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Waterloo exploring community center possibility

The goal is to bring more people to Waterloo.

Posted: Feb 14, 2019 10:32 PM

WATERLOO, Ind. (WFFT) - Waterloo is in the early stages of possibly turning the old Gibson's Heating and Pluming building into a community center for everyone to enjoy.

The goal is to bring more people to Waterloo.

"One of the joys in being in the town of waterloo is we are a really small community. What we miss in this small community is a way to gather together," said Tena Weonker, Waterloo town manager.

That was one of the top things a Ball State study found was missing in Waterloo.

Weonker said the center would be home to several programs.

But not everyone in town is on board.

"We have the park, we have the depot, we have library. I thought those were our community centers," said Carmen Pinkerton.

Carmen Pinkerton said she'd rather see new businesses in town.

"I know a lot of us in town would like to see a grocery store," she said.

Hearts Grocery closed several years ago leaving a big hole in Waterloo's downtown, forcing people to go to places like Auburn to get food.

"Wouldn't it help to have a grocery story to keep the people here, the ones we already have," said Pinkerton.

But Weonker said that's part of the plan with the community center.

"You might come down and go to the thrift shop and stay for dinner with Warm a Heart. Maybe you come in on a weekend and we do incubator businesses," said Weonker.

Waterloo's town council is expected to make a decision about going forward with a feasibility study during its March 12 meeting.

It will be several months before a community center will be open in town.

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