The Role I Have Played:
In 2014, a conservative forecast estimated the new City Center would save our city $120,000 per year as a result of relocating the majority of our city employees under one roof. Actual savings in 2018 was $83,887. The rent collected (including the Common Area Maintenance charges) amounts to an additional $186,488. The total benefit to taxpayers would be the sum of these two: $270,375.
City forecast: Smooth Sailing
Exciting time in Greenwood not stagnant but VIBRANT & GROWING!
Assessed Valuation Increased from $2,129,424,140(12/31/14) to $2,493,703,197 Certified for 2019
Tax rate reduced from $.6609 in 2014 to $.6573 in 2019
In 2017, MONEY magazine cited Greenwood’s family friendly atmosphere, low housing and excellent park system named Greenwood as of one of “THE BEST PLACES TO LIVE IN AMERICA’ FOR 2017” .
The Mayor reminds us of the importance of persistence. Such as Freedom Springs or Old Town Greenwood. Rumors floated that we would lose a minimum of $20,000 per year if we built what people were calling an “oversize” waterpark. In 2018, Freedom Springs welcomed over 108,000 visitors and exceeded $1 million in annual revenue.
The Old Town Façade project lead the way of doing something rather than just talking about it over and over. The Old City Park project will bring even more focus and activity in our downtown area. NOW THAT’S PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATON !!!
There are many special events and projects happening in the city every year….here are just a few highlights of projects I have supported and insight as to how I am engaged in our community.
INDY SOUTH GREENWOOD AIRPORT
I was appointed by the council to be their liaison to the airport. I have been directly involved in both helping transition the airport to a more stable financial foundation as well as helping the airport grow more corporate hangers.
In March 2019, a contract was awarded for a new hanger and office space to be constructed for the Indiana State Police to hanger their aviation fleet. The ISP has already moved their fleet to the airport terminal and we are thrilled to have them as a part of the airport family.
The airport is presently preparing for construction to begin on a row of five condo style hangers on the north end adjacent to County Line Road.
In 2018, I was involved with the airport hosting both the B-17 and Tuskegee Airmen. Each event was well received by our community. We were excited to have the B-17 return in 2019.
Several “young eagle” activities are hosted by the airport helping young people learn more about aviation. At the conclusion of the young eagle events each of the students experience a short 15-20 minute flight. In 2012, I worked several days during the Super Bowl when we had 33 jets that stayed at our airport. Once the air restrictions were lifted after the game we were busy getting passengers boarded, coffee canisters filled and flights departing the airport until 3:30 a.m. At 8:00 a.m. we were back doing the same as overnight passengers were ready to depart for home.
Mark your calendars for the following airport events:
B17 tentatively scheduled to arrive at Indy South Greenwood Airport – Thursday, May 9th – 12th
E-COMMERCE EXCHANGE ZONE
I’m also excited regarding a new option I was able to bring attention to. It’s the new E-Commerce Exchange Zone created at Station 91. It’s a safe place in Greenwood for our residents to Buy, Sell or Exchange Goods. It will also serve as a safe environment for custodial parents and non-custodial parents to exchange children. On occasion these exchanges can be volatile making it traumatic and a dreaded situation especially for the children.
SCHOOL ZONE FLASHERS
In late 2017, I had conversations with teachers in Perry Township regarding the new flashers that had been installed adjacent to each of the school properties. These flashers quickly alert drivers they are nearing a school zone and are flashing only when children are present in the area. Often times drivers overlook the “School Zone” signage and their speed exceeds the 25 MPH limit. Issues related to school zones and school buses are a major safety concern. We need to do everything possible to keep our children safe.
I learned the flashers were available through a grant and quickly contacted our Deputy Mayor, Terry McLaughlin with the thought of us applying for these new flashers to alert drivers in our community. We were expecting these to be installed prior to the start of this year’s school year. However, State funding has been delayed and installation is now scheduled prior to the start of the 2020 school year.
MEMORIAL TO HONOR VETERANS, POLICE, FIREFIGHTERS AND EMT’s
Private Project, Another great addition adjoining Surina Way at Meridian Street will be the home of a memorial honoring our veterans, police, firefighters and EMT’s. A rendition is nearing completion. Our committee announced the creation of the memorial April 29th. Our fund raising efforts are going well. The projected dedication will be in June 2020, prior to the Freedom Festival. EVEN THOUGH THIS IS NOT A CITY PROJECT IT IS STILL VERY CLOSE AND DEAR TO MY HEART!
CROSS WALK ADJACENT TO -MRS CURL’S
The addition of a cross walk has improved the safety of families crossing the street from the trail at old city park, to the trail leading to the amphitheater and Craig Park. ……this was a thought that I brought before the city.
TYPICAL MISCELLANEOUS REQUESTS
I have been approached for things such as replacing speed limit signs along Noble Street that had disappeared over the years. Residents have contacted me regarding the increase of speeding vehicles…..especially those ignoring “stop signs”. We have been able to get the police to monitor the number of vehicles using the street, time of day, speed etc. Sometimes this leads to the police also realizing that having officers in the area with radar on occasion might be beneficial. This is only a short term help but does help to remind drivers of speed limits in residential areas.
MADISON AVENUE REDEVELOPMENT
Also in 2018, phase one of the Madison Avenue redevelopment from Pearl Street to Noble Street was completed. The update included wide trails for pedestrians/cyclists to share, brick crosswalks and a pedestrian signal at Euclid Avenue. Next spring redevelopment of Madison Ave will expand north from Noble Street to Fry Road (where a center turn lane will be present).
GREENWOOD STREET DEPARTMENT
I am always proud of the great work accomplished by our Street Department. Not only do they help make life easier for those with disabilities by doing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) expansions at intersections, but by providing equipment to allow them to do small paving jobs it saves the time of biding the work as well as the additional expense of using major contractors.
Best of all is our snow removal. It’s amazing how quickly they turn snow covered slick streets into dry payment making our commutes much less stressful. It’s easy to see a major difference between our city streets and roadways such as US 31 or County Line Road that are maintained and cleared by other entities.
OUR LADY OF GREENWOOD PARTNERSHIP
An additional 150 parking spaces are at the corner of Surina Way and Meridian Street. These spaces will replace a portion of the parking used by Our Lady at the former middle school property. These spaces will be convenient for those visiting the memorial plus expanding our parking for major events such as the Freedom Festival and Our Lady’s Strawberry Festival.
STREETS IN DISTRICT 1
Pearl Street had a total makeover including their sewers, sidewalks and storm water collection. Residents along both Camby & Horton Streets benefited from similar makeovers. Some of the homes along these streets were built in the early 60’s. Routing their sump pumps and gutters to street side was acceptable. This proved to be extremely hard on the streets. Eventually you could see how the streets were beginning to show the effects of the winter freezing/thawing as it caused the gutters along the side of the streets to become washed out looking. Homes along Brewer Place, Fairview North Drive and Fairview East Drive will be enjoying new curbs, underdrains and a new road surface very soon. Residents have a new pride in their neighborhood and property values have increased.
OLD CITY PARK SHELTER REHAB
The Old City Park Shelter across from Mrs. Curl’s was rehabbed and expanded to include restroom facilities since the former “parks maintenance” building along Machledt Drive has been demolished to make way for the new centerpiece breaking ground soon and expected to be completed next year.
Greenwood has taken a stronger stance regarding door to door soliciting within our city limits. You can now obtain a sticker to prominently display “No Soliciting Sign” on or nearby your door. These are available at City Center, Chamber of Commerce, Community Center, Library, Fire Headquarters, Justice Center or The Social of Greenwood. The Sticker states a maximum fine of $2500 per offense.
DEMOLITION OF BUILDINGS NE CORNER OF MADISON AVE & COUNTY LINE
For several years the buildings at the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and County Line Road have been in very poor condition. The parking lot was riddled with chuckholes and the owner had no desire to repair either the buildings or parking lot due to the proximity of the flood area. Residents in the area have been extremely unhappy with the appearance and lack of improvement taking place. In 2018, the city purchased the property and had the buildings demolished. It is thought this may be an greenspace area and has the potential for part of the space to be developed into a park. It pleasing to see the green grass even though there is nothing more there for the time being. The city hopes to get input from residents as to how they would like to see the property developed.
Averitt & Main Street has effectively help drivers making left turns without interrupting traffic flow at that intersection.
Yorktown & Smith Valley has significantly helped traffic on Yorktown either cross or make left hand turns at Smith Valley Road
Drivers are becoming better acquainted with the design. Traffic blocking intersections is a thing of the past. Traffic is not backed up over the bridge on the bypass. Solar “Yield” signs have been added. Most drivers have figured out how to negotiate transitioning from Smith Valley to US 31.
Overall the roundabouts have helped to create smoother traffic flow in each of these areas.
I helped lead the effort of recognizing the need to establish a “maintenance” ordinance. Several situations were brought to the City’s attention such as gutters that had been hanging from buildings for over several months, residents using their front porch to store storage bins or roofs that had tarps over damaged areas for many many months at a time. Residents felt there were issues that if left unresolved they could have a direct impact on their property value.
I was extremely concerned about the location being considered for the new “Freedom Springs” aquatic park. Felt it might be difficult for children in the northern/eastern sections of the city to get to the pool. I worked to get the city to establish a transportation route once each weekday to take youngsters to the pool. I did not want the pool to become a daycare but thought it extremely important to have certain destinations with bike racks where children could be picked up and transported to the pool. Thanks to Access this was achievable.
RESTORE OLD TOWN GREENWOOD
Involved with the Restore Old Town Greenwood group and city to obtain grant to create a redevelopment plan and drawings of how Old Town facades would have looked. I helped with working on/passing Comprehensive Plan for the revitalization of Old Town Business District. Next was to get Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) façade grant for $400,000 to partner with RDC and business owners to start restoring the appearance of the facades. Now, FAST FORWARD to 2019….Old Town is very much revitalized and there is an ongoing desire to create a more walkable downtown destination.
During my tenure on the council I have become a senior advocate. It’s important for us to realize that seniors are living much longer. This reality leads to the expanded need of housing…whether it is merely downsizing or senior community to assist seniors so they can grow old gracefully!
As a member of the city council I am responsible for passing ordinances, resolutions, setting the budget/finance and appropriations of tax dollars spent on behalf of you the taxpayer. Council members also must sponsor various walk-on ordinances and resolutions in order for them to be added to the meeting agenda. Council periodically does proclamations or resolutions honoring a group or individual’s accomplishments ie. Greenwood Band wining State Championship.
It’s not uncommon for me to attend Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals or Redevelopment Commission meetings to hear presentations prior to these same requests being made before the Council. Often times, these issues have the potential of remonstrators. By going to these meetings it gives me an opportunity to begin understanding all the options and how each might impact our city.
Much progress has been made but there is still much to be accomplished.
Pedals of Joy
Pedals of Joy – Brain child of John and Janna Phillips – New program of volunteers refurbishing unclaimed bicycles. Working with counselors at Greenwood schools. These bicycles will be given to children in our city… so they may enjoy one of the “simple pleasures in life” by having their own bicycle to ride.
Projects I Have Supported:
Old Town Facades project
Surina Way Extension
Horton Total Street Rehab
Freedom Springs Aquatic Park – experienced major push back by naysayers. Welcomed over 108,000 visitors last year and exceeded $1 million in annual revenue! Now That’s impressive!
Roundabout at Main & Averitt – relieved traffic backing up along both Main Street west of US 31 and northbound Averitt Road. Traffic flows much smoother.
Liner in sewers along Pearl Street and storm water management (some of system was 100+ years old. Original bricks were found still in place.
Rehab of Taxiway at Airport
Traffic signal at Main St & Graham Rd
Roundabout at Smith Valley & Yorktown Rd
Improvements along Smith Valley Rd and State Road 135
Fry Road – Additional sidewalks near Timbers Edge and Fire Station 92
I 65 Exit at Worthville Road (diverging diamond) – Helped alleviate traffic congestion along the east side of the city as well as on Main Street through the Old Town areas
Future Projects I Will Support:
Roundabout at Main & Meadowview/Yorktown Roads
Roundabout at Stones Crossing & Honey Creek
Proudly Paid for By The Committee to Re-Elect Linda Gibson