Downtown improvements are on the minds of many these days. And a major announcement came out in the early morning hours today that will make the future gateway to our city even more beautiful - if not easier to traverse.

The state department of highways and commerce announced during a special meeting that began Monday night and ran into the wee hours of this morning that a roundabout has been approved that will circle the courthouse and unclog traffic congestion from U.S. 231 as well as state roads 32 and 47. In addition, a tunnel will be dug on East Market under the railroad tracks so that long or slow trains will no longer bog down local traffic.

City and county officials say they were stunned at the news. Everyone The Paper talked to said they had no inkling this sort of bold move was coming from the state capitol.

Indiana officials said the roundabout will have a special lane designed for motocross bikes and ATVs in order to accommodate the growing influence of racing in the county.

The reported $1,000,000 price tag garnered much attention from the public. Several local people who have been vocal about such plans in the past were visibly upset at the high price tag.

But they weren't as upset as were the dozens of county employees in attendance who loudly asked where they were supposed to park now?

Work on the roundabout and tunnel is scheduled to begin April 1 and be completed by next April 1 so that the newsroom of The Paper will have time to dream up the next April Fool's story. Happy April Fool's Day!