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Development group seeking public input

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A city organization that has used tax dollars to pay for new storefronts on downtown buildings, help business owners renovate shops and residents fix up their homes wants feedback on whether to continue those programs or start new ones.

The Franklin Development Corp. will host two public forums to discuss whether current programs, including facade grants and residential and commercial loans, should be continued and to seek new ideas. The meetings will be at the Franklin College arts cafe, 66 S. Water St., at 3 p.m. April 9 and at 6 p.m. April 10.

The organization was created in 2008 by the city and funded with $5 million from the city’s tax-increment financing districts, and about $200,000 of that money remains. The development corporation has helped fund projects including facade improvements at multiple downtown businesses, helping Ivy Tech Community College buy land for a future expansion and opening the Franklin College arts cafe attached to city hall.

Mostly new members were named to the organization’s board last year and want to develop a list of programs before asking the city to provide more tax funds for future projects.

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