Downtown Waterloo focus at public forum

WATERLOO, Ind. (WANE) – What’s next for Waterloo? It’s the question a bunch of residents are asking and some want to help find the answer.

About 50 people showed up to a public forum regarding the future of downtown Waterloo. Earlier this year the town teamed up with Ball State graduate students in Urban Planning to survey the town, and its visitors, to see what they would like to see develop downtown.

Tuesday night’s public forum discussed questions like what has prevented downtown from attracting economic activity and what activities once existed in downtown Waterloo that are now lost? Some people said they’d like to see more restaurants, and want to see the renovated train depot as the center of some of the plans.

They know Waterloo needs to come up with something unique.

“We can’t compete with the larger communities that have all the amenities and all the big box stores,” Town Council Member Jess Jessup said. “We have a small town feel, and we can have that small town friendliness.”

“I think the most exciting part of the project is working with the residents in Waterloo so far,” Ball State Student Nathan Schall said. “They had really good ideas. They were really good at recalling what was here in Waterloo, but really being able to connect it to what could be.”

Residents and interested parties can take a survey online or at Waterloo Town Hall. Those results will be presented next month with a full report by the students being presented in April.