NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Millions of dollars from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County will be spent on major developments in New Albany.
Walking paths and a great lawn are just some of the projects planned for the city's downtown and riverfront areas.
Half of the gr ant will got to finishing Floyd County's portion of the Ohio River Greenway. When it's all done, walkers will have a direct route to the Big Four Bridge in Jeffersonville.
"We believe this is an opportunity to further contribute to the growth that we've see happening here in New Albany and all across Floyd County," Horseshoe Casino general manager Bob Seigel said.
City leaders said the $5 million gift for quality of life improvements is a step in the right direction.
"Ten years ago, they invested heavily in the YMCA, and here they are back again investing in New Albany," Mayor Jeff Gahan said.
Gahan said the money will be used for numerous projects, including historic preservation to downtown facades and making Market Street more pedestrian friendly and safer.
"I've been here since 1952," Horseshoe Foundation Committee President and County Commissioner Mark Seabrook said. "And I've seen a lot of changes and a lot of them weren't good. New Albany is coming back, that's for sure."
As the Ohio River Greenway is completed, areas surrounding it will also get new life, like the Loop Island Wetlands near Silver Creek. Walking trails and look outs are planned.
"It gives us a chance to reconnect with the river," Mayor Gahan said.
West of the Sherman Minton Bridge, on about 40 acres, plans include campgrounds, canoe and kayak launch points, boat ramps and more.
"It's just more green space for New Albany, more places for people to gather, picnics, events," Seabrook said. "Sort of like Louisville's riverfront lawn."
Many hope this river city will be the next recreational destination.
"All those amenities tied together make for a wonderful gift to the citizens of New Albany," Gahan said.
Work on the new projects is expected to start this summer.