(PAOLI) - Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation has stopped signing new contracts for renovations of the Paoli town square after Saving Historic Orange County pointed out the corporation did not have the correct paperwork to continue with the project.
Terry Cornwell of Saving Historic Orange County says the Paoli town square is a registered historic district, and any project using state funds in a historic area must have a certificate of approval from the state Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.
Cornwell says the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology never agreed to some of the changes.
The economic development corporation is restoring the facades of several buildings in hopes of making the square more attractive to tourists, but Cornwell says the square's historic look is not being preserved.
If the renovations are not approved, the town square could lose its historic designation. That means business owners would lose a state tax credit for operating in a historic district.
Andy Mahler, a founding member of the Lost River Market and Deli just off the town square, says he wants the square to be improved but is wary of the historical division enforcing requirements that would cost the county too much money.
Stakeholders plan to meet later this week to discuss whether the project can continue to move forward.
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