Jasper redevelopment commission December 5, 2023

By: Drew Hasselbring

Tuesday morning, the Jasper Redevelopment Commission met in Council Chambers to discuss some very exciting proposals in preparation for the new year. While no changes have been made to the currently approved site for the Regional Wellness Center, the Commission heard a proposal to explore other options where the city could retain ownership of the property rather than a lease agreement. The 10 acres adjacent to the Parklands on the west side could be used for development, and the Commission approved funds for a site evaluation. The property is currently owned by the school district, so this project would require the city to purchase the property. The school board has expressed a need for early childhood development and learning services, and the evaluation will be incorporating a facility to meet those needs into the schematics. The assessment should be complete by January or February of 2024 so the school board can review it in their regular meeting. Although no final decisions have been made to change the location of the Wellness Center, the Commission agreed that it was in the city’s best interests to know what our options are. 

The Commission also heard an update on the Heart of Jasper projects from 2023 with an exciting proposal for 2024. The downtown façade project is in full swing, and some funds from this grant will be utilized for a sidewalk project to reinforce uniform signage in downtown’s social district. A request was made to use the remaining 2023 Heart of Jasper funds for a two‐ phase design project that could eventually connect the Riverfront to the downtown area. The first phase of the project includes creating a streetscape for 4th Street, connecting the Riverwalk on the east side up to Main Street by Oink. The second phase would be a plan for developing a small, existing parking lot by Oink into a pocket park that can serve as an entertainment and social space. The Commission approved the allocation of the grant funds for the project design, and also approved the motion that the annual $25,000 grant for downtown renewal be awarded to the Heart of Jasper. For more information on these and other updates, visit jasperindiana.gov or JasperGov‐Indiana on Facebook.