Big federal grant latest boost to city's resurgence

Times are tough for small towns everywhere. Population has decreased. Business investment is down. Once thriving communities are feeling the effects of economic and social decline.

Yet it's inspiring to see residents and leaders of some of those communities refusing to give up the fight.

Sullivan is among the small Indiana cities trying to spark a resurgence of optimism, and it is succeeding.

The city has been awarded a $2.04 million matching grant from the Federal Highway Administration that will be administered by the Indiana Department of Transportation. The project, to be implemented during the next five years, will be designed to construct an additional 1.5 miles of a downtown path

Sullivan will have to do its part, of course, by providing matching funds of just over $400,000. Given the positive momentum that has been building in Sullivan in recent years, we're confident the community will raise that money and that the end result will be worth the investment.

The extended trail system will travel east of the downtown square in the direction of the Sullivan County Park & Lake, located just outside the city limits. It will connect to a new eastside city park and on to two residential complexes operated by the Sullivan Housing Authority. The county's highly popular park and lake is located just beyond the housing complexes.

The upcoming project will compliment lots of infrastructure development that has already taken place, or is underway. And there are indications the city won't stop there.

We applaud Mayor Clint Lamb and his supporting team for their vision and energy in recent years and for breathing new life into the community. Revitalization doesn't happen on its own. It takes dedication, commitment and relentless pursuit of opportunity. We're seeing all that from the folks in Sullivan.

Published editorials are the collective opinion of the Tribune-Star's Editorial Board and are independent of the newspaper's news gathering and coverage.