good things take time and it will take more time."

Williams could not give definitive answers about specific next steps.

"Timelines are very difficult."

Williams says there should be more opportunities for public input but no such meetings are planned at this time.

He says there is still some suspense about the property because the county could still choose to challenge the city council decision.

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