SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTHI) In the past, we’ve told you about the city of Sullivan’s struggles to grow. Strapped by an ailing budget and rising expenses the city’s mayor continues to look for ways to bring in revenue. Tuesday, he unveiled a strategy using one of the city’s natural assets, its parks.
While the 21st century hasn’t been kind to Sullivan, Indiana, all the signs of a vibrant past remain. Seemingly etched in the memories it’s the citizens.
“The square was booming we had a lot of different shops,” Amy Cobb of Sullivan said. “Me and my friends would run around uptown on a Saturday all day doing to the different shops and yes it was more lively back in the day.”
“What we’ve tried to do over the last two and a half years is lay a foundation,” Sullivan mayor Clint Lamb said. “We’re doing sidewalks we brought the first lumber yard in 15 years we’ve repaved the square, we’ve paved Wolfe Street. We are trying to make Sullivan and attractive place to live again a place where they can be proud.”
That’s what prompted Tuesday night’s meeting in the old Central Elementary Gym; a place where generations of Sullivan’s citizens exercised, now where the mayor will run a new idea to bring money to the city.
“What parks and recreation does, it increases the property values all around,” Lamb explained. “When those property values increase those are the things that fund your general fund like police and fire. So we’re killing a lot of birds with one stone.”
To explain the idea, Lamb brought in leaders from across the state; starting with the mayor of Plainfield, Indiana to the head of Indiana’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“Tell us your success stories, whets going on around the state,” Lamb inquired. “We’ve been in office now for over two and a half years, we’ve done a lot of talking and we’ve done a lot of planning and we’ve got a lot of community input over the past couple years.”