- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By VINCE LUECKE
TELL CITY – A new visitors and event center is changing the look of Tell City’s Seventh Street corridor.
Using a combination of proceeds from a Neighborhood Stabilization Program and state grants, the city is building the $1 million center without local money. When completed early next year, it will provide a new home for the county convention and visitors bureau, a room for community events and display space for locally made goods.
An extra $550,000 in funding awarded in August by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority allowed the city to award Bret Kleeman Masonry of Troy a $939,000 contract.
The building is modeled after the city’s former train depot and is located in the 400 block of Seventh Street at the site of the former William Tell Woodcrafters. The city swapped land for the parcel, which had been acquired by the Perry County Port Authority.
Construction has had to move quickly to meet a state-imposed deadline to use proceeds from the NSP grants. The city used millions of federal dollars to tear down old homes and build several new ones over the past few years.
Proceeds from the sales of those homes, as well as a separate $170,000 NSP grant awarded the city in May are being used to build the center.
Since ground was broken, work has made steady progress, aided by dry weather and cooperation among contractors.
The building will include a sheltered outdoor area for farmers markets and outdoor events and performances and will allow for visitors in the future to travel by train to destinations in Perry and Spencer counties.
The visitors center could also spur future development in the area. During city council discussion of the project, city leaders said developers were eyeing a new hotel at the intersection of Seventh and Washington streets.
No plans have been announced but if built, the multi-story facility would include a restaurant and would be within walking distance of the visitors center, Sunset Park and downtown attractions.
The city announced shortly before the end of the year a gift of from the family of Ruth Ann and the late Ralph Werner.
The gift of stock, valued at approximately $100,000, will be used for the portion of the center dedicated for the farmers market and outdoor events.