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Shelbyville's downtown project debated in Common Council meeting

Monday’s meeting of the Shelbyville Common Council included a debate, of sorts, between the candidates for mayor in the upcoming election.  At the center of the conversation, the current proposed downtown project.


Republican candidate for mayor, Councilman brad Ridgeway offered a motion to delay a final vote on the downtown.



The motion failed to receive a second and died at that point.  But it didn’t end the conversation on the topic at Monday’s meeting.


Ridgeway spoke to designs for paying for the proposed $19 million project and what he felt is the public’s lack of understanding of the project, particularly lack of input on the old Major Hospital site.



Mayor Tom DeBaun, the Democrat incumbent, responded to statements on the public not being aware of what was going on related to the project and that revenues hadn’t been identified to pay for the proposed $19 million project.



Ridgeway began another motion to place a green space initiative proposed by Dee Bonner for the Major Hospital site.



City attorney Jennifer Meltzer says the current plan can’t be scrapped due to legal issues.



Mayor DeBaun noted the downtown has been a conversation for years including the current project.  DeBaun says housing needs and the character of the area of the former hospital made it prime for the current efforts.



Councilman Nathan Willis offered to Ridgeway the opportunity to discuss with he and Bonner implementing the green space initiative at another site.