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. Our 2022 rate was $0.6533 and the rate for 2023 held steady at $0.6533
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 has brought 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.
Also in 2018, the G.R.O.W. (Granting Revitalization and Opportunity for their Workplace) program was created to assist local businesses (not located within the façade program area) along Madison Avenue and Main Street in updating, to restoring and enhancing their building/property. The enhancements are continuing to help reestablish the popularity of Old Town.
G.R.O.W. offers businesses matching funds (for projects that are a minimum of $20,000 up to $100,000) to restore, upgrade and enhance their exteriors. Eligible projects include facades, signage, art installations, landscaping, green infrastructure, lighting, decorative fencing and other exterior improvements.
Click here for eligible areas, eligible improvements, exclusions, applicant requirements and the awards process.
G.R.O.W SIGN INITIATIVE
The Greenwood Economic Development Commission (EDC) has made matching funds available, up to $2,500.00, to restore, upgrade and enhance business signs, and sign lighting. To be considered for the grant, a minimum private investment must be no less than $1,000.00.
Click here for eligible areas, eligible improvements, exclusions, applicant requirements and the awards process.
Click here if you have questions about G.R.O.W.
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 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.
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 recently constructed a row of five condo style hangers on the north end adjacent to County Line Road.
A new AERONAUTICAL CENTER OF TECHNOLOGY (ACT) has recently been created and is located in one of the hangers on the north end of the airport. ACT is working with several local high schools to encourage students to pursue an aviation related career. The students will actually spend classroom and lab time (constructing an airplane) at the airport.
The ACT program wants to expand their training to include a flight simulator. A GoFundMe account has been set up by members of the local EAA chapter. This simulator will not only offer hands-on training for the ACT students but will also be of value to pilots satisfying annual requirements in order to keep their certifications. Several companies have expressed interest in using the simulator for pilots in their company. At this point, $2,000 has already been donated and another $6000.00 is needed in order to make the view look as realistic as possible.
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:
Airport Day, Saturday August 26th
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 2019 school year. However, State funding was delayed and installation was finally completed in the fall of 2022.
The total price of the project was $588,716.00 and it was a 90/10 split. The total amount the city spent was $251,255.00.
School Security has been at the focus of attention as there continues to be shootings in various cities throughout the United States. Last fall, our mayor met with the school administrations of, Center Grove, Clark Pleasant and Greenwood schools to propose our city appropriating $1,000,000.00 to be divided evenly among the three-school system to be used for equipment or other items in hopes of creating a more secure atmosphere for our students. Soon afterwards money was also allotted to Central Nine.
MEMORIAL TO HONOR VETERANS, POLICE, FIREFIGHTERS AND EMT’s
Private Project, Another great addition joining 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 a few years ago. Our fund-raising efforts are going well. EVEN THOUGH THIS IS NOT A CITY PROJECT IT IS STILL VERY CLOSE AND DEAR TO MY HEART! For additional information email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 suggestion 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 is beneficial. This is only a short term help but does help to remind drivers of reduced speed limits in residential areas.
MADISON AVENUE STREETSCAPE
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. Recently the Madison Ave expanded north from Noble Street to Fry Road (where a center turn lane is present).
OUR LADY OF GREENWOOD PARTNERSHIP
An additional 150 parking spaces are at the corner of Surina Way and Meridian Street. These spaces replaced a portion of the parking used by Our Lady at the former middle school property. These spaces are convenient for those visiting the memorial plus expanding our parking for major events such as the Freedom Festival and Our Lady’s Strawberry Festival.
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 that 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.
STREETS IN DISTRICT 1
A few years ago, 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. Homes along Brewer Place, Fairview North Drive and Fairview East Drive are now enjoying new curbs, underdrains and a new road surface. Residents have a new pride in their neighborhood and property values have increased.
Often times, individuals or Homeowner Associations (HOA) will call the city regarding streets in their neighborhood. They want their street added to the list of streets to be repaved. Our city has a listing of how each street in the city is rated in their current condition. These lists are updated and sometimes there have been situations when something will have happened that moves a street up on the list.
In 2022, District 1 was fortunate to have Pearl Street from Middle Street to Alexander, Patterson Street from Pearl to Main Street, Broadway from Middle Street to just beyond Alexander, Funkboner Ct, Hawk Ct and Christy Drive from Charles Lee Ct to just east of Sherman Drive all redone.
The following streets in District 1 are scheduled for bid in 2023: Forest Park neighborhood, Alexander from Pearl to Broadway, Sheek Road from Main Street to Grassy Creek.
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 had been demolished to make way for a totally reimagined park with a 20-foot cube tower focal point. The play tower is one of three in the country. Other new features include a custom climbing wall, great porch type swings that grandparents can enjoy while the children enjoy the park features. A bocce court is situated near the library where it’s not unusual to see team matches going on with a nice gathering of cheering fans nearby.
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 had 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 had 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 a 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.
Honey Creek/Stones Crossing
Projected completion 2024
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 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.
FREEDOM SPRINGS TRANSPORTATION
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 older gracefully!
As a member of the city council, I am involved in 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 like 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 always much more to be planned and accomplished.
Projects I Have Supported:
- Western Regional Interceptor
- Purchase of City Center Tower
- I 65 Exit @ Worthsville Road
- Freedom Park
- Freedom Springs Water Park
- Free Leaf & Limb Curbside Pickup
- Free Mulch Pickup @ Station 92
- Middle School Acquisition
- Indy South Greenwood Airport Runway Expansion
- Downtown Façade Revitalization
- Employee Health Center
- Old City Park Revitalization
- City Center Splash Pad
- Sportsplex at I 65 & Worthsville Road
- The Madison
- City Parking Garage
- New Facility for Department of Public Works
- School Zone Flashers & Signage
- New Fire Stations 93, 94 & 95
- G.R.O.W. Initiative & Sign Initiative
- Surina Way Expansion
- Our Lady of the Greenwood Partnership
- Greenwood Amphitheater
- No Solicit Ordinance
- Nuisance Ordinance
- Demo of Buildings at County Line & Madison
- Indy South Greenwood Airport Taxi Rehap
- Aeronautical Center of Technology @ Airport
- Community Center – Kids City Rehab
- Storm Water Utility Creation & Projects
- Wayfinding Signage
- Update of Greenwood Zoning & Codes
- Visit Indy
- Stop Light at Woodman Blvd & Smith Valley
- Traffic Signal @ Main & Graham Road
- Rehab of Taxiway at Airport
- Improvements along Smith Valley Road and SR 135
- Fry Road – Additional sidewalks near Timbers Edge and Fire Station 92
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!
Liner in sewers along Pearl Street and storm water management (some of system was 100+ years old. Original bricks were found still in place.
INTEGRITY MATTERS even when it may not be the politically correct thing to do!
Proudly Paid for by The Committee to Re-Elect Linda Gibson