MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI)- With summers at Indiana Beach apparently behind them, the town of Monticello is looking towards the future. They have big plans for developments along the river. The developments are something they say will be a huge economic driver for not only Monticello but White County as a whole - with or without the theme park.
"I think in 10 years we are going to look back and say this is the best thing we ever did,” said Dan Oldenkamp, the President, Monticello Redevelopment Commission.
Water is everywhere in the town of Monticello, and now, the town is looking to capitalize on those waterways.
"The lakes are our greatest asset but there is no way to get from the lake to downtown Monticello if you want to have dinner and this will provide that," added Oldenkamp.
Dan Oldenkamp is referring to the first phase of the Monticello River Walk.
"We hope to connect Carroll County, White County and the entire city to the lake," said Oldenkamp.
The first phase of the project will be the Historic Society Plaza. The plaza will be where the trails along the river will begin.
"The river walk is going to be a development that draws people to downtown Monticello and greater Monticello," added Oldenkamp.
The redevelopment commission hopes businesses will see this is an opportunity to invest in their community. In turn, boosting tourism in the area.
"It will enhance what tourism, entertainment, and offerings we have," said Kaylee Hahn the Digital Marketing Director for Enjoy White County.
The redevelopment commission hopes to break ground on this project in late June. They want to have the plaza completed by the end of the summer and start clearing trees for the trails along the river this coming fall. Community leaders say this project is vital for Monticello's future.
"Monticello has a future we need to grow we need to bring people into this town we need to have an identity and I think this will give us one," added Oldenkamp.
The Monticello Redevelopment Commission is kicking off a fundraiser for the project in April. They are trying to raise $50,000 which will turn in to $100,000 thanks to a matching grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. For information on how to donate to the fundraiser click here.