IU students present study results to Mitchell City Council

(MITCHELL) - Students at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs presented the Mitchell City Council with the preliminary results of plan for a comprehensive plan for the city.

The Times Mail reports that a complete plan has yet to be developed.

The finalized plan will be presented to the community May 1 at the Bloomington campus.

The study, conducted by second-year master's degree students, examined economic development, corridor and green spaces, the Opera House and trail opportunities, as well as a capital improvement plan that will help the city find funding resources to pay for larger expenditures.

The study will suggest the city target small businesses by developing and using available resources to strengthen its small business base.

Another idea was for the city to host a quarterly economic development advisory meeting between county organizations, such as the Greater Mitchell Chamber of Commerce and Lawrence County Economic Growth Council and others.

The students looked at the city's available green spaces and its Main Street corridor, running from State Road 37 east through the downtown historical district. The idea was to look at the image the city projects to visitors and how it works for its residents.

Another goal, is to create more participation in the use of the Opera House which, because it was running as recently as 2012, isn't structurally damaged beyond repair, outside of flood damage in the basement. Students noted it shouldn't be difficult to get it up and going again.

Another plan is to make what is called the Grissom Trail, which would connect the Grissom Memorial at Spring Mill State Park to the Grissom Monument at City Hall and the Gus Grissom Boyhood Home on Grissom Avenue. A shuttle, students suggested, could provide transportation to and from the park on the weekends.

The development of a capital improvement plan would also help the city find cost savings like cutting utilities. The money could then be used in other areas.

Copies of the plan, once finalized, will be available online, through City Hall or digitally.