EDITORIAL: Recent news boosts odds for downtown revitalization

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Two announcements from City Hall over the past week give us hope that Tell City’s downtown has a bright future.

A story in last Thursday’s issue reported on the likely sale of the former Dat’s Kajun restaurant to Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving buildings with significant history or architectural value. Many of us remember the building at the corner of Main and Pestalozzi streets as the Glow Room Tavern and we’ve all seen the imposing structure’s gradual decline over the past few years.

We welcome the planned investment of at least $20,000 in a new roof and repairs to gutters and fascia. It’s our understanding that Historic Landmarks will stabilize the building in hopes of finding a buyer who will conclude its preservation and restoration.

We’re thankful city officials allowed time for local residents interested in saving the building the time to arrange a sale and for dismissing the civil suit that should make that possible.

We are equally happy today to report that Tell City is considering allowing the sale of property at the corner of Seventh and Franklin streets to a private buyer who would clear the property and, perhaps, provide a development plan. A Kentucky man who began demolishing former furniture-making operations that were long part of Tell City Chair Co. halted his work and the city filed suit against him to get the job done.

We hope the city, with the help of the Perry County Development Corp., is able to arrange a sale to a qualified buyer. The first priority has to be cleanup of the site. Secondly, we would like to see the site developed to provide jobs or as a business-commercial draw that would bring more people into the downtown area.

The Seventh Street area is vitally important to the city. Once the city’s hub of the local woodworking industry, the area has the potential to be a center of activity on several fronts, from commerce, shopping and health care to recreation and entertainment.

Owensboro Medical Health System holds an option to purchase property to the south of the site, adjacent to the health clinic it owns and the area is just a stone’s throw from recreational opportunities such as the new river walk, Sunset Park and biking lanes.

We look forward to seeing the area cleaned up in 2011 and plans for the site develop.

We hope, in the years to come, to see new life breathed into the two areas so close to the heart of Tell City.

Our view: Editorials reflect the opinions of the newspaper.

Your view: Tell us what you think. E-mail us at editor@perrycountynews.com or mail your comments to P.O. Box 309, Tell City, IN 47586.