City to vacate alley at Bud’s, economic development discussed

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By Rachel Christian

Be prepared to access the parking lot to Bud’s Hardware from Fourth or College Streets in the near future.

Last Thursday, the Mount Vernon City Council voted to move forward with vacating an alley outside Bud’s Hardware that will prevent motorists from accessing the parking lot through the Main Street entrance.

“If you’ve ever gone in to the store from the parking lot, you’ve actually crossed the city owned alley,” a legal representative for the property owners told the Council.

The owners are seeking to have the alley vacated for safety reasons. Store patrons will still be able to access the city-owned parking lot behind Bud’s through its Fourth Street entrance.

The legal representative said the property owners do not intend to build a new structure in the area, though they do plan to construct a small storage shed or fence to make it “visually obvious” to motorists they can no longer turn there.
The petition will need to go through three different readings before it is passed.

Economic development update

Brittaney Johnson, head of the Posey County Economic Development Partnership, shared progress she’s made since taking over the position in February.

Johnson said many economic development groups are focusing on “quality of place,” or the things in a community that enrich the lives of its residents while also attracting and enticing new potential residents to move there.

Johnson added that the appeal of certain amenities on the west side of Evansville, for example, keeps many young professionals who work in Posey County from actually moving here.

“In a way, we’re missing out on those potential residents because we don’t have what they’re looking for,” she said. “We’re taking those kind of factors into consideration.”

Johnson discussed other measures the Economic Development Partnership is doing to grow the area, including a 25-year transportation plan set to be complete by the end of summer, and discussions with a fiber optics company about providing high speed Internet access to the entire county.

Mayor Bill Curtis thanked Johnson for her work and voiced support for the recent efforts.

Thank You Blue Week

Councilmember Becky Higgins moved the annual “Thank You Blue Week” to occur from Sunday, May 14 to Saturday, May 20.

Higgins and former Mount Vernon Police Chief Grant Beloat created the event three years ago as a way to show support for local law enforcement.

Residents are encouraged to hang a blue ribbon on their door or place a blue light bulb in their window during that week to thank local officers on patrol.

“One year, IGA even sold blue doughnuts to show their support,” Higgins said.
“Then a sheriff came in and said I needed to add some brown doughnuts too,” added IGA General Manager and Councilmember Larry Williams.