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Bennett Delivers His Tenth State Of City Address

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett says the city is going through unprecedented times and leaders must think ‘outside the box’ in making the city a great place to live.

Bennett gave his tenth State of the City Address Wednesday at the Vigo County Public Library. He says the city is moving in the right direction.

“We’ve had good years, we’ve had not so good years, we’ve had different stories to tell so it’s almost like you see some progress and see some things happening today that kind of started 10 years ago, some things happen sooner than other things happen,” Bennett says.

Bennett says he’s encouraged by an increase in housing and economic development activity in the city.

And while Terre Haute is still in the red, he says they are chipping away at a more than $8 million budget deficit that he blames on property tax caps. He says the city has a balanced budget this year with a goal to reduce the deficit by $750,000.

A new police station and Hulman Center renovations for more convention space are still on the table, but Bennett says they need funding sources.

“When Holiday Inn closed up their convention space, we only have a 6,000 sq. feet rentable in Terre Haute, now we have much less than that,” Bennett says.

A new initiative is to clear up what Bennett calls misinformation, so the city will start using social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook.

Terre Haute resident Reverend Clark Cowden says he came to the address to hear more about jobs and Bennett’s vision for the future.

“Even as we try to raise the upper and middle levels of society we always have to keep working on the lower levels as well,” Cowden says.

Bennett says the city has to invest back into Terre Haute. To do that, he says residents shouldn’t rely on minimum fees and lower taxes to put the city in a competitive market.

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