For your convenience, we have put the whole interview with Lebanon’s Communications, Community Development, Redevelopment, and Economic Development Director Joe LePage and Mayor Matt Gentry below to listen to for a whole list of changes coming to Lebanon.
If you have lived in Lebanon for any amount of time, you know that the Lebanon of today looks very different from the Lebanon of the past. Trees are being cut down, roads are being repaved, the city’s infrastructure is changing. But that is not all that is changing, the city has made the decision that it is not only Lebanon’s infrastructure that will change, but Lebanon as a whole will change.
The city, in a bid to attract more people (namely those just out of college) is redesigning many aspects of Lebanon. A new trail is being added that will go through Lebanon’s downtown and elsewhere (and will later hopefully end up connecting to a trail in Whitestown), the downtown area is being renovated, and a new fishing and boating area where the old Conservation Club was, along with several other things.
“We want to take the trail downtown, and so that firm, VS Engineering, which also did the Indianapolis Cultural Trail… they are working with another firm called Remenschneider Associates and they are working to revitalize and improve our downtown. They are working with the VS group that is bringing the trail, and Remen is doing the downtown revitalization,” said LePage.
The idea is to not only attract younger people to Lebanon, but people of all ages by putting Lebanon on the map as a more hip and attractive place to not only spend the day, but also a place to live.
“As communities are changing, and what new generations are expecting from communities… a lot the communities are on the stand putting focuses on their downtown as kind of that common great public space… Back in the 50s and 60s – those were the focal points of the community. Friday nights you went to the downtown to meet your friends and get a cheeseburger and hang out and cruise around the square, and as a society we have kind of lost that a bit, but this younger generation coming up – and then of course society as a whole — those shared public spaces where you can go out places to meet friends, you can get something to eat, get something to drink, having a unique experience, those are becoming in demand again,” said Mayor Gentry.
So, it is an understatement to say Lebanon is going through a few changes. When I come back to this city when I am home from college or if I move back here with my family one day, it will be a different city than the one I grew up in – and I am excited for that.
It should be noted that some of the deals or specific details for these projects are not yet finalized.