News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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September 19, 2013

New Margaret extension plan ordered

Redevelopment Commission eyes boost to commerce on east side of Indiana 46

TERRE HAUTE — The people who helped bring you the eastside Walmart shopping area are turning their gaze farther east, looking for new economic development opportunities.

On Wednesday, the Terre Haute Redevelopment Commission, a five-person body appointed by the mayor and the City Council, approved a resolution instructing HNTB, an engineering firm, to begin drawing plans for expanding New Margaret Avenue to the east, across Indiana 46/U.S. 40. The roadway currently exists only west of the highway.

This “engineering design agreement,” is a first step in a broader vision to promote economic growth on the east side of Indiana 46/U.S. 40, said Cliff Lambert, executive director of the city’s Department of Redevelopment.

The Terre Haute International Airport Authority is already working with the Redevelopment Commission to promote growth, he said.

In January, the Redevelopment Commission approved an agreement with the airport authority to extend a sewer line under Indiana 46/U.S. 40 to allow for future commercial development on the east side of the highway, where the airport authority operates a special economic development area that operates much like one of the city’s tax increment finance (TIF) districts.

Under that agreement, the Redevelopment Department will pay for the new sewer lines, but it will be reimbursed for that cost from property taxes collected on new development within the airport’s economic development zone, Lambert said.

Lambert said he hopes New Margaret Avenue, which connects the Walmart shopping area with Indiana 46/U.S. 40, will eventually link with Hunt Road, an L-shaped roadway just west of the airport that runs north to U.S. 40 at Lost Creek School.

The Terre Haute Redevelopment Commission oversees the city’s TIF districts. Its members meet in City Hall on the third Wednesday of each month.

HNTB is the engineering firm that has conducted most of the planning work for the new eastside TIF district, which includes the eastside Walmart.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@trib star.com.

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