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New Vigo Co. Tax ‘Seals The Deal’ On Proposed Convention Center

Officials say the proposed convention center will be downtown, but a location has not been identified. (Joe Hren, WFIU/WTIU News)

Vigo County leaders are hoping a new downtown destination will make up for the area’s loss of jobs.

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett says this week’s passage of a one-percent county food and beverage tax seals the deal on a new convention center.

He says the new tax would add about $2 million a year to go along with the $25 million the city, county and visitor’s bureau have saved up for the project.

“We need this kind of money because the people who are going to travel to our community will help pay for this,” Bennett says. “The burden will not be on all the locals.”

Bennett says a new convention center will spur economic activity, especially for small businesses.

County Council member Brenden Kearns says it will also help ease the burden of some of the industry jobs that have left.

“As one hit occurs, we get a little bit of good news. Now are we going to balance out probably the next three or four years? No, but I see a bright future for us,” Kearns says.

Kearns says he hopes others will see the convention center as a sign that the community is investing in itself, that will in turn stimulate other projects.

Vigo Co. Council member Brendan Kearns says a new convention center would also capitalize on the city’s museums. (Joe Hren, WFIU/WTIU News)

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