- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CHANDLER, Ind. (AP) - Chandler, Indiana is growing.

The residents of the small, Warrick County town with a population of roughly 3,000 is looking toward expansion and showcased that search with a town gathering on Sunday on the site of a former abandoned business that is now up for sale.

“The reasoning behind this gathering is to get the community’s feedback on what they would like to see here,” Chandler Town Council President Brian Lucas said. “Right now, we have a table where our residents are putting up post it notes with their thoughts on what should be built here.”

The property on the corner of Highway 62 and Iowa street was once owned by Fisher Lumber Company before it was abandoned and sat empty for 10 years and started deteriorating.

The land is four and a half acres.

There is enough room for a few small businesses to move in, Lucas said.

“I’ve heard of everything from a strip mall to a medical center from the locals,” Lucas said. “All I hope for is something for the families here and something that will not be detrimental to our existing businesses.”

Lucas has ideas of his own for Chandler’s expansion.

“It’s my dream to land some kind of major manufacturing or any kind of industry like that so we can keep jobs here,” he said. “I don’t want kids to have to make the decision of staying here and taking a low-paying job because it’s home or moving away from home to get job that is worthwhile.”

Chandler has the land, trained people who need jobs and will soon have the infrastructure for industries, he said.

“I think someday that’s all going to collect into the perfect storm and something great is going to happen,” Lucas said.

Wendy Wary, a 14 year Chandler resident and president of “For a Better Chandler” hopes Chandler’s expansion give children more to do.

“There’s not really a lot going on in Chander,” she said. “Most of the kids are a part of church groups and other things like that but those events aren’t all the time so I’d like something to get them involved.”

Wary’s organization, For a Better Chandler, was established in April and has since worked on other events like the one hosted Sunday to encourage town-wide improvement.

“We decided we needed to build up some community pride and all do what we can,” she said. “This is a family and blue collar community so we all like hard work. We figured we should all work together and accomplish some more things.”

Along with adding more kid-friendly activities, Wary would like to see the town look a little more appealing.

“I honestly feel like it was a huge blessing in disguise to the town when we had the hail storm a few years ago,” she said. “People got new roofs and new siding as a result so this main corridor through Chandler - which is kind of mixed - really freshened up the town, which was desperately needed.”

Barb Ladrick, a 27 year resident, agreed that the town could use some sprucing up.

“I think it needs to look a little more professional,” she said. “I’ve seen it grow in the 27 years I’ve lived here but not as much as I’d like.”

She said she would happily welcome new people and businesses to her town.

“I love this town. The people are the best,” she said. “We have a great grocery store, a great pharmacy, a bank, post office and a dollar store right now but something else would be nice.”

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Source: Evansville Courier and Press, https://bit.ly/1KqmUEV

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, https://www.courierpress.com

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